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Electric Fencing Made Easy

Electric fencing is NOT complicated. However it must be installed correctly to work properly. All electric fences consist of three equally important items…
  1. The fence (posts, wires, insulators & gates)
  2. The electronics (fence charger, insulated cable & switches)
  3. The ground system (ground rods, clamps & wiring)


Decide whether you want to build a temporary or permanent electric fence.


Select the materials. The type of animals to be controlled will determine material selection.

  1. 110-volt plug-in: Most power for the money, often rated in "joules"-the more, the better. BEST Value.
  2. 6-12 volt battery-powered: Less power for the money, good for remote areas. SECOND BEST Value.
  3. Solar-powered: Least power for the money, good for short fences in remote areas. (Can be used on longer single wire clean fences.) Most convenient, however, not the best value.

NOTE: Electric Fences should to be kept clean of vegetation. No matter how powerful your fence charger claims to be, weeds and grass touching the wires will reduce voltage and can make your fence less effective.

*Electric Fencing is a pychological barrier—animals remember and will stay away for the most part.

Install the fence, fence charger and ground system.

Grounding System Test

  1. Create a dead short on the fence line, preferably 300 ft. from the ground rods, or as far as possible if the fence is shorter than that. Lean steel posts on a hot wire as shown to short out your fence.
  2. Use a Dare #2411 Digital Voltmeter or similar electric fence meter. Place the meter probe on the ground wire or rods. Extend the meter lead wire as far away as possible, attach to a wire probe and insert probe into the soil. (Wire probe supplied with Dare #2411).
  3. If the voltage reading exceeds 300 volts, the grounding system is inadequate and more ground rods should be added. Add rods and recheck until voltage reads 300 or less. Generally you will need one ground rod for each Joule of output from your energizer.

Rule of Thumb: Hot wires should touch the animals at the chest and/or nose and the back of the neck on grazing animals.

Gates require extra care to run voltage from one side of the gate to the other. We recommend running insulated cable in plastic pipe under the gate (make sure to seal the ends of the pipe to keep out water.) Connect all electrified wires together at gates and corners to increase voltage the length of the fence.

NOTE: Connect the fence charger so it charges the fence from the middle, not the end, if possible.


Test the fence.


Minimum recommended voltage on fence line

Horses 2,000 - 3,000 volts
Cows 2,000 - 3,000 volts
Bulls 3,000 - 4000 volts
Sheep / Goats 4,000 - 5,000 volts
Nusance Pets 1,000 - 2,000 volts
Pigs 2,000 volts
Wolves / Predators 4,000 - 5,000 volts
Bison / Deer 4,000 - 5,000 volts
Pets 700 - 1,000 volts



Article courtesy of Dare Products and Bob Kingsbery