How to Make Electric Fence Hotter and Effective

An electric fence is a sound security system that helps keep your resources, such as your home and farms, safe. All this is possible if your electric fence(circuit) works fine and is effective enough to deter stray animals and intruders. 

However, external and internal factors, such as poor grounding, short circuits, and vegetation, affect your electric fence’s performance(power).

So, in this post, we’ll discuss several techniques/tips we can apply to make an electric fence hotter.

But first, understand how an electric fence works, as it’ll help you to understand what factors can impact your electric fence efficiency.

How does an electric fence work?

When a human or animal gets attached to the electric fence, its body acts as the ground/return path. Current passing through their body reaches the earth(soil). The current transferred to the soil is caught by the ground rods installed to catch free electrons. It helps to get the electrons back to the energizer, improving its power. 

Grounding is the root cause of several issues that decrease your fence power. Installing adequate(at least 3) ground rods after some distance(10m recommended) is advisable to attract more electrons through the soil and make your fence hotter.

Below, we’ve discussed how to make your electric fence hotter/more effective.

How to make an electric fence hotter?

To make an electric fence hotter:

  • First, choose an AC-powered fence charger made for a heavy-duty load.
  • Your fence energizer should output at least 1 joule per mile of fence wires. 
  • Install at least 3 ground rods(3 feet per joule output). Use galvanized rods to prevent rust.
  • Use quality conductors so they can pass current effectively.
  • Resolve any short circuit in the fence as it drains voltage.
  • Remove excessive vegetation as it drains voltage.
  • Position the live wires in the fence so the animal can easily get in touch with the fence.
  • Bait the live fence wire with honey and peanut butter so that an animal is urged to smell and taste the edible, resulting in a shock.

Below, we’ve discussed all the steps in detail:

1: Choose AC-powered, Low-Impedance Energizer

The AC-powered fence chargers are more powerful than the DC (battery-powered). An AC-powered fence energizer receives power from an AC outlet that supplies constant high-intensity current (120-240V and 15-60 amps). Amperage is the quantity/volume of electrons passing through a circuit per second. So, an AC-powered energizer won’t have a deficiency of current.

Low-impedance energizers are designed to maintain a high voltage even when vegetation or other obstructions touch the fence. They are less affected by the load on the fence and are more efficient at delivering a powerful shock.

Hence, opt for a low-impedance AC-powered fence charger to reduce the effect of vegetation and dry soil and make your fence hotter.

2: Use a high Joule fence charger:

An electric fence charger is the powerhouse of your electric fence. So, you should have a powerful fence energizer to generate a voltage pulse for several kilometers.

Ideally, your fence should output at least 1 joule per mile. For example, if you want to cover 5 miles of area/length, your fence charger should output at least 5 joules. However, buying a fence charger that produces joules above your requirements is better. 

In hard conditions such as vegetation and dry soil, your fence charger must be able to output at least 5KV. You should buy a fence charger that powers more than your requirement or maintains the desired output charge. It’ll make your fence hotter, even in dry ground and vegetation. 

Tip 1: Replacing the capacitor installed in your energizer with a high-power capacitor increases the power of your fence. It will save more voltage and release it to maintain ideal power in your fence. 

3: Find any shorts in your electric fence:

A short in your electric fence reduces its effectiveness. Short means the current or power leaks due to damaged fence wires, excessive vegetation, poor grounding, or a non-circuited metal part touching the fence.

An electric fence fault finder is a useful tool to check voltage, amperage, and the location of a short in your electric fence. The fault-finder detects a short circuit and displays it with a left or right arrow. Follow the indications of the fault finder and head toward the arrows until you reach the exact location of the short.

It inputs(intakes) low voltage from an AC or DC power source and turns it into a high voltage pulse ranging from kilovolts. Fence chargers are designed for different purposes and cover the area accordingly.

Electrical issues like grounding, short circuits, improper wiring, and inadequate ground rods can affect the performance of your fence charger, resulting in a low-powered fence.

It would help if you considered buying a reliable fence charger that could be costly but serve you for decades.

4: Reduce Vegetation

Grass or vegetation is not an excellent conductor, but it contains moisture and a water proportion that enable plants to conduct a small amount of current. When there is excessive vegetation, thousands of leaves drain a small amount of current, resulting in excessive power loss.

By insulating the fence wires , you can reduce the possibility of an external influence, such as leaves or grass touching the fence wires.

5: Quality of the Conductor:

In a fence, the quality of the conductor affects the quality of shock delivered to the animal or human. In a fence, the quality of the conductor affects the quality of shock delivered to the animal or human. The quality of the conductor used in the fence wires also impacts the conductivity and effectiveness of your fence. 

