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The Home Depot

Pros and Cons of Electric Fences

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fence > Pros and Cons of Electric Fences
Pros and Cons of Electric Fences

One method of fencing that has gained popularity in recent times is electrical fencing. This has been effectively used for home security purposes, for safeguarding farm animals, and to prevent pets from straying away. Such fencing works on the principle that electric current only flows when a circuit is completed. Some insurance companies have also started suggesting installing an electric fence as a means of reducing insurance premiums.

  1. 1.Covering Your Bases

    These fences are easy to build due to the lower wire tension and lighter construction. The maintenance involved in such fencing is very low and it is as durable as its other counterparts.

    Many people opt for electric fences or invisible fences as a means of keeping their pet dogs from straying away from home. But there are regulations in place to ensure that such fences are safe and do not pose a danger to anybody. Violations of the ordinances can fetch substantial financial penalties. So, it is best to check the zoning laws in your area before you start installation of an electric fence.


    There are a few tips and guidelines that you can use to make electric fencing work for you. It is not an expensive proposition as many believe and nowadays, solar powered electric fences are also available. This can cut your electricity costs significantly while providing you the security that you need.

  2. 2.Pros of an Electric Fence

    There are quite a few distinct advantages of using an electric fence around your property. It has been found to act as a deterrent to burglary, vandalism, and trespassing. This is because there are not many who want to get an electric shock while attempting to steal something or trespass. Also, it does not give any physical indication of a fence being in place, which can catch a trespasser who should not be there and who is not expecting to get shocked. These fences are easy to build due to the lower wire tension and lighter construction. The maintenance involved in such fencing is very low and it is as durable as its other counterparts. Selective barriers can be put in. For example, if you want to keep out big animals such as livestock but allow smaller animals like felines or cats to pass through, you can get the fence designed in this manner. Also, there is no need for barbed wire and only tensile wires are required.

  3. 3.Cons of an Electric Fence

    One major disadvantage of an electric fence is that it might slow down emergency services from reaching you. This might even result in help reaching you after it is too late. There is a possibility of electric fences posing the risk of fire when bushes or trees grow in close proximity. Hence, it is important to keep the area near the fence cleared of any such vegetation. You will have to ensure that the grounding has been done properly. Failure to do so might render the electric fence ineffective.

  5. 4.Some Tips to Remember

    You should never use different types of metals when hooking up your electric fence. If you do this, it can lead to electrolysis which, in turn, can weaken the shocking power of the fence. Never place the fence posts too close together and don’t tie the wires on too tightly. You should see to it that there is no grass below the bottom wire on the fence because if it is there and it gets wet at some point, it can soak in all the power of your fence’s electric charge. If you are putting up a new fence in place of an older one, ensure that the first one has been completely removed.


    Installing an electric fence may not be your cup of tea and it might more suitable to hire a professional to do this for you. That way you can be assured of a job well done and free of any faulty wiring which can lead to fire hazards or other complications. Just make sure that you purchase the fence from a reputed manufacturer who offers you some kind of warranty and that it has replaceable components. Always remember to put up warning signs around your property if you have an electric fence so passersby are aware of the danger. Failure to do so may lead to legal penalties and lawsuits if someone is injured or perhaps their pet.

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