Nothing can be as annoying, discouraging, and time-wasting as trying to manually troubleshoot your electric fence for short circuits and other malformations. Luckily, you can solve the problem easily buy by using the best electric fence tester.
Since we install these fences outdoors, malformations on the electric line are common. Nonetheless, you know that you must keep the fence powered to perform its job as a barrier. An electric fence testing machine is a tool that allows you to diagnose any faults in your electric fence and fix them promptly.
Why Do You Need The Best Tester For Electric Fences?
These vital gadgets offer you a quicker, more comfortable, and more convenient way to identify the exact location and even the nature of the disruption. You can then take the earliest opportunity to correct the fault whether you do it yourself or seek the help or support of an expert in electricity if need be.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all scenario when dealing with these critical diagnostic tools. It would be great if you found a high-quality and accurate tester that will not give you false positive or negative readings. We bet you also want one that is durable and affordable.
Making the right choice can be a challenge, especially if you are new to electric fences or do not know much about electronic gadgets. But rest easy because we have done the donkey work of researching and describing the top 5 of the best quality, most decent electric fence testers currently on the market. Continue reading to know more.
Top 5 Best Electric Fence Testers
According to our research, while the market may have many good-quality fence testers, we have narrowed it down to five of the best.
1. Zareba FD1 Fence Doctor Digital Fence Tester and Fault Finder
If you are seeking a way to end the frustrating search for electric interruptions along the line of your electric fence, then Zareba FD1 is a worthy candidate. With this advanced fence tester, you will quickly detect short and open circuits that interfere with the smooth flow of electricity through the line.
The FD1 Fence Doctor has a user-friendly digital readout that accurately reports a voltage range from 200 volts to 9900 volts. It measures amperage or current (amps) as well. If it detects any faults, an indicator arrow will immediately point to the origin of the problem.
Made from solid and durable ABS plastic, you can be sure the tester will stand the test of time, offering you a reliable and convenient way to diagnose your line. A belt clip on the tester’s casing helps you carry it effortlessly to and from the site. In addition, a one-year warranty proves the quality of the product.
The tester explicitly detects two problems associated with electric fences – open and short circuits. Open circuits happen when the fence line is broken somewhere along its length. This disrupts the current flow, and the fence won’t be live and, therefore, unable to perform its barrier function.
On the other hand, short circuits result when the fence wire contacts the ground, the insulator breaks, or the ground wire breaks. Then, similar to open circuits, the current will not flow normally and become useless.
Another outstanding feature of the Zareba FD1 electric fence tester is the ability to measure the amount of voltage and amperage that run through the fence. These parameters are affected by the length of the fence and seasonal conditions like moisture and vegetation.
However, marked variations in amperage and voltage indicate a fault in the fence. For example, a fault is reported when a voltage is lower than usual, or the amperage is higher than acceptable ranges. You can practice using the tester by inducing controlled shorts to master using it as a diagnostic tool.
- Detects faults quickly and accurately
- Measures voltage and amperage
- Durable ABS casing with built-in belt clip
- User-friendly display
- An arrow indicator shows the direction of disruption
- Pretty expensive but offers value for money
- Less impressive documentation
2. Zareba RSVT8 Eight-light Voltage Tester
Another decent quality electric fence tester, also from Zareba, is the RSVT8 Eight-light Voltage Tester. It features a simple design but has many features that make it an accurate and convenient gadget to use to diagnose any faults in the electric fence line.
It detects and reports with high levels of accuracy any disruptions originating from either short circuits or open circuits. 8-Light voltage tester measures the voltage for any decrease or fluctuations. It is also designed to detect any problems in the fence charger and not the line.
Zareba designed the tester to have low impedance and is suitable for standard-duty fence chargers. The 8-Light in the name represents the eight neon lights that indicate voltage levels from 600 to 7000 volts. The highest blinking light tells the highest voltage level.
The tester is very easy to use. Just insert the tester’s probe into the ground and then hook or touch the tester with the live wire. You can then infer from the blinking lights whether the voltage has dropped (which indicates a short or open circuit) or is high (standard). However, it would be best if you still practiced using it well.
Never worry about the quality of this product because it is made from strong ABS plastic. It is lightweight, but the cord that connects it to the probe can be a little cumbersome. However, that does not affect the quality and performance of the tester.
- Reliable fence tester
- Straightforward to use
- Detects both open and short circuits
- Have low impedance
- Works perfectly with standard duty chargers
- An analog device
- Readouts are challenging to see in bright light
3. SmartCheck Electric Fence Tester
The first impression you will have when you set your eyes on the SmartCheck Electric Tester is a simple, unsafe product that may not do much. However, you cannot be so wrong because it is one of the best quality, accurate, and straightforward to use electric fence testers in the market.