The quality of the conductors used in the fence wires and ground rods also decides the efficacy of your electric fence. A high resistance will affect the current flow if the fence wires or rods are rusted.

Copper, iron, or aluminum are excellent conductors for fence wires and rods. If the fence conductor(wires and ground rods) is not galvanized, rust will be formed, increasing the resistance.

Resistance measured in ohms is the force opposing the current flowing in a conductor(circuit). As resistance increases, the ability of the conductor to pass current decreases. For example, if a fence charger powers a 10 km fence at 0-.5 ohms, it will reduce to a few km if the resistance increases quite high.

The poor conductor will increase electricity consumption, and your batteries will last too quickly


High-tensile wire maintains tension better over long distances and is more durable. It is less likely to sag or break, ensuring a consistent electric current throughout the fence.

Polywire(metal braided wire) is made of colorfully plastic strands with a thin metal wire inside. Plastic is more prone to damage due to tough weather conditions and sun rays, but the advantage is visibility.

6: Use enough ground rods:

Grounding is a crucial component of any electrical system, including an electric fence system. Use more ground rods to make your electric fence more effective and hotter. It’s better to use galvanized steel or iron rods. Galvanization is the process of coating zinc on steel or iron to protect it from rusting.

Use a 3-foot rod per joule output of your fence charger. For Example: If the fence charger outputs 10 joules, you’ll require 30 feet of ground rods under the earth’s surface. Each ground rod should be 6-8 feet longer so that it can easily catch electrons from deep moist soil.

Use a copper wire to connect ground rods. Use at least 3 ground rods and install them at the start of your fence, 10 feet apart from each other.

If you are installing the fence on miles/kilometers, you should install a ground rod every 500 meters and connect it with a wire to maximize efficiency.

In dry and rocky land, use more ground rods so that they can catch electrons easily and increase the fence charge(hotter). In areas with very dry soil or sandy conditions, consider using bi-polar fencing. This system uses both positive and negative wires, ensuring that animals receive a shock even if the ground is not conductive.

In areas with very dry soil or sandy conditions, consider using bi-polar(Hot-Ground) fencing. This system uses both positive and negative wires, ensuring that animals receive a shock even if the ground is not conductive.

Note: Rust on the ground rods makes it difficult to catch electrons from the soil and the electrons returning back to the energizer.

7: Increase the number of fence wires & position them wisely

Adding more strands of live wire increases the likelihood of contact and ensures that animals cannot easily bypass the fence. Place wires at different heights to target various parts of the animals’ bodies. Install the wires such that there is no extra space for intruders and unwanted animals to get into your land.

Position the live wires so the animal can easily approach them with its nose & legs. Some animals, such as sheep, are covered with wool that protects them from a memorable shock. In such conditions, place the wires near the face and leg height(bare body parts).

8: Baiting the fence:

Baiting a fence will encourage an animal to taste the fence. Baiting means lubricating the live fence wire with honey, peanut butter, or bacon grease.

When an animal gets near the fence, there is a higher chance that it’ll smell the eatable and tend to taste the fence.

Electric current will hit the sensitive parts of the face, and the animal will remember to avoid the fence wire.

9: Keep the ground moist:

If the soil is sandy(dry) or rocky, there’ll be low current conductivity due to less water. In moist soil, electrons can travel easily and are easily caught by the ground rods. Electrons that move to the ground rods travel back to the ground terminal of the fence charger, and the circuit completes.

So, it’s advisable to keep the ground moist and install more ground rods to catch more electrons. As current (electrons) travel in moisture, conductivity increases as water increases.

In summer, the ground/soil gets dried, and electrons can’t travel easily because the loss of electrons charge in the fence decreases. So it’s better to install your fence under a building shade or water the land in a week or after a few days.

10: Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Routinely check the entire length of your fence for broken wires, loose connections, and signs of wear and tear. Regular maintenance ensures that the fence remains effective and any issues are addressed promptly.


If you want your electric fence to be hotter, your fence charger should be able to charge the wires for miles. Use a charger that is rated above your requirements. Buy a powerful charger for one time, and it’ll serve you for decades.

Use quality conductors, wires, and enough ground rods, as grounding is one of the main components of an electric fence circuit. 

Using a fault finder, identify short circuits, loose connections, and voltage drops. Position the live fence wires according to the height of the kept and preying animals.

However, if you still have any queries about making an electric fence hotter and more effective, ask us in the comments below.

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