Electric Fences

Proper Grounding

Proper grounding is critical. Depending on the type and moisture content of the soil, the actual grounding level required by the energizer will vary. For the average soil, it is recommended you use a 5 Joule low impedance charger that is grounded with three, 8-foot ground rods, spaced at least 10 feet apart. If you double the Joule output of the energizer, you need to double the grounding.

Location of the Energizer

The energizer must have an out grounding electrode to prevent unintentional shock. The location of the energizer must never be grounded to your farm’s electrical grounds, metal water pipes or to metal objects in a building such as stalls, fences or dividers. Improper grounding puts the metal objects and livestock in the electric fence’s earth return path.

The best place for the energizer may be outdoors and away from livestock buildings and the grounded equipment. If you install an energizer indoors, the high voltage must be taken to the outside using high voltage lead cable (20,000-volt insulation is recommended). Electrical wire of the type used or the building wiring with 600-volt insulation must never be used for this purpose.

Low Impedance Energizers

A low impedance energizer delivers a very high current for a very short time. Even if some grass or other vegetation is touching the fence, the system can deliver enough current to control livestock as long as the appropriate number of ground rods has been used. An energizer labeled by a testing laboratory is recommended.

A standard fence circuit can use single or multiple wires with animal contact made between the fence and the earth. In areas where the soil is sandy or dry, the path is easy to obtain and continuous ground is recommended.