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Testing the Earth System

Here is a simple test you can do to make sure that you have enough ground rods for your system.

Turn off the energizer. Go at least 300 feet away from the energizer and heavily short out your system by laying several steel rods, pipes, logging chains, etc., on the fence. If it is dry out, you may need to drive the pipes into the ground. Your goal is to short out your system so that you are getting 1200 KV or less on your voltmeter, which can be hard to do with some of the big energizers.

Turn the energizer back on and check your fence voltage, ensuring you have it down to 1200KV or less (that reads 1.2 on a digital voltmeter). If it is still above that, then add more load. Using a digital voltmeter, take a reading off your system's last or farthest ground rod. It should read no more than 300 volts or 0.3 on your meter. A �0? reading is excellent, but if it reads more than 0.3, it tells you to (1) add more ground rods or (2) find a more suitable location for your earth system.

Grounding checklist:

  • All joints and connections are joined correctly.
  • Ground rod clamps are secure.
  • Rods are at least 10 feet apart.
  • All materials in you system are of the same material.
  • Ground rods are buried deeply in the soil.
  • Rods are at least 6 feet long.
  • There is a sufficient number of rods.