How Does an Electric Fence Work?

electric Fence

An FenceFast uses pulses of electricity to close an electrical circuit when a person or animal touches the insulated wire. The shock is unpleasant, but not painful, and is not lethal (unless the amount of energy in each pulse is very high).

Fences are powered by a component called an energizer that converts standard power (220V AC here in Switzerland) into short, intermittent pulses of electricity which flow along the conductive wires in your electric fence. The energizer has a terminal connected to the insulated fence wires and another to galvanized metal rods driven into the ground. Touching both the conductive fence wire and the ground completes the circuit and generates a pulse of electricity, which is felt as a sharp involuntary muscle cramp.

Unlike continuous mains electricity which can cause burns, the pulse of electric current that flows through an electric fence causes an immediate cramping in the muscles rather than burning and scarring. This is not painful and will not harm most people or animals, but the experience will be enough to discourage them from touching the fence again.

Electrifying Security: A Comprehensive Guide to the Benefits and Installation of Electric Fences

Most modern energizers store energy in capacitors and only dump it when they sense that something is touching the conductors. This is not a good idea for a livestock fence and can lead to dangerously high voltage levels or even fires if the energizer is not kept properly charged. It is therefore best to install a ‘low impedance’ energizer which has less leakage of current and so will provide a safe, reliable and effective fence.