Unlike the other analog testers, the SmartCheck electric tester features no ground lead but is incredibly sensitive, allowing you to detect faults along the fence line. It can detect a range of interruptions, including short circuits, loss of insulation, contact of the wire with the ground, contact with moisture, etc.
The device has a high-voltage probe that allows it to resist shock. Moreover, its pen-like design makes it ideal for use anywhere. Besides, you can have it as an everyday carry item in your pocket because the design is so compact and straightforward.
The SmartCheck electric fence fault finder features a three-digit automatic brightness LCD that is eye-friendly even in bright daylight or darkest nights. Regardless of the day, you can easily detect and correct any disruptions on the electric fence lines. A built-in beeper and an LED that flashes notify you when there is a fault.
Patented peak voltage sensing circuits ensure optimal accuracy of measurements. In addition, its compact design is wholly sealed with so-called IP67 waterproof protection, which allows you to diagnose your fence in harsh environmental conditions.
Also, a polycarbonate and aluminum alloy casing is durable and maintains lightweight. Other great features include an automatic on/off power system, extending the battery life, and low battery and over-range indicator.
- Compact, rugged and lightweight design
- Easy to use voltmeter with bright LED
- Patented high-sensitivity design
- Provide accurate measurements
- Cumbersome ground lead is not necessary
- Batteries are not as strong and as long-lasting as desired
- So simple and so small, easy to misplace
4. Allsun Digital Electrical Fence Voltage Tester
Allsun offers you a high-quality electrical fence voltage tester equipped with many performance-oriented features. For example, it has a pulse voltage testing range of 300 to 9900 volts. In addition, the digital fault finder has decent levels of accuracy, allowing you to pinpoint areas of disruption so that you can sort them out as promptly as possible.
Allsun Digital Electric Fence Voltage Tester has an LCD on a relatively large monitor. It indicates a voltage level from 0.3 volts to 9.9 volts. A single pulse ranges every 0.5 seconds to 2 seconds. This is important in saving battery power, unlike other testers that show continuous reading. The average power consumption is about 0.03 watts.
The tester boasts design flexibility and is multifunctional. You can match it to any animal control situation and offer you high flexibility levels both in design and budget. It is also effortless to use. With the probe driven into the ground, touch the hook of the tester as you move it along the line.
Keep in mind that the package does not include a battery (sold separately). It also comes with a zipper bag so that the probe cable does not tangle with the other items you always carry in your repair bag. The easy-read electric tester is usable in daylight, unlike LED testers that can’t be visible during bright light.
- Wide range of voltage measurement
- Big LCD that is bright and easy to read
- Flexible in design and multifunctional
- It comes with a zipper bag for convenient
- A built-in battery would be desirable
- Questionable quality ground probe
5. Gallagher Fault Finder
The Gallagher Fault Finder is another decent option. It is advanced technologically to improve levels of accuracy in detecting faults. Using this voltmeter, you can save several hours you could otherwise use in manually diagnosing the fault’s location.
The voltmeter reads the voltage for batteries even when the energizer is set in the battery-save mode. The Gallagher fault finder is pocket-sized for portability. It measures current (amperage) and voltage and then shows the direction in which the current is flowing.
You can easily track the origin of the error in a few minutes and begin the repair process promptly. A convenient retractable voltage probe allows you to access hard-to-reach areas. Hidden areas of electric fences are more vulnerable to damage.
A large, easy-to-read LCD allows you to read the current flows in terms of voltage, current, and direction. The device will detect disruptions caused by vegetation overgrowth, broken insulators, and loose wires. An automatic on/off setting indicates the pulse status of the fence.
A replaceable 3V battery that lasts for up to 3 years powers the tester. It is not only the battery that lasts long; the casing also features a tough impact and water-resistant case.
- Wide, effortless to read LCD
- Retractable probe convenient in difficult-to-access areas
- Long-lasting replaceable 3V battery
- Durable, impact-resistant casing
- Portable pocket-size design
- Pretty expensive device
- The design of the ground probe is desired
The Best Electric Fence Tester – The Comprehensive Buying Guide
A fault in the electric fence line can pose a danger to your animals in two ways. First, the short or open circuit can cause electric shock and injure small animals. Second, animals that spend their only security outdoors from predators is the fence is at risk of attack.
We are confident of the availability of many other electric fence testers beyond what we have reviewed in our list. If you, for any reason, did not find what you are looking for on our list, then you can go ahead of use our comprehensive buying guide we shall discuss shortly to make an informed choice.
If you are still confused or wondering after reading the reviews, then here are a few important features you can depend upon to guide you through the buying process.
