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Permanent Electric Fencing Guide

A permanent electric fence is a great choice that, if built properly, can last up to 40 years with only limited, routine maintenance. It is the most common type of electric fence and works exceptionally well to contain all types of livestock and keep out most all predators.


Things to Consider

Converting a barbed wire or woven wire fence

Do you already have a good barbed wire or woven wire fence, but want to make it electric?
Patriot Wood Post Extenders and T-Post Extenders allow you to maintain your current fence structure while adding high tensile wire, poliwire, ½in politape, or polirope to make it electric. This is a safe and highly effective way to convert a barbed or woven wire fence to electric.

NOTE: You should never try to electrify the existing barbed or woven wire as it is too dangerous for your livestock and not very effective.


Corner/End Braces

Corner and end braces are most commonly made of wood posts with a metal pipe between them. (You can also use metal pipe posts instead of wood posts.) The braces are made of at least 2 posts spaced at least 10 feet apart or 2.5 times the height of the finished fence. These H braces serve as the foundation of the fence line and help to maintain the tension, very important for high tensile fences. For more information on brace construction, please consult your local Patriot retailer or a fence construction company.


Wire Spacing

Most permanent electric fences have between 2–6 wires. Cattle and horses can generally get by with 2 or 3 wires, while sheep and goats should have at least 5 or 6 wires. To maintain the best control, you must maintain proper spacing between each wire. Below are some samples:


Fence Posts

Permanent electric fences can be adequately constructed with wood posts, T-posts, rod posts, or metal posts. Typically the type of post chosen is determined by local availability and price. Our accessory product information indicates which accessories are suitable for the different post types.


Fence Wire

The best permanent electric fences are constructed using 12.5 gauge galvanized high tensile wire. It provides a lower level of resistance than a smaller gauge of wire and has sufficient capacity to carry the electrical current of the fence. Some people use a smaller gauge galvanized (ga) wire (i.e. 14 ga., 16 ga., etc.); however, these have higher levels of resistance, do not allow you to achieve the maximum benefits of your energizer, and your fence life may not be as long. (Aluminum wire is not the same as steel galvanized wire. Small aluminum wire also has less resistance than comparable size steel wire.)


1. H brace for the start of a 5-wire fence.     2. T-Post along the line of a 5-wire fence.     3. Wood post along the line of a 5-wire fence.