Five Tips For Successfully Grounding An Electric Fence

Posted on: 30 December 2014

Proper grounding is highly important to the functioning of an electric fence. If an electric fence ground system does not function adequately, the fence will not give a strong enough shock and will not be able to keep people or animals out of a fenced off area. 

The following are five helpful tips that should ensure that an electric fence is properly grounded and will continue to give off enough of a shock for the fence to have the desired effect:

Check the ground system at climate extremes

If you want an electric fence to function properly throughout the year, you should check the ground system and the system voltage at both the wettest and driest times of the year. This will prevent weather extremes from causing an electric fence to malfunction due to grounding issues.

Check voltage levels after shorting

Once you have shorted out the fence, you should check the voltage levels of the fence energizer using your voltmeter. This will help ensure that there is a sufficient charge in the fence to give off a strong shock when the fence is touched.

Use the correct grounding rod

You need to pay close attention to your grounding rod. The wrong type of grounding rod will prevent the electric fence from giving off an adequate shock.

Appropriate types of grounding rod include rebar or pipe. The steel that the rod is made out of should be galvanized. Copper ground rods are not always a good choice for an electric fence because they can decrease the effectiveness of the system's connection.

Add an additional grounding rod if necessary

After you have set up your system, you may find that the power in the system is not sufficient. One possible solution is to add an additional grounding rod. Often, electric fences placed over soil that is dry or sandy require more grounding rods than fences placed over soils that are finer grained or more moist. 

It's not uncommon for fences to require two or even three different grounding rods. In fact, most fences will require multiple rods. Additional grounding rods should be placed about ten feet apart, and they should be positioned near the fence's starting point.

Keep ground rods away from utilities

If ground rods are positioned too close to utilities, they could disrupt the functioning of phone or electrical lines. Make sure that you're aware of the locations of utility grounds to prevent any disruptions caused by the grounding system of your electric fence.

When installing or maintaining an electric fence, consider putting up temporary fencing from a company like Statewide Rent-A-Fence until your electric fence is operational.


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