Accuracy and Precision
These two features are elusive in ordinary fence fault finders currently being sold. Only by accurate measurement can you find where the fault is quickly and initiate the process of repair. Accuracy is vital, but precision may not be that easy to achieve, except if you have a top-end tester.
Any tester claiming to measure voltages of over 10000 volts is fake. The reason is that such a claim contradicts the international regulations, which cup the use of electric fences as barriers at 10,000 volts. Most testers give a range of voltage which can be as low as 300 volts to as high as 9900 volts.
The Type of Tester
Two types of testers are currently available in the market – analog ones and digital ones. The former was the first type to be invented, and for a long time, it was the mainstay. Such testers had mechanical meters that showed fluctuations in voltage pulses.
With the advent of technology, newer digital testers came up a little more advanced than their analog counterparts. These have some computer motherboards that use complex technology to measure the voltage, current, and even the direct current flow.
Although the analog models are increasingly getting outdated, some of them still deliver decent performance. An advantage is their relatively low price which is attractive to many beginners and frugal people. On the other hand, most digital models have significant levels of accuracy, but they are more expensive.
All-electric fence faultfinders have a system to indicate whether the line is transmitting normally or there are interruptions. Such indicators can be in terms of flashing signal lights, a variety of tones, or the number of volts.
You should be able to interpret the signals accurately. For instance, a continuous tone could mean the line is operating normally, while a beep could indicate a fault. In addition, flashing lights may be colored differently to represent different fence conditions.
Perhaps the most accurate indicator is the voltage numbers. First, you need to know what the numbers represent. Logically, a widely fluctuating voltage is a perfect indicator of a fault. Some high-quality models will give additional readings to support your diagnosis.
Durability and Resistance to elements
No manufacturer, distributor, marker, or seller will tell you that a selling product cannot last long. You must research to find this information from third parties, especially those who have had a chance to use the product. However, you can also infer from the materials used to make such products.
At the minimum, look for an electric fence tester that features a compact, impact-resistant casing. It should also be resistant to the elements. An aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, or ABS plastic casings are generally strong and durable. Other materials have variable durability and are not trustworthy.
Some models are battery-powered. The longevity of such models also depends on the life span of the battery. A long-lasting battery is way better. A few brands make electric fence diagnostic tools with replaceable batteries. They are deemed better than those with irreplaceable ones. Unfortunately, we do not know any brand that has managed to make rechargeable batteries for their testers.
Design and Portability
The size of the tester you choose to buy should be determined by the size of your arm, the length of the fence, and the quality of your wires. High-quality wires are not prone to short circuits or broken insulators. Therefore, you will not need to diagnose it frequently.
The best fence tester should feature a compact, pocket-size design for easy portability and use. The small size is also important because you will most likely carry it with other fence repair items. In addition, a very small tester can easily drop and become untraceable on the flip side, and you count your losses.
Qn1: What is the average voltage safe for my fence?
An electric fence can range so widely in voltage from a few hundred to 10000 volts. Anything below 2000 volts cannot effectively bar animals from leaving their confinement. A voltage beyond the maximum allowed by law can pose your animals the danger of electrocution. The voltage you choose should depend on the animals you have on your ranch. Find out more from experts.
Qn2: Do I have to be an electrician to use a fence tester?
Not at all. The device is incredibly simple to use. The tester only shows you the location of the fault, and it is upon you to find its nature. You do not need rocket science to repair a short circuit or broken insulation. Therefore, do not worry about your expertise before buying a fence tester. All you need is to be careful when handling live wires.
Qn3: How does an electric fence tester detect faults?
This device works more like a standard voltage meter used in electric installations, but such meters do not work on electric fences. Instead, a grounding material is required that is driven underground and a positive terminal that touches the wire. Once the tester is turned on, the results will display results within a few minutes.
Qn4: Can a faulty electric fence endanger my animals
Certainly, it depends on the magnitude and the time you take to detect the fault and repair it. Without an active fence, the animals can wander off the farm or yard and get lost in the woods. Besides, wild animals can seize the opportunity and attack your stock.
Qn5: Where can I buy the best electric fence tester?
You can walk or drive into local hardware or electric store in your town and buy a tester. However, who would want that level of inconvenience and time-wasting when you can sit home and have it delivered right to your doorstep? Furthermore, you will have a wide variety to choose from and at competitive prices.
We appreciate you taking the time to read our in-depth reviews and comprehensive guide on buying the best electric fence tester for your fence. We are positive we have captured all the important features of our best products to explain why we made such choices.
Now the ball is in your court, choose what suits your needs from the five or use the comprehensive guide to find your own. You should no longer spend hours manually searching for a fault, yet you have the option of using the best electric fence tester to do it in a few minutes.