Electric fence earthing...

With Tom Little



Image credit; https://am.gallagher.com/media/2837/pg-26-earthing-guide.jpg

The earth system is the most important component of an electric fence. When the current produced by an energizer completes a full circuit; moving from the energizer, along the wire, to the animal and back through the ground to the energizer, a shock is created. Without an effective earth system, the electric fence will fail to create enough voltage to shock an animal.

Dry, sandy and volcanic soils can cause ineffective earthing, so for these soil types it’s a good idea to use additional earth stakes/rods. A good rule of thumb is to use at least 3 earth stakes/rods or calculate the 'Energizers Stored Joules' rating divided by 5. Another option for soils with poor conductivity is using a Gallagher Super Earth Kit, which is equivalent to three conventional earth stakes/rods. The kit contains an absorbent salt and clay mixture, an earth clamp and an earth stake/rod which work to enhance the conductivity of the soil, as the salt attracts moisture and the absorbent clay contains the moisture. 

A great guide to optimise your electric fence earth system is to follow Gallagher’s 4-3-2-1 rule:

  • 4 metres between earth stakes/rods
  • 3 earth stakes/rods minimum
  • 2 metres minimum length of stakes/rods
  • 1 wire connecting all earth stakes/rods to the energizer earth terminal

Creating a proper earth system for your electric fence will ensure that the electric shock actually reaches the animal when it touches the fence, thus effectively containing your animals.

If you would like more information about electric fence earthing or other stock containment options, contact myself via tom.little@dalbyruralsupplies.com.au, call our Merchandise Team on (07) 4660 0400, or pop in and see us in store.