How to Test an Electric Fence With a Multimeter?

How to Test an Electric Fence With a Multimeter?

When it comes to electric fences, safety is always the number one priority. That’s why it’s important to test your fence regularly to make sure that it’s functioning properly. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of how to test an electric fence with a multimeter. We’ll answer some common questions and provide tips for getting the most accurate readings. So, whether you’re a first-time tester or a seasoned pro, this guide has everything you need!

Electrical Fences and Their Purpose

An electrical fence is a type of physical barrier that uses electricity to deter animals or people from crossing a boundary. When an animal or person touches the fence, they receive an electric shock that is unpleasant but not harmful. Electrical fences are used to keep livestock in fields and gardens, and to protect property from intruders.

Electrical Fences and Their Purpose

An electric fence works by running an electric current through a wire that is strung along the length of the fence. When an animal or person comes into contact with the wire, they complete the circuit and receive a shock.

The strength of the shock will vary depending on the voltage of the current, but it is generally enough to startle the animal or person and deter them from crossing the fence again.

Most electrical fences have a charger that produces a low voltage current. This current flows through the fence wire and creates an electromagnetic field around the fence. When something conductive, like a metal object or a wet person, touches the fence, it completes the circuit and the current flows through them, causing the shock. This electrical current is usually not strong enough to cause injury, but it is enough to startle animals and deter them from trying to cross the fence. [1], [2], [3]

Why Should You Regularly Test Your Electric Fence?

It’s important to regularly test your electric fence to make sure it’s functioning properly. An electric fence is a great way to keep your property safe from intruders, but it only works if it’s in good condition. A regular testing schedule will help you catch any problems early and prevent them from becoming bigger issues.

There are two main reasons why you should test your electric fence: safety and effectiveness. First, let’s talk about safety. An electric fence produces a powerful shock that can be dangerous to humans and animals alike. If there are any damaged or loose wires, the risk of electrocution increases dramatically. By testing the fence regularly, you can ensure that all the wires are intact and working properly.

Second, you need to test the fence to make sure it’s still an effective deterrent. If the fence isn’t strong enough, intruders will be able to simply walk through it without getting hurt. On the other hand, if the fence is too strong, it could pose a danger to innocent passers-by. The ideal voltage for an electric fence is between 6000 and 10,000 volts.

Now that we’ve gone over why you should test your electric fence, let’s talk about how to do it. [1]

Why Should You Regularly Test Your Electric Fence?

How to Test an Electric Fence With a Multimeter

To test your electric fence, you will need a multimeter.

A multimeter is an electronic device that measures voltage, resistance, and current. Multimeters come in both digital and analog models. Analog multimeters use a needle to point to a scale that displays the readings. Digital multimeters display the readings on a screen. You can use a multimeter to test the voltage of your electric fence and make sure it’s within the safe range.

Keep in mind that not all multimeters will be able to test voltage as high as an electric fence. If you’re not sure if your multimeter can handle it, check the manual or contact the manufacturer. For this task, you will need a specialized high voltage multimeter. [1], [2], [3], [4]

Make sure to wear safety equipment

Since you’ll be dealing with electricity, it’s important to take precautions and wear the proper safety gear. This includes rubber gloves, safety glasses, and closed-toe shoes. You should also avoid wearing any loose clothing that could come into contact with the fence wire.

Inspect your multimeter for damage

Before you begin, it’s important to inspect your multimeter for any damage. Look for cracks in the casing, burned out displays, or loose wires. If you find any damage, do not use the multimeter. Using a damaged multimeter can be dangerous and lead to inaccurate readings.

Set the proper measurement range

If everything looks good, go ahead and turn on the multimeter. Most models will have a power button or switch that you need to flip before using it. Once the multimeter is turned on, select the kilovolt (kV) measurement range. This is usually denoted by a “k” on the multimeter’s display.

Some multimeters will have an automatic measurement range, which means you don’t need to select the kV range manually.

In addition to that, you will need to choose between AC or DC voltage. This is determined by the type of energizer you’re using. If you’re not sure, check the manual for your energizer or contact the manufacturer.

Unlock and open the circuit

Before you can measure the voltage of your electric fence, you need to unlock and open the circuit. To do this, find the control box for your fence and locate the “open” or “unlock” position. This will usually be a switch that’s in the “off” position. Once you’ve found it, flip the switch to the “on” position.

How to Test an Electric Fence With a Multimeter

Probe the fence

Once the circuit is unlocked, you can proceed with testing the voltage of your electric fence. Multimeters come with two leads, also known as probes. One of the probes is red and the other is black. The red probe is positive and the black probe is negative.

Make sure to insert the black pole into the COM, or common, socket on the multimeter. The red probe goes into the VΩmA, or voltage/resistance/current, socket.

