Grounding a Portable Electric Fence
About Portable Electric Fence
An Portable Electric Fence fence must be grounded properly to work. Unlike an invisible underground dog fence, which requires a long training process, an electric fence can be set up and used immediately.
There are several options for grounding a portable electric fence. Some energizer units come with pre-built earth spikes that are easy to use. Others include insulators that can be attached to the ground rod. These insulators help keep the ground rod free of dirt, which could short out the fence. If no earth spikes are available, a piece of copper tubing or an electrical wire should be connected from the ground rod to the energizer’s green (ground) wire.
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If your fence is near water, a separate piece of grounding wire should be used to prevent electrocution. Also, be sure the energizer’s white or red (hot) wire is connected to the proper metal tab on the fence mesh.
MTDC and the Northern Region tested portable electric mesh fences in 2003, 2004, and 2005 near Choteau and East Glacier during spring when bears were coming out of hibernation. Carcasses were placed inside the fence to attract bears and video cameras monitored their activity. Bears contacted the fences nine times at one site and five times at the other.
A portable electric mesh fence system is light and compact. With the energizer, wire and mesh, and 5 diagonal braces, it weighs about 9 pounds, about as much as a heavy backpacking tent. The energizer and fence are easily rolled up on the geared spool during pasture moves.