Grounding the electric fence

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An electric fence system that is not properly grounded will not perform up to its maximum potential and may not adequately contain the livestock or keep predators out. Michigan State University Extension recommends considering three main factors when determining how to properly ground an electric fencing system:

  • The output capacity of the energizer. An energizer must be properly grounded to realize its full potential. The larger the output of a charger, the more grounding rods will be needed.
  • Conductivity of the soil. Sandy or rocky soils are not as conductive as loamy soils, so systems installed on these types of soils may need to be an earth return type of grounding system.
  • Type of livestock or predators being controlled. Generally, cattle can be controlled without the use of the earth ground system. This is true, provided the soil isn’t sandy, rocky or extremely dry as mentioned above.

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