To create this electrical circuit, electric fences have a positive and negative wire running along the length of the fence. These wires are connected to an energizer, which creates the electrical current that flows through the wires. When something touches the fence, it completes the circuit and allows current to flow from the positive wire to the negative wire.

So to test the voltage, touch the red probe to one of the fence wires and the black probe to any metal surface. The multimeter will then display the voltage of your electric fence.

Keep in mind that to get accurate readings, you’ll need to touch the probes directly to the fence wire and metal surface. If there’s any distance between the probes and the test points, you may get inaccurate readings.

Check the readings

Now that you’ve taken a reading, you should see a value on your multimeter screen. The results will be shown in amperes, so you may need to convert it to kilovolts.

After you make the necessary conversions, compare the reading to the manufacturer’s specifications for your energizer. The voltage of your electric fence should be within the safe range specified by the manufacturer. If it’s not, there may be a problem with your fence or energizer.

The normal voltage of most electric fences will depend on your particular model, but it’s usually between 6 and 10 kilovolts. If the reading is outside of this range, there may be something wrong with your fence.

If the voltage is too low, it may not be enough to deter animals from crossing the fence. On the other hand, if the voltage is too high, it could be a shock hazard for people and animals.

There are a few reasons that your voltage in your electric fence may be low.


The first reason could be that your energizer is not working properly. If your energizer is not outputting the correct voltage, then your fence will not work correctly. Make sure to use an energizer compatible with your fence. If you are unsure, contact the manufacturer of your energizer or your electric fence.

Short circuit

Another reason your voltage may be low is due to a short circuit. A short circuit can occur when the wires in your fence touch each other or when they come into contact with a metal object. This will cause the current to bypass the fence and go directly to the ground, which will lower the voltage on the fence. To fix this, you will need to find where the short is occurring and repair it.

Vegetation around the fence

One of the most common problems is vegetation. If there are trees, bushes, or other plants touching your fence and they are wet, plants can act as a conductor and draw off some of the electricity. This is why it’s important to clear any vegetation at least a foot away from your fence.

Either way, make sure to write down the voltage reading so you can compare it to the manufacturer’s specifications. You should also take multiple readings at different points along the fence to make sure there isn’t a drop in voltage.

Once you’ve taken a reading, don’t forget to turn off the multimeter and lock the circuit before moving on. This will ensure that nobody accidentally comes into contact with the fence while it’s energized. [1], [2], [3]

How to Test an Electric Fence With a Multimeter

How to Adjust Your Electric Fence Chargers

If you find that the voltage of your fence is outside the normal range, you may need to adjust your electric fence charger. There are a few ways to do this.

Change the power source of your energizer

First, you can try changing the power source of your energizer. If you’re using a battery-powered energizer, try swapping out the batteries for fresh ones. If you’re using an AC-powered energizer, make sure the outlet is working and that the cord is plugged in correctly.

Attach an extra wire to the fence

Another way to increase the voltage of your fence is to attach an extra wire to it. This will add more resistance to the fence, which will cause the energizer to work harder and output more voltage.

To do this, you’ll need to find where the wires are connected to the energizer and carefully splice in an additional wire. Make sure that all of the connections are secure before turning on the energizer.

Once you’ve adjusted the settings on your electric fence charger, take another reading to see if there’s a change in voltage. If not, then there may be something else wrong with your fence. In this case, you may need to contact a professional for help. [2]


Can you check the electric fence with a multimeter?

You can check the electric fence using a multimeter, but not all multimeters will work. You need to have a digital multimeter that can measure a very high voltage. We are talking about thousands of volts. If you have an analog multimeter, it will not work because the needle will just spin around and give you a false reading.

How many volts should my electric fence have?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the specific electric fence you have. However, in general, most electric fences will have between 6k and 10k volts. If you are unsure about the voltage of your particular electric fence, it is always best to consult with the manufacturer or an experienced professional.

How do you test an electric fence?

To test an electric fence you will need a digital multimeter that can measure high voltages. After that, simply get your protective gear on and probe the fence wires with the multimeter set to kilovolts. The acceptable reading will depend on your electric fence model, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions.

How can I test my electric fence without a fence tester?

If you don’t have a fence tester, you can test your electric fence with a multimeter. To do this, set your multimeter to the “kilovolts” setting and touch the probes to the fence wire. If the reading is showing an acceptable value, then your fence is working properly. If the reading is lower than manufacturer’s specifications, then there may be a problem with your fence.

Useful Video: Orchard Diary 4/10/2017: Testing my electric fence


It is important to know how to test your electric fence regularly, as faults can occur without you realizing it. Multimeters are an essential piece of equipment for anyone working on or around electrical systems. A simple multimeter test will let you know if your fence is still functioning properly, and potentially save you a lot of money in repairs. In this article we covered the most frequently asked questions about how to test an electric fence with a multimeter. Hopefully you found it useful, and if you have any additional questions feel free to leave them in the comments section below! Thanks for reading.