How To Test Your Electric Fence Without A Tester In 8 Steps

Making an Electric Fence Tester Homemade: 8 Easy Steps

If you’re like most people, you don’t have an electric fence tester lying around the house. But that doesn’t mean you can’t test your hot wire fence!

This post will show you how to make a homemade electric fence tester and test your electric fence without a tester in 8 easy steps. So follow along and see if your fence is up to par!

Here’s how you can safely test your electric fence in just 8 steps.

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electric line on wooden fence

Step 1: Check Transmitter

One of the first steps you should take is to see if the transmitter is operational. Depending on the transmitter type, it may emit a clicking sound. This clicking sound indicates a charge being passed through the fence wires.

If your transmitter doesn’t emit a clicking sound and it’s supposed to, then this may be your first sign that the fence isn’t working.

If your transmitter doesn’t click, it means your fence is always on. There should be a light or another indicator on the transmitter that tells you if it’s operational. The transmitter may not be operational if you don’t see the light or symbol.

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Radio Systems PetSafe 25 Acre In-Ground Fence Replacement Transmitter with Power Supply - RFA-435

Step 2: Check for Broken Wires

If you have a wired fence, you should check to see if any wires are broken that connect fence charger or fence energizer. You can do this with an official wire detector or an AM radio and engine.

Finding a broken wire means that the rest of the fence isn’t going to receive electricity. Before fixing the fence, you need to turn the transmitter off.

Step 3: Search for a Blade of Grass

To test your fence, you will want to find a long blade of grass. Any type will do.

electric line on wooden post in field of dandelions

Step 4: Hold Blade of Grass Against Fence Wire

Once you’ve found your blade of grass, you’ll want to pluck it at the stem and hold it against the fence wire. You should hold the grass by its base and only touch the tip of the glass to the wire.

Step 5: Move the Blade Closer If Needed

If you don’t feel a pulse at first, you may need to move the glass blade closer. Slowly slide the blade of grass along the wire a few inches.

Step 6: Hold the Grass at the Sweet Spot

The most common distance to feel a pulse is to hold the base of the blade two to three inches away from the wire. Your fingers should only be two or three inches away from the wire.

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electric line on wire fence

Step 7: Consider Pulses

If your fence gives a pulse, you may need to wait a few moments before feeling a pulse. Touch the blade of grass to the wire for a few moments before withdrawing or attempting to move the glass closer.

Step 8: Run Down the Fence

With your blade of grass, you can test several areas of the fence to ensure the current is being passed through.

How Do You Tell If An Electric Fence Is Working Without Touching It?

There are a few ways that you can test your electric fence to determine if it’s active or not.

The first is to check the transmitter. Some transmitters will click, indicating that it sends a pulse through the fence. However, sometimes the transmitter will still click even though it’s not working.

Some transmitters also come with a light. If the light is on, the fence is active. You can also walk along your fence. Sometimes, the wire will also click when a pulse runs through it.

Otherwise, you can use a wire detector to determine if there’s a charge passing through the wire. As indicated above, you can also use a blade of grass for a quick and easy way to determine if the wire is live without directly touching it.

Can You Test An Electric Fence With A Voltmeter?

You can test an electric fence with a voltmeter. To receive accurate results, your fence must be active when testing it with a voltmeter. You can test the fence by attaching one part of the voltmeter to the fence. The other part is connected to the ground, such as ground rods or a ground wire.

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Then you just run the voltmeter along the fence, although not touching it, to receive information about how many volts are passing through the fence.

Voltage can be decreased if vegetation touches the fence. This forces the current to be directed to the ground rather than continuing through the fence. A good indication that vegetation interferes with your fence is if the voltage drops by 1,000 volts.

How Many Volts Should Electric Fences Have?

A high-quality fence emits 6,000 volts. Depending on your fence type or its purpose, you may find that it has a higher or lower voltage. The max voltage your fence conducts is listed in its manual.

A rule of thumb for indicating faults in your fence is the 100-volt rule. Your voltage should remain the same by checking the fence every 100 meters. However, if you notice that the voltage is starting to drop by 100 volts every 100 meters, then you’re coming close to a fault.

The voltage continues to drop until you’re over the fault after you pass the fault, the voltage levels out again.

What Is The Best Electric Fence System Tester?

If you want to know the voltage of your fence, then the best electric fence tester for you is the Speedrite Digital Fault Finder. This is a voltmeter that indicates the fence’s voltage as well as the direction that the current is traveling.

Speedrite Digital Fault Finder

Speedrite Digital Fault Finder

It can also remember past readings the meter gave you to compare the new readings.

If you want something to tell you whether or not the fence is active, then you may enjoy the Electric Fence Light Bulb. After you connect the bulb to the fence, it will light up when it detects a charge. This is an ideal choice if you don’t care about the voltage.

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EFL Electric Fence Light Z-Bulb Plus

Electric Fence Light Bulb

Finally, if you want the cheapest way to test your electric fence, you should use the blade of grass method described above. It doesn’t cost you anything. It can also be connected to ground rod.


All in all, making an electric fence tester is a great way to measure the power of your electric fence. It’s important to consider safety as you go through this process and ensure that everything is properly grounded.

With these eight easy steps, creating your own homemade electric fence tester isn’t too difficult. If you’re patient and follow these steps closely, you’ll be able to craft your own professional-quality electric fence tester right at home!

Furthermore, taking the time to build an electric fence tester will help you save money in the long run since it can cost quite a bit if you buy one. It may even become a fun little project on sunny weekend afternoons to pass some time while waiting for the next fencing season!

Don’t wait any longer – gathering the materials is quicker than you think!