Tacoma WA Business Owner Installs 7,000 Volt Electric Fence

…owner reports that crime is way down. I wonder what the amperage is? {{lol}}.



You ever been “hit” by a cattle fence? Gives you enough shock to say whoa, but if you are standing in a creek, well that is on another level.



This sounds like what I need. Neighbors dogs keep breaking through pickets on our wooden privacy fence. Fried dog. Wonder how that would go down?

A friend of mine raised cattle in a field with a white picket fence and an electrified wire. The cattle approached to say “hello.” My border collie, Cliff, approached the fence to sniff the cattle even though I told him to back off. He got zapped on the nose. YIKES!!

After that he wouldn’t go near the cattle since he associated them with the zap.

He wasn’t “fried dog” but certainly the shock was memorable.


If no one is touching the fence, zero. If someone is touching the fence, it depends on the resistance. With rubber shoes maybe zero. Birds happily sit on high tension wires.

Did I get my electricity 101 right?

The Captain

When a bird is perched on a single wire, its two feet are at the same electrical potential, so the electrons in the wires have no motivation to travel through the bird’s body.


chuckle The worst thing about some of those cattle fences is that they “pulse”…

Growing up in rural TN we often climbed over various fences to hunt, fish, and simply run around in the woods as kids. When I was too young to know better, I approached one and touched it to see if it was juiced (as you mentioned, it was bad but not terrible when you got shocked). I had never encountered a pulse version before so upon touching and not feeling a shock, I quickly proceeded to climb over it, only to get pulsed while mid-straddle.

I don’t recall how I got off the thing but I do remember picking myself up off the ground afterwards (but at least on the side I was trying to get to).


Grandpa used to send the grands around the farm to listen for the snap of a pulse short to grass. We usually took a four wheeler with ground clear herbicide, a brush trimmer and a chainsaw.

You get respect for those fences quickly, when your loppers touch the wire, the weeds and you don’t keep your hands on the wooden handles!

I can still hear the snap… snap… snap… snap… playing in my head.

Side note, as a very young kid, I remember white charolais cattle.

The variety we had were extremely aggressive and would readily jump fences. Since young bulls and steers can be very athletic and kind of stupid, they would break over fences instead of jumping them. We stopped going higher and installed electric shock wires also.

For the last 40 years, we have spent a lot of time selecting for the most docile of the examples as we transitioned from white, to mottle faced

To Angus

The fences have gotten smaller and less reinforced, but the snaps remain.

Interestingly, an all black cow pays about 10% more at the market, REGARDLESS of their lineage because ANGUS has been marketed and demanded so heavily by the breeders and consumers respectively.

It doesn’t even matter what the meat looks like, live cattle are judged by their cover. (cover has multiple meanings - skin and fat)

Carcass conformation and fat cover scores in beef cattle: A comparison of threshold linear models vs grouped data models | Genetics Selection Evolution | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)


Served with white or red?



Picture reminds me of a story. The story has nothing to do with the topic.

My nephew was driving home after a day of classes and noticed a car on the side of the road. There was a woman and several children standing in the ditch beside the car. He pulled up behind them, thinking they had car trouble. He noticed the car had New York plates. He asked if she was needing help. She replied no, they had stopped to watch the buffalo. They had never seen any before. He looked into the pasture and saw nothing but Black Angus.

He smiled and said ok and left. He didn’t want to tell them they still hadn’t seen any buffalo.


I think amperage plays a greater role - you barely feel 20,000 volts, if it’s only a few microamps. The duration of the charge matters as well – a short pulse isn’t as damaging as sustained contact.



Its all about ohms law. Current = volts / resistance. That is why I would be surprised if the company has insurance. Can you imagine I am running 7000 volts through a fence but nobody is going to die? Ok so are you saying this will not kill anyone? Well the odds are that it probably won’t kill anyone. It isn’t the volts that kill you, its not the resistance that kills you, its the current that really messes you up.


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When we got our safety training for working around high voltage, we were told that milliamps can kill you, if the path of the current flow goes thru your heart.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if there is an accidental death on this electric fence, maybe some kid touches it during a rain storm while his feet are in a puddle, who knows, but that owner needs a huge umbrella policy with a rider specifically for dealing with issues with the electric fence.

Assuming the owner isn’t a lunatic, it stinks that the owner feels that the surrounding area/people are such lowlifes that the fence is necessary.


Most of Tacoma is a dump.

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In childhood I had a friend with a Van DeGraff generator in the basement. His father was a school teacher, and once a year he brought it in to show the kids other forms of electricity, I’m sure with all the “hair raising” “chain of kids in a line” or other tricks that were popular at the time. About 2 feet tall, sphere on post the size of a softball. Kitchen ladle riveted on to provide “spark gap”.

Anyway, I remember the number 20,000 volts at almost infathomably small amps. We used to charge ourselves up then walk to a metal pipe and shoot it with our finger. Spark, and with a satisfying “zap” sound too. Ah, 10 year olds.

It’s the amps whut kills ya


Sam:George did you turn off the fence this morning?

George: No Sam I thought you did.

Sam: Well it looks like we lost another customer.


Here’s a link to the manufacturer of the fence in Tacoma

It’s a short pulse of 7,000 volts, probably protected by something similar to the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet you have in your bathroom at home.

I agree that you couldn’t sell these things if insurers had any objection to them.



He’s lucky! There’s a somewhat common trick criminals use in certain areas - they have a stopped car, women and children visible on the side of the road. The criminal men hide themselves nearby. When someone stops to “help”, they spring out, rob them of their valuables, steal their car, and leave them on the side of the road stranded.

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I agree in today’s society.

The story is 40 years old. In Kansas. Different times today, sadly.

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As they say on the sports show, let’s go to the videotape!

Murder Rate per 100,000 population:
1980: 10.2
1990: 9.4
2000: 5.5
2010: 4.8
2019: 5.0

Aggravated Assault per 100,000 population:
1980: 298
1990: 424
2000: 324
2010: 252
2019: 250

Burglary per 100,000 population
1980: 1684
1990: 1235
2000: 728
2010: 701
2019: 340

Robbery per 100,000 population
1980: 251
1990: 257
2000: 145
2010: 119
2019: 81

I would note that people know more about crime than they did 40 years ago, but that is not the same thing as having more crime. There are 4 cable channels which are Full Time True Crime now, plus parts of others. There is a news channel devoted full time to scaring people about it, and politicians have picked it up as a cudgel to drive voters apart.

The numbers above are from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which assembles data from over 18,000 law enforcement agencies. There are surely some artifacts in the data, but they would have to be huge, indeed, to make trends appear this dramatic if they were false.


While true, and the per 100,000 has trended down, there are roughly twice as many 100,000s as in 1980, so there’s actually more crimes being committed,

Population remains a root cause of a lot of things.