American Farmworks Electric Fence Manual (2024)

Introduction Electric fences have become an integral part of modern farming practices, providing an efficient and cost-effective solution for protecting livestock and crops. The American FarmWorks Electric Fence Manual serves as a valuable resource for farmers and landowners who seek to install, maintain, and troubleshoot their electric fence systems. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of the manual, offering insights and practical advice for optimizing your electric fencing setup.

Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding Electric Fences 1.1 What is an Electric Fence? 1.2 The Benefits of Electric Fencing 1.3 Electric Fence Components

  2. Planning and Installation 2.1 Assessing Your Fencing Needs 2.2 Mapping Out Your Fence Line 2.3 Selecting the Right Fence Charger 2.4 Installing Fence Posts 2.5 Connecting Conductive Wires

  3. Electric Fence Maintenance 3.1 Regular Inspection and Testing 3.2 Grounding and Fence Charger Maintenance 3.3 Vegetation Control 3.4 Repairing Damaged Fences

  4. Troubleshooting Common Issues 4.1 Dealing with Low Voltage 4.2 Identifying and Fixing Faults 4.3 Managing Animal Interference 4.4 Addressing Lightning Strikes

  5. Safety Considerations 5.1 Understanding Electric Shock 5.2 Ensuring Safe Installation and Maintenance 5.3 Educating Livestock and Pets 5.4 Compliance with Local Regulations

  6. Conclusion

Understanding Electric Fences 1.1 What is an Electric Fence? An electric fence is a barrier that uses electric shocks to deter animals from crossing its boundaries. It consists of three main components: the fence charger, conductive wires, and grounding system.

1.2 The Benefits of Electric Fencing Electric fencing offers several advantages over traditional fencing methods. It provides a psychological barrier, is more cost-effective, easy to install, and adaptable to various terrains.

1.3 Electric Fence Components The fence charger, also known as an energizer, is the heart of the electric fence system. Conductive wires, made of high-tensile materials, carry the electric charge. The grounding system ensures a closed circuit, allowing effective shock delivery.

Planning and Installation 2.1 Assessing Your Fencing Needs Before installing an electric fence, consider factors such as the size of the area to be enclosed, the type of animals to be contained or excluded, and the level of security required.

2.2 Mapping Out Your Fence Line Properly mapping out your fence line ensures accurate installation. Consider terrain, property boundaries, and the presence of obstacles such as trees or buildings.

2.3 Selecting the Right Fence Charger Choosing the appropriate fence charger is crucial for effective electric fencing. Factors like power source, output voltage, and animal behavior should be taken into account.

2.4 Installing Fence Posts Sturdy fence posts are essential for a durable electric fence. Choose materials like wood or steel, and ensure proper spacing and depth for optimal stability.

2.5 Connecting Conductive Wires Connecting the conductive wires to the fence charger and grounding system forms a closed circuit. Use appropriate insulators, tensioners, and connectors for a secure and efficient setup.

Electric Fence Maintenance 3.1 Regular Inspection and Testing Regularly inspecting and testing your electric fence ensures its functionality. Check for loose wires, damaged insulators, and vegetation interference.

3.2 Grounding and Fence Charger Maintenance Maintaining proper grounding and fence charger maintenance is vital for optimal performance. Keep grounding rods clean and secure, and regularly check the charger's output.

3.3 Vegetation Control Vegetation touching the fence can reduce its effectiveness. Regularly trim grass, bushes, and trees near the fence line to prevent shorts and improve energy flow.

3.4 Repairing Damaged Fences Repair any damages to the electric fence promptly. Replace broken insulators, tighten loose wires, and repair any physical damage to maintain its integrity.

Troubleshooting Common Issues 4.1 Dealing with Low Voltage Low voltage can occur due to various reasons. Check for grounding issues, damaged wires, or inadequate power supply to identify and rectify the problem.

4.2 Identifying and Fixing Faults Fence faults, such as wire breaks or poor connections, can lead to ineffective fencing. Use a fault finder or systematically test the fence to identify and repair faults.

4.3 Managing Animal Interference Animals may attempt to breach the fence by digging, pushing, or jumping over it. Implement additional deterrents and reinforce weak areas to prevent animal interference.

4.4 Addressing Lightning Strikes Lightning strikes can damage the electric fence system. Install lightning diverters and surge protectors to minimize the risk of damage during storms.

Safety Considerations 5.1 Understanding Electric Shock Electric shocks from an electric fence can cause discomfort and temporary pain but are generally safe for both humans and animals. Educate yourself and others about electric shock risks.

5.2 Ensuring Safe Installation and Maintenance Follow safety guidelines during installation and maintenance to avoid accidents. Use appropriate personal protective equipment and turn off the fence charger when working on the fence.

5.3 Educating Livestock and Pets Properly train livestock and pets to respect the electric fence boundaries. Familiarize them with the shock sensation through controlled exposure and visual cues.

