Electric Fence Terms
Capacitor An output capacitor is used to store direct current (DC) electricity between pulses through a fence. Alternating current (AC) can’t be stored using a capacitor.
Corner posts Sturdy wooden posts driven deep into the ground to provide extra support for the tension put on a fence line as it changes direction. Corner posts are not only used at corners, but also for gates and end posts.
Direct-discharge fencer A type of fence controller that does not require a grounding system to deliver an electrical shock. Direct-discharge fencers are most effective on short, weed-free fences.
The measurement of electric current. Amperage is what you feel when you are shocked. The higher the amperage the more intense shock you feel.
charger powered by a battery, usually 6V or 12V. Used in remote areas where there is no access to a 110V outlet. Can be used with solar panels that recharge the battery for added convenience.
Describes chargers that store direct current (DC) in an output capacitor prior to discharging to the fence. Most chargers are capacitive discharge.
The management of forage with grazing animals. Usually involves dividing pastures into smaller paddocks with electric fencing and moving the livestock frequently.
Direct current (DC)Type of electricity that is produced by batteries and can be stored (as in a capacitor). Most fencers produce direct current.
Another name for a fence charger.
Fencer, Fence Charger, Fence Controller
An electrical device that produces electrical energy and delivers it to a fence for the control of animals.
Metal stake driven into the soil that picks up electricity moving through the earth from the charger.
Ground rod clampDevice used to connect the ground wire from the charger to the ground rod.
Ground SystemThe electrical path back to the charger. Usually an earth-ground system using ground rods in the soil.
High tensileAn affordable, long lasting electrified fence system that is an excellent choice for perimeter fences, providing a barrier to contain or exclude animals. These sturdy, permanent fences require braced corner and end posts in wood along with special insulators, hardware, and tools that maintain constant high tension on metal wire.
Hook-up WireInsulated wire rated at 20,000 volts (or more) used to make electric fence connections without voltage loss.
InsulatorDevice used to keep an electrified fence wire from coming in contact with posts or anything else that would interrupt the flow of the current through the fence line. Usually made from plastic or porcelain.
JouleThe measurement of energy used to rate low impedance fencers. 1 joule = 1 watt of power for 1 second of time
Line postsA post used to support electric or non-electric fence wire. Line posts support the fence line, and have far less tension put on it than corner posts. As a result, they can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, wood, plastic and fiberglass.
Low-impedanceA type of electric charger that can increase its output energy as fence load increases. Delivers high amperage shocks in very short pulses.
OhmsOhms are used to measure resistance to the flow of an electric current. A high ohms reading indicates a light fence load, while a low ohms reading indicates a heavy fence load.
Permanent FenceA multi-strand, well-braced fence traditionally made from barbed wire and/or woven wire and now made from electrified high tensile wire.
Portable FenceAn electric fence that is easily moved. Also known as a temporary fence.
Rotational grazingA system for allowing livestock to graze, using internal temporary enclosures (within a boundry fence) to control the particular areas where the animals can graze. This allows the vegetation in the previous enclosures to grow back. Usually is 1-strand of wire at 40" or at animal's nose level.
Solid stateSolid-state fence chargers deliver a medium amperage shock in pulses of medium duration. They are best used to control shorthaired livestock, small animals, and pets where light weed conditions exist.
SplicerA device that joins separate strands of fence wire without breaking the fence's electrical circuit. Tensioner A component used to tighten fence wires, typically polytape, to increase tension on a section of the fence line.
VoltageMeasurement of electrical pressure. Voltage “pushes” amperage down the fence wire. The higher the voltage the more amperage it can push.
Measure of electrical power. Voltage x Amperage = Watts. Watts x Time = Joules. Distance ratings
A way of comparing the relative power of fence controllers. Ratings are based on a single strand of 17-gauge steel wire strung 36 inches above the ground under ideal, weed-free laboratory conditions.
High tensile An affordable, long lasting electrified fence system that is an excellent choice for perimeter fences, providing a barrier to contain or exclude animals. These sturdy, permanent fences require braced corner and end posts in wood along with special insulators, hardware, and tools that maintain constant high tension on metal wire.
Insulator A nonconductive material (plastic or ceramic), typically used to offset fence wire from a fence post. Insulators prevent the current from traveling through the post and into the ground, short-circuiting the system.
Line posts A post used to support electric or non-electric fence wire. Line posts support the fence line, and have far less tension put on it than corner posts. As a result, they can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, wood, plastic and fiberglass.
Pulse width Pulse width refers to the duration of the electrical pulse produced by a capacitive discharge fencer.
Resistance Resistance is any force that resists the flow of electricity, consuming power from a circuit by changing electric energy into heat. Electricians measure resistance in ohms.
Solid state Solid-state fence controllers deliver a medium amperage shock in pulses of medium duration. They are best used to control shorthaired livestock, small animals, and pets where light weed conditions exist.
Temporary fencing A one to three-strand electric fence system that is used for rotational grazing or other short-term uses. It typically uses step-in poly posts or rod posts, and a DC or solar operated fence controller for portability and flexibility.