How to Test an Electric Fence with a Multimeter

An electric fence creates just enough voltage to lightly shock as a deterrent. It’s crucial to double-check that the electricity is passing through the fence and not becoming grounded along the way. The easiest way to do it is using a multimeter. 

In general, you can perform an electric fence test using a multimeter with the following steps:

  • Set your multimeter to an acceptable range. For example, you should use the range 20V if your fence produces 15 volts. Switch off the power source, then unlock and open the circuit.
  • Attach the test leads and close the circuit.
  • Lastly, measure the amps and gather data on the number of volts going through them.

Now, I suggest that you continue reading as I walk you through in much more detail how to test an electric fence with a multimeter.

4 Steps to Measure the Electric Fence Chargers

Step #1: Set the appropriate measurement range

Chauvin-Arnoux C.A 6524 multimeter

The first step to electric fence troubleshooting is to determine the measuring range. Make sure to set your multimeter with the correct range (A, 10A, mA, etc.). The point of actuator should point to the appropriate calculations on the border, which is why you should adjust the central selection switch.

Step #2: Unlock and open the circuit

electrical fence

Make sure to turn off the power to the circuit. You should first unlock the circuit before you can open it.

Of course, after completing step one, you must now open the circuit that you want to test so that you can connect the multimeter.

Step #3: Attach the Test Leads and Close the Circuit 

man testing speedrite with digital voltmeter

It’s time to connect the test leads and close the circuit. You should loop your multimeter’s test leads onto the circuit. Basically, you will need to use the multimeter to close the circuit.

You will be able to do so by connecting the black cable of the (-) pole to the COM socket, followed by the red cable of the (+) pole to the INPUT socket for amps. When the current flows directly into your multimeter, and it reads measurement, then the supply voltage is now active.

Step #4: Calculate the Amps

notebook with diagram drawings

It’s time to measure the amps. You may check the current flowing through the live fence in amperes. You can see the results in the multimeter display.

How to Adjust the Electric Fence Chargers

Change the Energizer’s Power Source

You can tweak the voltage of your electric fence through the energizer.

If you are using a battery-powered energizer, you can change your battery to increase or decrease the voltage released by your electric fence.

However, if you own a plug-in energizer, I suggest that you try the other method below.

Attach an Additional Wire

You can use your electric fence wires as additional earthing to increase the current of your electric fence. Starting at the primary energizer earth stake, link them across your fence. This entails running a live wire beneath each gate. (1, 2)

On the other hand, placing ground rods is a great technique if you want to decrease your electric fence’s voltage. Connect them to the uninsulated wires so your fence can have 1,500-foot current flow intervals.


black multimeter with black and red probe

Why should you use a multimeter to test your electric fence?

High voltage is present in an electric fence. That is why it necessitates using a specialized testing device when electric fence troubleshooting. 

That is why learning how to test electric fences using a multimeter is a must-have skill to have. These electric fence testers are designed specifically for use with electric fences. 

A multimeter is an electrical apparatus that can directly measure an electric circuit’s voltage difference, current, and resistance. These are the perfect tools to use as an electric fence tester. 

How much voltage should my electric fence have?

In fact, any voltage between 5,000 and 9,000 volts is suitable, but the best voltage will depend on your cattle’s species and temperament. So, as long as your livestock respect the fence, you won’t have to worry.

What is acceptable reading for an electric fence?

Horses should have readings above 2000 volts, while all other livestock should have readings above 4000 volts. If the readings near the excitation source are good, continue along the line, making measurements between each fence post. As you travel away from the energizer, you should assume a gradual decline in voltage.
Now, how to test an electric fence with a multimeter should be a simple task to measure fence wires.

Common Reason Why An Electric Fence Is Weak

One of the most prevalent issues in electric fencing systems is improper grounding. The energizer will not be able to reach its full capacity if the ground is not adequately prepared. You can achieve this by placing three eight-foot-long ground rods on the surface and connecting them at least 10 feet apart.

Now, I am confident that you understand the steps to test an electric fence with a multimeter. In conclusion, it is advisable to regularly check its electric charge to ensure it is not lethal to all living beings who make contact with it.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) earthing –
(2) earth –

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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