Introduction: How to Install an Electric Fence

Picture of How to Install an Electric Fence

For gardeners everywhere, the race to gather the harvest before animals do can be frustrating. Luckily, there is hope. Electric fences help provide a barrier around your garden that deter animals from being where they are unwanted and taking what is not theirs. Growing up on a farm, my family and I have always battled with the animals to gather as much of the garden harvest as soon as it is ready. Since we started using an electric fence over 7 years ago, we are able to protect our crops from animals, and gather much more of our crop than before.

Depending on the area of your garden, putting up an electric fence can be a breeze and can be completed within a few hours. I highly recommend have two or three people working on the electric fence because this will cut down the total amount of time it takes. Putting up an electric fence should only be done by individuals who have a solid understanding on how to use hand tools and a basic understanding of electrical wiring. With a few simple steps, you can protect your garden with an electrical fence.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

Picture of Gather the Materials

Before you can put up your electric fence, there are a few preparations you must do.

1. The very first thing you must do is measure the parameter of the garden. It is important to plan to have a foot space between the edge of the garden and any plants that are close to the edge. You will use this measurement to determine how much electrical wire you will need and approximately how many metal stakes you should get. 

2. Gather the necessary parts for the electric fence. They are listed below.

Materials Needed:
~Electric Fence Wire
~Electric Power Box (Select the best one that suits your gardening needs)
~Metal Stakes 
~Grounding Post
~Plastic Hooks (2 per metal stake)
~8 Round Plastic Rings and 8 pieces of wire approximately 24 inches long (Corner connectors)
~Sledge Hammer/Pile Driver
~Wire Cutter
~Gloves (Optional; not pictured)


          TIP : It is always a good idea to consult with an expert before setting up an electric fence for the first time. You can
                   find such experts at your local hardware store. 

Step 2: Install the Metal Stakes

Picture of Install the Metal Stakes


The second step includes the metal stakes.

1) Lay out the metal stakes around the parameter of the garden. They should be spaced about three to five feet apart. Adjust to best fit your garden. 
      a) While laying out the metal stakes, you should also put two plastic hooks on them. These should be 4 and 6 inches away from the ground.

          TIP : The corner metal stakes will use the round plastic pieces instead of the plastic hooks. 

2) Once the stakes are laid out, use the sledge hammer and/or pile driver to drive the metal stakes into the ground. The type of tool you use will depend on the size of the metal stake and personal preference. 

          TIP : A pile driver is best for taller stakes and a sledge hammer is best for shorter stakes. 

Caution: Be careful when using a sledge hammer and a pile driver. They can cause injury if used carelessly. 

Step 3: Thread the Wire

Picture of Thread the Wire

Step three is all about the wire.

1) To begin, you will need to wind the wire around a post as illustrated in the first photograph below. 

          TIP : It is easiest to start on a corner post. 

2) Carefully unwind the electrical wire until the next post.

3) Thread the wire between the two prongs of the plastic hook. (See the second photograph below) Repeat this step until you are back at your beginning post. 

4) Once you are back at the starting post, use a round plastic piece and thread a scrap piece of wire through the round plastic piece. Next, thread the electrical fence wire around the round plastic piece (See the third photograph below.)  

          TIP:  If desired, regular plastic hooks may be used on the corner metal stakes but they need to be placed so the
          wire cannot come loose. 

5) Wrap the two ends of the fence wire together. You should have one single piece of electrical wire running along the parameter of your garden. 

3) Repeat this process for the second round of wiring. 

          TIP : It is easiest to start with the bottom layer of wiring and then the top layer. 

Step 4: Set Up Connection

Picture of Set Up Connection

Setting up the connection

          TIP : Most electrical boxes require an electricity outlet. Depending on your situation, the following step can be altered to
          your personal needs. 

1) Depending on where you decide to put your electrical box, hammer the grounding post somewhere nearby.

WARNING: DO NOT PLUG IN THE ELECTRICAL BOX! Plugging in the electrical box CANNOT happen until all of the steps are completed. There is a high risk of being shocked. 

