View Full Version : Electric fencing - grounding questions

Nov. 9, 2009, 12:43 AM
I feel dumb for having to ask this, but heck, it's COTH right? Someone will know.

If you are fencing with electric wire/tape, what is the effect of doing the following?

1. Making sure the tape only touches other tape or plastic insulators. [I think I know the answer to this - it stays electric.]

2. Having the electric tape cross at more than one point (e.g. electricity coming from one direction from the fencer, but also coming from another direction because of cross-fencing points electifying each other);

3. Tying the tape around a wooden post mid-way to help secure it;

4. Tying the tape to or running it through a metal staple in a wood post;

5. Tying or running the tape through a metal staple in a live tree.

Thanks for the input. I have been trying to improve electric fences for years - and my coach, BO, and Dad all have different opinions on what the effects each of the above are.

Nov. 9, 2009, 07:21 AM
Your electric tape or wire needs to be running through designated insulators otherwise the fence is grounded out.

You can make jump wires to electrify another section of fence or purchase connection wire(clips on each end).

I hope this helps and others with more electric fence knowledge than myself can clarify this better.

Nov. 9, 2009, 07:48 AM
#s 3, 4, & 5 will make the fence useless as a hotwire fence, you're grounding it out. You must have non conducting things securing the tape. Wood is not a great conductor, but it conducts enough to drain the zap out of the fence. Use only plastic, rubber (high quality w/ no cracks in it) or ceramic holders.

#2 can lower the jolt and put more stress on the charger, depending on how long the fence is and how many crossovers/connections there are. As a rule, the fewer joins the better, and the joins should be small but very tight. ie: tape knotted together may work but it's not as efficient as the purpose-made flat press fittings you can buy. With wire, you need to do a small area of tightly wrapped wire, not 2 ft of haphazard wrap.

I have wrapped the top strand of tape or wire around the insulator on every 3rd or 4th post just to secure it a bit (and keep the entire fence from collapsing if a section gets broken) but I don't generally have a very long fence and I use a mongo charger.

The more 'stuff' that touches the tape or wire, including the material itself, the worse the charge will be. And if you use a solar charger it can drain the battery faster than it recharges, especially in winter.

Also, a really really good ground rod is essential. Usually lack of a good zap starts there.

Here's a good list of common problems. I think it's specifically referring to the high tension type fences, but the basic principle is the same.


Frank B
Nov. 9, 2009, 08:14 AM
(Almost) everything you want to know about electric fencing. (http://www.parmakusa.com/Install/Parmak_Energizer_Booklet_English.pdf)

Download the document, print it out, and keep it handy. Pay particular attention to the section around page #4 concerning grounding, especially if soil conductivity is poor in your area. Frozen ground IS a poor conductor, so plan accordingly.

Cross-connecting properly insulated wires/tapes will increase the conductivity of the system and will enhance the *zap* factor in certain areas. However, the bi-polar tapes do require special attention to make sure the two conductors are phased properly.

Nov. 10, 2009, 02:08 PM
Thanks for the information and the links! I had my suspicions ;) but it is ever so hard to convince someone who "knows" they're right, especially as my only rejoinder is "but I think that will ground it and so does my BO!"