How to test your electric fence - 2023

13 September 2023  |  Beth

How to test your electric fence - 2023

Testing your electric fence is important to ensure it's functioning properly and providing the intended level of security or containment. Here's how you can test your electric fence:

Tools you will need:

  • An electric fence tester (also called a voltage tester or fence tester)
  • A grounding rod (optional)


  1. Turn off the Power: Before testing the fence, make sure to turn off the power supply to the electric fence. This is essential for your safety. Locate the power source, which is usually an electric fence energizer or charger, and switch it off.

  2. Prepare the Tester: Ensure that your electric fence tester is in good working condition. If it has a battery, check if it's charged. If it uses an earth stake (grounding rod), insert it into the ground, making sure it has good contact with moist soil. Some testers come with a ground probe attached.

  3. Touch the Fence: With the power off, touch the metal probe or the end of the tester to a section of the electric fence wire. Hold it there for a few seconds. The tester should indicate whether there's an electric charge on the fence. This is typically done using LED lights, a display, or an audible signal, depending on the type of tester you have.

  4. Check the Reading: The tester will provide a reading or signal that indicates the voltage on the fence. The exact voltage will depend on the type of fence and its purpose, but it's important to ensure that the reading falls within the expected range for your specific application. Consult the manufacturer's guidelines for the recommended voltage.

  5. Test Multiple Sections: Test different sections of the fence, especially areas where you suspect there might be issues, such as broken wires or poor connections. If you notice any inconsistencies in the readings, inspect and repair the fence as needed.

  6. Ground Rod Test (Optional): If you have concerns about the grounding of your electric fence, you can perform a ground rod test. Attach the tester to the grounding rod, and then insert the rod into the ground near the grounding system of the fence. This test checks the effectiveness of the grounding system.

  7. Make Necessary Repairs: If you find any issues with the electric fence, such as low voltage, no voltage, or inconsistent voltage readings, identify the problem and make the necessary repairs. Common issues include damaged wires, insulators, or energizer malfunctions.

  8. Turn the Power Back On: After testing and making any required repairs, turn the power supply back on to reactivate the electric fence. Ensure that all safety precautions are followed during this step.

  9. Regular Maintenance: It's a good practice to periodically test your electric fence to ensure it continues to function correctly. Regular maintenance can help prevent escapes or breaches in security.

Always exercise caution when working with electric fences, and follow safety guidelines to avoid electrical shocks. If you are unsure about any aspect of your electric fence system or encounter issues you can't resolve, it's advisable to consult with a professional electric fence technician.

There is a HUGE variety of electric fence testers. In general, if you only have a small fence then just go for a cheaper option - with the spike that goes into the ground and the clip on the fence. These start at around £12.50. Beware that you sometimes need to shield the lights so you can see the reading in bright sunlight. These 'starter' testers are handy because you can test both the fence and the energiser with them. You even more sophisticated 'fault finders' that not only tell you the reading but also help you identify exactly where it is on the fence. But these more advanced testers can get more expensive than your energiser if you're not careful! The little pocket testers that you just point at the fence are quick and easy (Hotline does a good one called their Hotline Beeper tester), although they do not allow you to test your energiser independently so become less helpful should a problem arise and you need to isolate the cause of the issue.

Click HERE to look at our electric fence testers!

If the fault is with your energiser, and you have checked your power supply, then double check the wires that go on to the fence - you may not see a break but these wires can get tugged and are often the source of the problem. If the problem is the energiser itself and it is not under warranty, then it is possible to fix more expensive energisers - usually for about £60 +. For the less expensive energisers unfortunately it is not usually cost effective to have them repaired so you may need to consider a new one.

Click HERE to see our energisers!

Tape and rope will deteriorate over time. It may not appear broken, but the metal wires within the tape/rope can snap and even just a couple of little breaks can stop your fence working properly. Please do not tie knots if it breaks because this will not allow the electricity to run around the fence properly. You will need to replace your tape/rope from time to time. Some tape and rope comes with a UV stabiliser that will make it last longer. And some is just made of stronger material. All our tape and rope is made in Irelands and is fantastic quality compared to some cheap imports used by many.

Click HERE to see our electric tape and electric rope!

If you have any questions about electric fences, please email We are a family run business and we are happy to help.

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