5.4 Compliance with Local Regulations Ensure compliance with local regulations regarding electric fencing. Familiarize yourself with any legal requirements or restrictions before installing or modifying your electric fence.

Conclusion The American FarmWorks Electric Fence Manual provides comprehensive guidance for farmers and landowners looking to implement efficient and effective electric fencing systems. By understanding the principles, planning carefully, conducting regular maintenance, and troubleshooting effectively, you can maximize the benefits of electric fences while safeguarding your livestock and crops.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

  1. How long do electric fences last?
  2. Can electric fences harm animals or humans?
  3. Do electric fences work during power outages?
  4. Can electric fences be used for small animals like rabbits?
  5. Do I need a professional to install an electric fence?

Note: The above article is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional advice. Always consult the American FarmWorks Electric Fence Manual and local regulations for specific guidance.

American Farmworks Electric Fence Manual (2024)


How can I increase my electric fence output? ›

If the fence extends over 500m away from the main earth it will be necessary to add an additional earth line to the bottom of the fence and bury a stake at those intervals. Wire is a better conductor than ground so a ground rod every +/- 500meters will greatly increase the effectiveness of the fence.

How do you test and see if an electric fence is working? ›

Turn the non-contact voltmeter on and wait for a blinking red light on the tip. Stand within 5 feet of the electric fence. Point the blinking tip of the non-contact voltmeter toward the fence. The voltmeter may begin to glow with a steady red light and beep, indicating a charge.

Why is my electric fence not shocking? ›

Common issues: Electric fence not working

Ground faults: This could be due to poor grounding with the ground rods, insulator issues, or hot wire connection with vegetation or brush. Wire issues: This may be due to loose or broken wires caused by animals, fallen trees, or other factors.

How high off the ground should an electric fence be? ›

Shoulder height: The primary rule is that the top wire of an electric fence should reach up to the animal's shoulder, limiting their ability to leap over the fence.

How many feet should be between electric fence posts? ›

Choosing Your Primary Fence Materials

For example, standard electric fence line can be spaced anywhere from 10-20 feet apart, based on the type of terrain you're dealing with. Poly-tape and poly-wire requires closer spacing to keep it taut, between 10-12 feet apart.

What is the correct voltage for electric fence? ›

That said, most sources recommend a minimum of 4,000 volts for hard-to-control species, and a minimum of 2,000 volts for more docile animals. Anything greater than 8,000 volts is considered more than necessary (some sources say 6,000), and more likely to cause injury.

Does an electric fence have to make a complete loop? ›

An electric fence does NOT have to make a circle and the clips at the end of the net are not required to connect.

How do you set up an electric fence for dummies? ›

Setting up the Fence
  1. Set up your charger. ...
  2. Put in grounding posts. ...
  3. Attach a grounding wire. ...
  4. Install your fence posts. ...
  5. Set up braces on corners and gates. ...
  6. Mount the insulators. ...
  7. Run the wire.

How do you test an electric fence? ›

Use two properly insulated pliers and a length of ordinary copper wire. Hold one end onto the live fence with one set of pliers and using the other bring the wire near to any other wire in the fence. If the fence is working well you will get a spark that jumps a few mm at least with a loud crack sound.

Where do ground rods go on electric fence? ›

Most fences will require two or three grounding rods positioned about 10 ft. apart, near the starting point of the fence. Make sure that your ground rods are far enough away from your utilities, in particular your telephone lines.

How much sun does a solar electric fence need? ›

An efficient electric fence charger requires minimum sunlight. A Speedrite Electric-Fence energizer requires a smaller amount of sunlight hours to keep batteries at a full charge. Once of the energizer batteries are fully charged on selected portable solar energizers, you can operate it up to 21 days without sunlight.

Do solar powered electric fences work well? ›

Are Solar Electric Fences Any Good? Solar electric fences come with pros and cons. They're excellent for remote and off-grid applications where traditional power sources are unavailable but may not always produce the power necessary to function around the clock.

How do I test my fence charger? ›

Measure the voltage on the energizer between the two terminals (positive and negative) with a digital voltmeter or other high-voltage tester. Touch one end to “-“ (earth terminal) and the other end to “+” (fence terminal). The reading tells you how well the energizer is working without any other variables.

Why is my fence charger not clicking? ›

In this case, it could be a broken wire, a bad splice joint, or anything that is not allowing voltage through. If the charger is clicking and there is low voltage, or if it turns on and won't click, there is a problem with the charger. Take it to your local MFA for service.

Why is my electric fence energiser not pulsing? ›

Problem: It maybe that the energiser has stopped pulsing or ticking in the way it normally does. Solve it: If the energiser is running from a battery or solar/battery system check the battery hasn't run down. Check the connections of the solar panel to the battery. Give the battery a long charge for 24 hours.

Why is my electric fence clicking but not working? ›

If you have an electric fence clicking but not working, it could indicate a malfunction in the system. The energizer is likely trying to generate electric pulses, but there could be an issue with the power supply that's causing the charge delivered to the fence to be weak or non-existent.


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