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How to Test an Electric Fence with a Multimeter

How to Test an Electric Fence with a Multimeter

Electric fences are used to keep livestock from roaming freely and straying into dangerous areas, such as roads or rivers. They are also useful for keeping pets in your yard without the need to leash them at all times. However, electric fences require maintenance and testing to ensure they’re working properly and won’t hurt the animals you’re trying to contain.

In this article, we will cover how to test an electric fence with a multimeter and what kind of multimeter you should use for this task. We will discuss different kinds of meters that you could use for testing the fence, as well as some basic guidelines on how to use one effectively.

What is an Electric Fence and How Does it Work?

An electric fence is a type of livestock containment system that uses an electric current to keep animals from straying. Most fences are powered by a low-voltage current run through one or more wires strung between posts or fences.

When an animal touches the fence, it completes a circuit and the current is transferred to the animal, either stunning it or repelling it away from the fence. According to, Zareba Systems To safely contain most beef cattle, you need a fence charger that delivers a minimum of 2,000 – 3,000 volts on the fence line.

The effectiveness of an electric fence depends on a few factors, including the type of fence, the voltage of the current, the type of livestock, and the climate in which you are using the fence. The fence must be high enough that animals can’t simply step over it and not be close enough to the ground that small animals can simply crawl under it.

Related: Etekcity MSR-R500 Multimeter Review

What does an electric fence tester measure?

An electric fence tester is a device that you use to test the voltage of an electric fence.

There are two things that you are testing for when you use this device: The strength of the current: If it is too low, the livestock won’t be able to feel it and they will be able to get close to the fence.

If it is too high, it could kill or seriously injure the animal. The frequency of the current: It only takes a very short amount of time for an animal to feel the effects of the shock if the current is on continuously. Anything greater than 8,000 volts is considered more than necessary (some sources say 6,000), and more likely to cause injury according to Storey’s article.

If the current is pulsing rapidly, the animal won’t feel the effects as quickly.

Which Multimeter Should You Use?

When testing an electric fence, you will want to use a multimeter that is designed specifically for this type of work. A standard multimeter will work well enough for testing the fence, but it’s not really made for this type of use.

You will want to avoid damaging the meter and possibly hurting yourself.

A standard multimeter is likely to be much more fragile than one that is designed for testing electric fences. It is also possible that using a standard multimeter incorrectly could cause damage to the fence, making it unsafe to turn on.

For high voltage measurement, you’ll need a test prove. A high voltage probe allows an ordinary voltmeter to measure voltages that would otherwise be too high to measure or even destructive.

More on multimeter: How to Use a Multimeter for Dummies

When Is It Safe to Turn the Fence On?

When you test the fence, you should find the minimum voltage necessary to create a shock but not cause immediate and painful muscle contraction. If you set the fence to this level and then turn it off again, it is safe to assume that the fence is working as it should.

A good rule of thumb is that the voltage of the fence should be high enough that you can feel it when you touch it, but not so high that it causes you pain. This might seem like an arbitrary standard, but it’s a good way to make sure the fence is working properly. If the fence is too low, the livestock won’t feel it and they will be able to get too close to the fence. If the fence is too high, it could cause serious injury or possibly even death.

Are There Any Other Meters that could work as Well?

There are, in fact, other types of meters that could be used to test the fence. However, since they are not designed for this purpose, they are more likely to damage the meter or, in extreme cases, cause damage to the fence itself.

A voltmeter is designed to measure voltage and will work just as well as an electric fence tester, although it might not be as durable. A multimeter designed for measuring AC voltage could also be used to test the fence. However, since AC voltage is not constant, you will have to adjust the settings on the meter and then test the fence again to make sure the settings are correct.

Electric fences offer a convenient and humane way to keep animals in one space without the need for constant supervision. However, these fences require regular maintenance and testing to ensure that they are working properly. A multimeter is the best tool for testing an electric fence as it gives you all the information you need in one easy reading. A standard multimeter can also be used to test the fence, but it may not be as durable as a meter designed specifically for this type of work.