How Many Volts Does An Electric Fence Have?

If you are looking for the best electric fence voltage, then look no further.

The best way to keep your animals in is with an electric fence. There are many different voltages that can be used. It all depends on what you want to do with it and how much money you have available to spend.

You need to make sure that whatever type of voltage that you choose will work great for your needs without being too high or too low for what you need it for. We will give you some notes when you use the electric fence effectively and safely.

How Does an Electric Fence Work?

Electric fences are used for both agricultural purposes and home security. Essentially, an electric fence is made up of several wires running parallel to each other at a short distance apart. When an animal comes into contact with the fence, they receive a shock from one or several of the wires. The strength and height of the fence are what determine how much voltage is in an electric fence.

What’s Inside the Electric Fence?

An electric fence is made up of three basic components: the energizer, the conductors, and the grounding system.

The energizer is most commonly found in a canister or box that is attached to the fence. There are several types of energizers including the following: Solar-powered, Battery-powered, Battery- and solar-powered

Electrical wire powered via a wall outlet is also used for energizers but is less common.

The conductors carry the shock from the energizer to the animal that touches them and can vary in number and type. The most common conductors are aluminum, steel, and polywire.

The grounding system is used to ground the shock from the electric fence. It can be made up of a single grounding rod and wire, or multiple grounding rods and wires.

How much voltage is in an electric fence?

How much voltage is in an electric fence?

The voltage range of an electric fence can range from 2,000 to 10,000 volts, with 10,000 being the maximum permitted by international regulations. 

Electric fences are rated by the strength of shock that is given. The USDA classifies an electric fence as any one of the following: 

Class 1: This electric fence has an 8,000-volt maximum.

Class 2: This electric fence has a 4,000-volt maximum.

Class 3: This electric fence has a 1,500-volt maximum.

Class 4: This electric fence has a 750 voltage maximum.

To determine the voltage level of the electric fence, it is important to know the number of strands. A more common term for this measurement is “gauge.” An 18 gauge electric fence carries about 4,000 volts.

>>> Read More : Best Wire for Electric Fence

How to measure voltage is in an electric fence?

The easiest way to measure the voltage is by using a digital multimeter. If a multimeter is not available, then the easiest way to measure voltage in an electric fence is by using a 9V battery. Simply touch one end of the wire to either of the outermost metal parts on the battery and touch the other end to the innermost part on the battery. This can be repeated for each section of wire until a reading is received. The voltage reading received does not need to be exact.

How to measure voltage is in an electric fence?

What’s the Difference Between High-Tension and Low-Tension Electric Fences?

The difference between high-tension and low-tension electric fences is the number of wires. A high-tension fence has three or more wires, while a low-tension fence has two or fewer. The greater the number of wires, the more powerful the shock from an electric fence becomes.

Low-tension electric fences are often used for smaller animals, such as dogs and horses, while high-tension fences are usually used with cattle or other large animals.

How effective is electric fencing?

Electric fences are effective for keeping small animals in but are only effective to a point.

The first thing to know is that the electric fence is only as good as the ground it’s buried in. A weak electric current can be made stronger by simply putting more water on the ground (electrical current is carried better through water than dry soil).

The second thing to know is that electric fencing can be effective against animals that are hungry. If an animal is not hungry, it will simply walk through the electric fence because the pain feels basically the same no matter how hungry you are.

Third, if the electric fence is not grounded properly, it will have virtually no effect on animals. In theory, you can attach a wire directly to an animal’s leg, turn on the fence, and electrocuting the animal. If the wire is not grounded into the soil or another conductive medium, the animal will not get shocked.

Fourth, electric fencing is simply painful if an animal gets touched by it enough times. Electric fencing is not meant to kill the animal, it simply causes pain and hopefully teaches the animal to stay away from it. If an animal gets shocked enough times, it will learn to avoid the fence. This takes a very long time though.

Fifth, electric fencing is not effective for large areas. If you have a large area to fence off, it would be easier and more effective to use barbed wire or other types of fencing.

Sixth, electric fences are not effective when the weather gets bad. In wet climates, for example, a wire can be shorted by moisture. In hot climates, the wire can be shorted by tree branches or other things touching it. If the fence gets shorted too much, animals can walk right through it.

Seventh, electric fencing can be broken by very strong animals that are determined to get through. If an animal is hungry enough, it will eventually get through the fence. Dairy cows are known for breaking electric fences.


Is an Electric Fence Dangerous?

An electric fence is not a big hazard. The voltage traveling through the wires is high, but the current or amplification (amps) is extremely low (around 120 milliamps). It can’t even is able to kill a squirrel. 

However, both animals and people can be shocked by the electric fence report that it is a painful experience. This is a dangerous warning sign to prevent animal escape. Electric fencing can be dangerous depending on how the circuit is created and what conditions exist in and around the fence. So, check your electric fence frequently to ensure everything runs smoothly and safely.

What are the Risks Involved?

Electric fences can cause injury if they are not used properly. Many factors influence how large the shock is from the electric fence, including: 

The age of the animal. As animals get older, their skin becomes thicker and they become more resistant to electric shock.

The breed of animal. Some animals, such as pigs and horses, are naturally less sensitive to electricity than other animals such as cattle.

How many ground rods do I need for the electric fence?

For an electric fence, the number of ground rods needed is equal to twice the height (thickness) of his fence.

If you have a single wire fence that is 5 ft. high, then you need 10 ground rods to keep the voltage strong at the bottom of your fence. If you have a single wire fence that is 6 ft. high, then you need 12 ground rods to keep the voltage strong at the bottom of your fence.

Keep in mind to keep these ground rounds away from telephone lines and other utilities that could interfere.


When it comes to electric fencing, the voltage matters. The higher voltages will provide more protection and make your fence less likely to be breached by predators or livestock. However, lower voltages may cost you less in terms of installation costs but offer a shorter amount of time before an animal can breach the barrier again once they’ve been shocked.

We recommend talking with one of our experts about which level is best for your particular needs so that we can guide you towards installing a system that maximizes efficiency and minimizes risk. Give us a call today!

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