Troubleshooting Electric Fence
Your ground system is the most important component of your electric fence system. An effective ground system is necessary to achieve the maximum results of your energizer and your fence.
Testing The Ground System
- Turn off the energizer.
- At least 330 ft (100 m) away from the energizer, short circuit the fence by laying several steel rods (or lengths of pipe) against the fence. In dry or sandy soils, drive the rods up to 12 in (30 cm) into the soil.
- Turn on the energizer.
- Use a digital voltmeter to measure the fence voltage. It should read 2 kV or less. If not, repeat steps 1 to 3.
- To check the ground system, attach the voltmeter’s clip to the last ground rod and insert the ground probe into the soil at the full extent of the lead. The voltmeter reading should be no more than 0.3 kV. If the reading is higher than this, the ground system is insufficient. See the grounding checklist, add more ground rods, or find a better location for your ground system.
Issues? What you may need to check
- All wires are joined securely.
- There are a sufficient number of ground rods.
- Connections to ground rods are secure.
- All parts of the ground system are made of the same metal.
- Ground rods are at least 5–6 ft long and at least 10 ft apart.
- Ground rods are buried deeply in the soil.
Watch our video
How To Use Your Fault Finder
Finding a Fault Using a Digital Voltmeter
Electrical current flows toward a fault (short) in the same way that water flows towards the plug-hole in a bath tub. A digital voltmeter allows you to follow the direction of the current towards the fault.
Check the energizer and the ground system.
At the first cut-out switch, disconnect the rest of the fence and take a voltage reading. The voltage should be normal.
Move along the fence line stopping at each cut-out switch. Take a voltage reading with the cut-out switch closed and again with the cut-out switch open. A spike in the voltage reading with the cut-out switch open indicates a fault in the section of the fence which has been disconnected.
If you are still having trouble, follow the troubleshooting flow chart below.