How to install a poly tape electric fence

Written by rebecca boardman
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How to install a poly tape electric fence
Poly Electric Tape (Courtesy of

An electric fence is one of the most effective and economical ways to house livestock, horses or other farm animals. Standard fencing, made of materials like wood, wire and cable, can cost as much as building a barn or other outbuildings. By installing and using a poly tape electric fence, you can save thousands of dollars in installation and maintenance.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • T-posts
  • Poly electric tape
  • Electric fence clips
  • T-post driver
  • fencing tools
  • pliers

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  1. 1

    Place your corner posts. If you intend for the electric fence to be permanent, these posts need to be permanent material--pipe or 4-by-4 wooden posts, sunk at least 24 inches into the ground and set in concrete. If the fence is temporary, you can use heavy duty metal T-posts, which you can pick up at any landscaping or farm supply store.

  2. 2

    Place your guidewire from corner post to corner post. A guidewire is a metal wire (smooth wire or electric wire will suffice) you secure to one corner post and run in a straight line all the way to the next corner post. This wire needs to be about 6 inches off the ground and pulled taut. This line will help you make sure your fence stays straight.

  3. 3

    Drive your T-posts. Using a T-post driver (which can be purchased at the same store with the T-Posts), ensure the posts are driven deeply to support the strain of the tightened tape. Place every 8 to 10 feet to provide the best coverage and the strongest support. Again, if your fence is to be permanent, you may choose to use wooden posts, but these will need to be secured in concrete and at a depth of 18 to 24 inches.

  4. 4

    Attach your clips to the posts using a fencing tool and pliers. Poly tape clips are plastic and are manufactured to clip onto T-posts or to be nailed into wooden posts. You need a minimum of three lines per post, and the more lines you place, the better the fence will function as both a visual deterrent as well as a physical barrier.

  5. 5

    Run your poly tape through the clips and attach them to the fence charger on the output line marked "fence." There will be two lines, one marked "ground" and one marked "fence." Disconnect the charger before you attach your line, or you will get shocked. If done properly, your fence should last for months or even years, with very little maintenance.

Tips and warnings

  • Always make sure you have your fence charger hooked up properly. If your charger is not properly grounded, or is not tested, your poly tape fence will not work.
  • Always use caution when working with electricity. Follow the instructions and make sure you use protective gear where needed.

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