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Why Do I Need an Electric Fence Tester?

Why Do I Need an Electric Fence Tester?

From time to time, you will encounter voltage drops or face grounding issues along your fence line. When this happens, having a fence tester, also known as a voltage meter or voltage tester, is needed to identify your fence problem.

You Need a Fence Tester

It's important to buy a fence tester when you install your electric fence. If your fence is already up and running, and you don't have a tester, then it's time to get one. 
For your purchase, get a voltage tester specifically designed for reading the energy from an electric fence. Unlike other voltage meters, fence testers are designed for easy use on electric fencing.
Zareba offers a variety of voltage testers designed for fence monitoring, some with testing hookup clips and others with a clip built into the main body of the device. The simplest models feature a light that indicates electrical current is flowing through the fence. However, for troubleshooting ground or short issues, you will want one of the more complex models known as "electric fence fault finders" which display voltage in kilovolts (kv) and amps of current.

Diagnosis with the Fence Doctor

When using the Zareba® Fence Doctor, a fault-finding electric fence tester, to find voltage shorts in the fence line, the display will also show voltage in kilovolts and current readings in amps. Arrows on the display will point in the direction of the fault.

Here’s an example to show how this works:  You have a single-wire fence that usually runs 6,000 volts or 6kv. One day you check the fence and the reading on your fence tester is 2000 volts or 2 kv and 20 amps.

To determine the cause of your voltage drain you would take the following steps:

  1. Charger First – Start by testing the fence charger with your electric fence fault finder. You are checking to make sure the energizer is not the problem. If it reads normally, move on to your fence tests.
  2. Fence Sections Close to Charger – Test near the beginning of the fence line, taking care to note your readings as you move farther and farther from the charger. Voltage and amperage drops indicate problems on the line.
  3. Close in on the Short – Continue down the fence line following the “fault arrows” on the fence tester display until the short is found.
  4. Back Track as Needed – If the fault arrows begin to point in the opposite direction or you get no reading (i.e. 0 amps, barely any kv), back track, testing as you go until you find a reading again. Points between the last viable readings indicate problem areas in your fence.

This fence tester will make finding shorts and grounding issues quicker and easier. These devices save you time and money in the long run by helping you narrow down fence sections with problems that are not apparent to the naked eye.

Zareba’s Line of Fence Testers

The Fence Doctor isn’t the only electric fence voltage tester available from Zareba®. In fact, voltometers are available in a variety of styles and price points. Each of them has their own qualities and uses while out in the pasture. Which is the best for you? Check each product page to make your choice!

NAME & MODEL #Zareba® Fence Doctor (FD1)Zareba® 8-Light Voltage Tester (RSVT8)Zareba® Multi-Light Electric Fence Tester (A5LVT-Z)Zareba® Electric Fence Tester (A1LVT-Z)
MEASUREMENTS PROVIDED Digital readout of  voltage and current Indicator lights at 8 pre-set voltage levels Indicator lights at 5 pre-set voltage levels Indicator light confirms voltage
RANGE 200 to 9,900 volts 600 to 7,000 volts 600 to 5,500 volts Voltage on/off only
CORD? Not needed Y, 67-inch reach Y, 65-inch reach Y, 64-inch reach
FENCE TYPES Metal, poly wire, poly rope
WARRANTY 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee & 1 Year Limited


Your Experience with Fence Testers

Do you have any questions about the operation of your voltage tester? Reach out to our Consumer Care team by calling 855-5-ZAREBA or by filling out the Zareba® Consumer Contact Form. Got tips on using your electric fence tester? Let us know all about it the next time you visit Zareba® on Facebook. Looking for more tips along with links to great electric fence products? Then subscribe to the E-Newsletter from Zareba®.

Looking for some more advice on maintaining your electric fence? Zareba(r) Systems offers several helpful articles:

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