2) With a piece of the electrical wire, connect the grounding post to the knob on the electrical box that says "Ground." (See the photograph below)

          TIP : Without the grounding post, the electricity does not have anywhere to flow. This helps complete the
          electrical circuit.

3) With a separate piece of wire, connect the knob on the electrical box that says "Fence" to the electrical fence. (See the photograph below)

Step 5: Inspect the Fence

Picture of Inspect the Fence

Final check

WARNING: Make sure the electrical box is NOT plugged in. There is potential for electrical shocks. 

1) Walk around your garden and inspect for anything that might disrupt the current. This can include grass that is too tall or a stick that fell onto the wire. These items need to be removed from the electrical wire. 

Step 6: Plug in the Electrical Box

Picture of Plug in the Electrical Box

Power!

1) Plug in the electrical box. Once you plug in the electrical box, you will hear a small clicking sound. This means that it is sending electricity to the fence. 

          TIP : Make sure you never touch the fence while the electrical box is plugged in. Always unplug the electrical box before
          removing items from the fence to avoid shocks.

Step 7: Summery

Picture of Summery

Congratulations on installing your electric fence! To ensure it is working, it is a good idea to check the fence daily for anything that can disrupt the current.  

Caution: Children should not be allowed around the fence without adult supervision. 

Now it's time to sit back and relax, because your crops are protected from unwanted animals. 

Comments

JonathanA170 (author)2017-03-10

This guide is great for DIY for animal fences. If you want to learn more about electric fencing for security purposes, take a look at http://www.strategictactics.co.za/electric-fencing/

olko12 (author)2016-09-18

Hi,

I found a very interesting site with lots of info about electric fencing at the following site:

https://www.electric-fence.co.uk/info/guide

Divyak4 (author)2015-05-26

Thanks for sharing.

http://www.lykfencingworks.com/barbed-wire-fencing-chennai.html

russ_hensel (author)2011-07-12

One method of wiring is to make every other wire a ground. When the animal touches 2 wires it gets a shock. This does not rely so much on grounding thru the ground which can fail with some hoofs and frozen ground. It is simpler to wire and set up as the ground does not need to be insulated.

Jasonlockard (author)russ_hensel2014-11-12

The ground rod should still be properly installed to get the full power of the charger,no matter what the grounding is around the Pasteur.

Jasonlockard (author)2014-11-12

Everything was great in this description except it would have been better to describe the importance of a good ground rod. In order to harness the full potential of your charger you should install atleast three 8ft rods with the correct clamps. Also, you shouldn't mix the types of metals (copper grounding rod and steel wire) because this will cause electrolysis which will greatly lessen the shock and life of the wire due to
corrosion :)

ray.wineteer (author)2014-09-29

well thanks for the instructions, but I just bought the charger and hooked one end to a neutral zone and the live wire to the entire fence...let me see how many of Bessemers drug dealers get onto my property now

jmckenzie9 (author)2012-08-30

When I built my electric fence, I didn't know where to start. I had a friend help me.
Its wasn't very complicated to build but it needs to be installed correctly, otherwise you'll run into problems.
I found step by step site on 'how to install an electric fence' very useful and it provides good advise on the tools you need to build an eelctric fence that will last.

Resource: www.fishock.com/advice/building-your-fence

miss123 (author)2011-07-15

oh! how interesting! you can see more about it here http://geodezia.ru/

thematthatter (author)2011-07-12

placing some of that bright florescent engineering tape on the hot wires will help to warn others of your fence.
I cant count how many times i been shocked by an electric fence when i was a boy.

There is a kind of "wire" called horse tape which is very visible, may
warn off the animals. Just use one strand of this. See it at: http://www.maxflex.com/horse_fence_pg2.htm or google for more.

tinker234 (author)2011-07-12

wow

About This Instructable

167,371views

46favorites

License:

More by schrader.isu:How To Install An Electric Fence
Add instructable to: