Types of Insulators and Other Wire Components

Insulators are designed to fasten electrified wire to posts without losing energy through the post. They come in either plastic or porcelain and should be purchased according to the type of post and the type of wire being used.

Using a good insulator is important to maintain the performance of your fence. Insulators prevent electrical shorts between the electrified wire and the fence posts. Insulators are made from materials that do not conduct electricity, most commonly plastic or ceramic. They are a critical component of a properly functioning electric fence.

In this section, we will discuss the various types of insulators available for electric fencing. In addition, we will also cover alternative components for fastening non-electrified wire to fence posts.

 

Types of Insulators

Plastic

Plastic insulators are molded from polyethylene, polycarbonate, or nylon and are designed to hold electrified wire near a variety of posts without losing energy through the post.

There are several styles to choose from because the insulator must match both the type of wire and the type of fence post being used. Plastic insulators include round post insulators, T-post insulators, wood post insulators, corner post insulators, end post insulators, and chain link fence insulators.

Make sure the plastic insulator you choose is molded from heavy-duty, high-density polyethylene (or harder plastic) with UV inhibitors. This prevents arcing and provides long life with all-weather performance, protecting it from the elements. Most insulators are available in yellow, black and white.

Porcelain

Porcelain insulators usually can handle any size fence wire including wire, polywire and polyrope. Like plastic insulators, porcelain insulators are designed to hold electrified wire near fence posts without losing energy through the post.

Porcelain insulators are heavier than other types and generally more expensive. They are constructed of materials such as clay, quartz, and feldspar which break easily. However, when properly installed good porcelain insulators can last the life of your fence.

 

Specialized Insulators

Tube Insulators

The tube clamp insulator attaches to standard tube-type stock and corral panels. Tube insulators are also used in high-tensile fencing to insulate wire at corner posts and allow staples to be used to attach electrified wire to wooden line posts.

Corner Insulators

Corner post insulators are designed to withstand fence line tension generated by the fence line pulling from the anchor point or changing directions. Corner insulators should also be used at fence line termination points and are available in plastic and ceramic to accommodate steel wire, polywire, polytape and polyrope.

 

Other Specialty Insulators

Other insulators allow you to fasten electrified wire or poly products to posts and fences without losing energy through the post or fence.

There are many specialty insulators to choose from:

 

Other Wire Components

Strainers

Fence Strainers, used with a strainer handle, increase the tension on fence wire to about 250 lbs. They are most commonly used on high-tensile fencing. Strainers should be installed every 1,500' - 2,500' feet and should also be located in the middle of a fence span (for example, halfway between two corner posts.)

Every friction point (corners, bends, dips, rises) reduces the strainer's tension capacity by about 500 feet. One strainer can tension wire through no more than two corners. The Zareba® In-Line Strainer is used with 200,000 psi wire.

Wire Clips

Wire clips are specifically designing to hold fence wire in place on T-posts. Square wire fencing or barbed wire are the two fencing materials most commonly used in combination with T-posts and wire clips. Metal T-posts are flat on one side with bumps recurring every 2 inches along its length. The V-shaped corner of the wire clips rest on these bumps and keeps the fencing material from sagging. Each clip has a hook at one end and a loop on the other.

Staples

Staples are used to attach fencing material to wooden posts and are most commonly used in combination with square wire, barbed wire, or woven wire fencing. Staples are installed using a hammer to pound them into the wooden posts. Spacing of staples will vary with fence type.