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Is My Charger Too Small For the Amount of Fence I Have?

By   /  October 16, 2017  /  Comments Off on Is My Charger Too Small For the Amount of Fence I Have?

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I’ve been asked a handful of times, “Is my multi wire set up too much stress for my fence charger?” Some manufactures rate their chargers in total linear length of wire, and some rate in single/multi wire, so it can be hard to figure out.

So let’s look at an example:

Let’s say you bought a fence charger rated up to 5 miles of single/multi wire of fence. You put up 5 strands of wire at 2 miles each, making 10 miles of of electric fence.

So now you’re thinking to yourself, “Crap, I’ve got too much fence for my fence charger, now what do I do?”  Do you take down 3 of the wires and stay with 4 miles of total fence? You could, but then you just wasted all that extra time running the other wire. So what do you do?

You leave all 10 miles of fence wire up and then take a jumper wire and tie all 5 wires together from top to bottom. I usually do this at both ends. Now what happens is that these wires are now parallel and they divide the resistance by 5, in theory.

So you still physically have 10 miles of fence, but to the fence charger, it only feels one BIG 2-mile run of electric fence. Also by having them tied together at both ends, you have a better chance of keeping the wire together. If an animal breaks a wire loose from one end, at least it’s still tied together at the other end.

Another thing you could do is have a ground return system. You could alternate 3 hot wires and 2 ground wires, or make the top 2 hot wires and the bottom 3 ground wires. Just choose the pattern you like. Then jumper the hot wires together with each other from top to bottom and do the same with ground wires. Then take a single wire and jumper it from one of the ground wires and connect it to the last ground rod.

What you now is one BIG 2-mile run, but you now have a ground return system. If an animal comes in contact with both a hot wire and one of the ground wires, they’ll get the FULL BLAST from the charger. The animal could be floating in mid air, come across both wires and still get the shock of a lifetime. This set up works well for arid areas where the lack of soil moisture reduces grounding.

Both of these set ups would work well for any set up, big or small. This is a way to run more hot wire without stressing the fence charger out.

This is an example of alternating ground and hot wires with jumper wires tying them together.

This is an example of alternating ground and hot wires with jumper wires tying them together.

natglc-logo-1Thanks to the National Grazing Lands Coalition for making this article possible. Click on over to see the great work they do for all of us. Thank them for supporting On Pasture by liking their facebook page.


The National Grazing Lands Conference is scheduled for December 2 – 5, 2018 in Reno, Nevada. It’s one of the best conferences we’ve been to, so you’ll want to be there!



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About the author

Wayne runs "Fencer Fixer" where he repairs electric fence chargers and fence testers. He's always happy to help folks figure out their fencing problems. Check out his website for more information.

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