Electric Fence Installation: Everything from Purchase to "Power Up"

The task of installing an electric fence may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s really not a difficult process. However, there are some steps that you will want to make sure to follow so that your fence installation is a success.

Do Your Homework

Before you purchase an electric fence, you need to do some research. First, find out if you are allowed to use electric fence on your property by checking with your local regulations. You should identify the location of utility lines, and avoid running the electric fence close to such utilities.

Once you have determined where the fence can be located on your property, map out the intended location of the fence. Look for potential geographical issues, like hills, densely wooded areas, or high brush that will need to be dealt with or avoided. Measure the perimeter of the fence line and determine how many wires of fencing you want your fence to have.

When you are prepared with a detailed outline of your fence, you can proceed to purchasing the electric fence materials and charger that you will need. Remember, grounding rods need to be installed within 3 to 10 feet of each other, and you will also need connectors and insulators to make your fence complete. Spend time calculating the wire length of your fence so you can be sure to purchase a fence charger that is appropriate.

Often, horse fencing is sold in packages, but please be careful when buying any pre-built package, as more often than not you need either more or less than comes in the package by default. This simply happens because of the custom nature of any electric fencing installation. Every pasture is different.

Install Your Fence Controller


When you install a fence controller (also known as a fence charger or energizer), you want to protect all of the electrical connections from any moisture to keep them properly functioning. Only use insulated cable that is specifically intended for use with electrical fence – typical electrical wiring is rated for a lower voltage and could malfunction.

NOTE: Struggling to find the right fence energizer? Here’ s a great article on selecting the best charger

A fence controller must be properly grounded so that it does not pose a risk of electrical shock if it should malfunction. To ground the fence controller, install three grounding rods that are galvanized or made of copper. Each rod should measure 6 feet long, and you should install them within 20 feet of the fence controller. The rods should be driven down 6 feet deep and should be spaced 10 feet apart. Once installed, a ground rod clamp should be used to attach the ground wire to the ground rod. Connect the ground wire to your fence controller.

Install Fence Posts

When installing an electric fence, fence posts can typically be spaced every 25 to 75 feet. Your terrain will affect this, since a hilly area or a curve in the fence line will require additional fence posts at smaller increments. On level terrain you will need fewer fence posts and the distance between them can be increased.

Once you have determined the locations of your fence posts, begin the installation process. Depending on the type of post you are using, you may need to dig holes. Some fence posts, like metal T-posts, can be driven down directly into the ground. Install any insulators that you will need on the posts.

We strongly suggest buy posts from Home Depot, Lowes, or another local hardware store. Unless you are using tposts or fiberglass, most posts are far too expensive to ship. T-posts and fiberglass rods are the exception because of their light weight and small size. Those you can find online any number of places.

Run the Wires

Begin the process of running the electric fence wire. Depending on the number of wires that you will be running, your process for this may differ. However, always start the wire where you will be connecting it to the charger. Run the wires through the insulators on each post. Be sure that all of the connections between wires are good and strong, and always use wire clamps, connectors, and splices to make proper connections. Once all of the fencing is installed, attach the wires to the charger.

Test the Fence

Power up your fence and test it to make sure that it is functioning properly. Use a voltage meter and check different areas of the fence. Be sure to measure the voltage on different wires if your fence involves multiple strands.

Here are some of the more popular fence voltage testers out there:

  • Patriot Digital Volt Meter
  • Zareba Fence Doctor
  • Gallagher Smart Fix
  • Centaur Fence Compass

If you find that your fence is not receiving sufficient power, check to make sure that no brush or grass is interfering with the bottom fence line. You will also want to make sure that the fencing is securely held in the insulators and is not grounding out on a post, and that the charger you are using is appropriate for your fence size.

When installing an electric fence, it is important to take your time and complete the process properly. A well-installed electric fence will be functional and a safe way to contain your animals.

Need more help with your fence installation or finding a fence charger?  We can help: Fencechargers.net
Servicing All 50 States
2270 Route 30, Montgomery, IL 60543


This is a submitted article from:  www.fencechargers.net