How to Ground an Electric Fence

The design of an electric containment fence is simple.

Electric Fence EnergizerElectric Fence Energizer
The perimeter consists of posts that may be made of wood, steel or aluminum. These posts are fitted with insulators and threaded with a single strand of steel or aluminum wire which is pulled taut. The wire is connected to an electric energizer unit. The energizer unit is also connected to a ground wire. The configuration results in an unclosed circuit. When an animal comes in contact with both the ground and the wire, the circuit is completed and the animal receives an electric shock.

Insure the perimeter of the electric fence is properly configured. Insure the fence wire is properly attached to the electric fence energizer.

Unscrew the wing nut on the ground post of the energizer. Loop one end of the ground wire around the ground post. Tighten the wing nut onto the ground wire by turning it clockwise until the ground wire is securely fastened to the ground post.

Drive the ground rod into the earth near the energizer with the sledge hammer. The ground rod should penetrate at least 6-feet to 8-feet into the earth to insure a proper ground.

Loosen the two outside screws on the ground clamp by turning them counter clockwise with the screwdriver. Slip the ground clamp onto the ground rod. Tighten the two outside screws on the ground clamp by turning them clockwise with the screwdriver. Insure the ground clamp is securely tightened onto the ground rod.

Loosen the ground wire screw on the ground clamp by turning it counter clockwise with the screwdriver. Insert the ground wire into the ground clamp. Tighten the ground wire screw to secure the ground wire to the ground clamp by turning it clockwise with the screwdriver. Plug the electric fence energizer into a standard electrical outlet.

Things You Will Need

  • Electric fence energizer
  • Steel or aluminum wire
  • Copper clad steel ground rod, 6-feet to 8-feet long
  • Ground clamp
  • Screwdriver
  • Sledge hammer


  • The ground rod may be driven into the earth at an angle if necessary.
  • The ground will be more effective if the ground rod is driven into the earth to a point where moisture is present.
  • Post electric fence warning signs in visible areas.


  • Never use an existing ground rod that may be connected to another electrical device.
  • Never use a water line to ground an electric fence.

About the Author

Mike Parker is a full-time writer, publisher and independent businessman. His background includes a career as an investments broker with such NYSE member firms as Edward Jones & Company, AG Edwards & Sons and Dean Witter. He helped launch DiscoverCard as one of the company's first merchant sales reps.