How Can You Test If Electric Fence Is Working Without a Voltmeter

In our last blog post, we talked about how to check if your electric fence is working, and we used the touch and non-touch electric fence voltmeters to do that. Today, we will look at some alternative methods to check if the electric fence is working if you don’t have an electric fence voltmeter at hand.

The first alternative method you can use to check your electric fence is to attach an electric fence indicator lights to your fence. You can get them for a fairly cheap price. Also, you can pay a little bit more for some extra features. For example, some light indicators may also have voltage indicators. Usually, they don’t need batteries as they get their energy from the fence itself, and are water and UV resistant. The way they work is simple: when the fence is on, the light will remain illuminated. All you have to do is to purchase them and attach them to your electric fence at regular intervals.

The other way to check if your electric fence is working might be a little bit old-school:  using a compass to check for an electromagnetic field. Take the compass, and when placing about 5 to 8 cm from the wire, the compass arrow should start to vibrate due to the magnetic field. Don’t rush and allow some time for the electric pulses to reach your compass. 10-30 seconds should do.

An extra way to test the fence is to use your hearing. Be careful with that method as you might not be able to hear electric fence pulses that the charger sends out every 10 to 30 seconds. Therefore, if you don’t hear anything, don’t rush to touch the electric fence with your hands as it doesn’t mean that it is not working.

What sounds should you be looking for? If the electric fence is on, you will hear a humming or buzzing sound. If the fence is broken or has a shortage, then the humming or buzzing, and sometimes even crackling will be quite loud. Once again, don’t rush to fix it yourself as it’s safer to ask professionals to take a look at it.

Are you afraid of sparks? If yes, then the next way of testing is not for you. You will need a plastic-handled screwdriver.  When using this method, please pay attention! PLASTIC-handled! When testing with the screwdriver, make sure that under no circumstance will you be touching any part of the metal. Once that is clear, put the metal part of the screwdriver on the electric fence wire. You should see sparks. If you don’t, don’t assume it is off. Run it over the wire for 10 to 30 seconds, waiting for another electric pulse from the charger. If you still don’t see the sparks, most likely it is not working. Make sure you check all the wires as if one doesn’t work it doesn’t mean all of them won’t.

These are a few alternative ways to test if your electric fence is working.

Make sure you will not touch the wire with your hands or any other body part as you may never know how high is the voltage. Once you place your hand on the wire, you might not be able to let go. It can result in serious injuries. Therefore be careful around electric fences!

Diamond Fence is one of the trusted fencing companies in Melbourne, therefore don’t hesitate and contact us today! We’ll help you out! Call us on (03) 9753 4566, shoot us an email on, or just get a FREE online quote.