Where to Start

If you're new to electric fencing, all the terms and different items might seem overwhelming. Even if you are familiar with electric fences, you may not know everything about them and find yourself lost with all the different terms. The following is a quick guide to help you get started creating an electric fence, whether you're fencing in 1,000+ acres or looking for a small, portable fence to create temporary pastures.

The energizer creates an electric pulse that travels through the fence (red). When an animal touches the fence, it completes the circuit and allows that electric pulse to travel through its body, then into the ground (green). It then travels through the ground, into the grounding system, and back into the energizer.

This is why it is critical to have a good grounding system. Poor grounding causes 9/10 of the problems electric fence users experience. At a minimum, a grounding system should consist of three 6' galvanized steel rods placed 10' apart, linked by one wire that leads to the energizer. Additional ground rods may be needed for larger energizers. Small, portable fences may use a single 3 foot ground rod with a T handle for easier installation and removal.

In addition to these components, the other 3 main items needed are posts, insulators, and wire:

If a non-conductive material (such as plastic or fiberglass) is used for your posts, then insulators are not needed. Wood and metal posts, however, require the use of insulators to keep the electricity from traveling from the wire through the post and into the ground. Any time electricity travels from the wire into the ground, this is called a fault. Faults can also be caused by wet grass growing too high and contacting the wire, loose debris touching the ground and the wire, broken insulators, or damage causing the wires to fall down and touch the ground.

In addition to these components, connectors will be needed to tension the wire to keep it taut, terminate the wire at the end of a run, splice two lengths of wire together, and connect multiple strands to each other electrically.

There are multiple options for gates, and based on whether the gate needs to be electrified or not, you may choose to simply terminate and restart the fence around the gate. For this, underground or leadout cable may be used. If the gate will be electrified, a gate anchor, cut out switch, or gate kit (such as the electric bungee gate) may be used.

You may need certain tools to complete your fence. Reels are useful for storing and tensioning poly wire and tape. If using crimp connections, a crimper and crimps will be needed. Fencing pliers will help to cut, bend, and form wire. A payout spinner or spinning jenny is useful to install heavy high tensile wire without it kinking or bending. Testers can be used to measure current and voltage on a fence to indicate it is functioning properly, and help to detect, find, and correct faults.

To review, here's an overview of the items you will need:

  1. Energizer
  2. Grounding system
  3. Posts
  4. Insulators
  5. Wire
  6. Connectors
  7. Gate components
  8. Tools

If you have any questions, you can contact us for more information. We would be happy to help you with your specific needs.