Your earth system is the most important component of your electric fence. An effective earth system will optimise the performance of your electric fence.
What is an earth system? The earth system consists of a number of earth rods the provide an effective (low resistance) path for the current to return to the energizer's earth terminal. Larger energizers with large fence lines require more earthing rods.
How does earthing work? For an electric fence shock the current produced by an energizer must complete a full circuit. The current leaves the energizer and moves along the fence wires through the animal, into the soil and back to the energizer via the earth system. If the earth system is ineffective the animal will receive an inadequate shock.
What factors affect your earth system? Dry, sandy or non-conductive soil (e.g. volcanic soil) provides and ineffective earthing system. If you have this type of soil, it's a good idea to 1) use additional earth rods or 2) choose a better location for the earth system (such as damp soil) or 3) consider an alternative method of earthing such as the Fence Wire Earth Return.
Setting up your Earth System
STEP 1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SYSTEM FOR YOU
Option 1: Ground Earth Return System. Recommended where soil is conductive. This system is suitable for most moist soils.
Current flows through the animal and the ground back to the earth rods.
Option 2: Fence Wire Return System. Recommended where soil is not conductive. If the soil is dry, sandy or volcanic it is usually not conductive.
The fence is constructed using both live and earth wires. If the animal touches the live wire the current flows through the animal and the ground back to the earth rods.