Common Problems with Electrical Fences, and How to Fix Them

Written by: Jason Governo

An electric fence around a farm can provide physical and psychological feedback that prevents animals from breaching the fence and intruding on your property. Many of these issues crop up at the time of installation, so it’s important to review manufacturer instructions and plot your fence correctly. Measure ahead of time to determine how much fencing you will need, and to form some rudimentary calculations on voltage output.

Once you know your power and mileage requirements, you’re ready to install your fence. Farm Supply Store presents some issues that can occur after installation, and methods to fix them.

Improper Grounding

If the electric dog fence doesn’t administer a shock, it’s most likely due to poor grounding. The fence must complete a circuit before it can shock something. If this is a problem for you, install galvanized rods that are about ten feet apart from one another, and which have been driven to at least five feet below the ground. Typically, farmers will install one galvanized rod for each joule of electricity they plan to use.

Also check that the ground rods are connected with strong ground rod clamps. This is also a good time to check that you’re not mixing metals, which could cause unintended reactions to occur. Be aware, the grounding system must be of good quality, and soil condition does play a significant role.

Poor Charging

Your garden fence won’t do much good if it doesn’t have enough power coming to it. You must install a fence charger that is of adequate size, otherwise animals won’t be deterred from your fence for long. Most fences can contain animals if they measure 3,500 to 5,000 volts. Be aware that mileage does not mean that a charger will provide appropriate power for your fence. Some manufacturers claim that a charger will work for “x miles” of fencing, but may only correspond to low voltage fences. It’s best to look at the amount of joules one expects a fence to use, and purchase a charger as needed.

Final Thoughts

Fencing has voltage requirements that determine the equipment you will need to use in order to power the unit. Make sure you’ve adequately measured your power output, and that you’ve bought hardware that matches those requirements. With proper care, electric fencing can be one of the most cost-efficient methods of animal deterrence for a farmer.