Havahart Electric Fence Charger

There are many reasons for setting up an electric fence - keeping horses, dogs, and other pets in; or keeping dogs, cats, and nuisance animals out. We bought the Havahart electric fence charger to keep woodchucks out of our small vegetable garden and it has been working well. If you're trying to keep a boisterous 125-pound Lab contained inside a two acre plot, your results may vary.

The item being reviewed is a battery operated electric fence charger, the Havahart model SS-2DX which is rated for a five acre property and it uses two 'D' batteries. The area being protected is small - our garden area is about 25' x 25' with buildings on either side and a chain link fence along the back, so the electric fence wire is only a 35' stretch of single strand wire across the front of the garden area.

What we like about the Havahart fence charger:

  • Life is good: As annoying and destructive as the woodchucks are, they're just trying to survive. One of the reasons electric fences kill small animals is because they bite the fence wire and can't let go; hence they get electrocuted. The Havahart electric fence charger is a pulse-type charger so if the animal bites the wire, they'll be able to let go of the wire during a pulse before being electrocuted.
  • Flexibility: Battery power allows you to place the fence charger in a variety of locations without dependence on an electrical outlet.
  • Sight and sound: The fence charger has a button that lights up and emits a beeping sound, which lets you know the unit is up and running.

What we don't like about the Havahart fence charger:

  • Uses batteries: The batteries will last about three to four months depending on how long your electric fence is and how cold the climate. The 'D' batteries may seem expensive at first glance, but they're a lot cheaper than hiring an electrician to run an electric outlet.
  • Battery vs. AC power: Battery power is convenient, but it's not as strong as AC power.

Setting up the fence charger:

You don't need many tools or supplies for attaching the charger and earth ground. A Phillips screwdriver, a pair of pliers to cut the wire, a hammer to drive in the ground rod, and a ground clamp. The ground rod was an eight-footer from Lowes that was cut in half, and the ground clamp and 17 gauge wire came from Tractor Supply. If you don't have a Lowes or Tractor Supply nearby, Amazon sells all three fence supplies. The Havahart charger instructions recommends a minimum of two feet long for the ground rod, but a four-foot ground rod is better especially if you have sandy soil. The ground clamp and 17 gauge electric fence wire Amazon sells are the same as the ones we bought at Tractor Supply and are competitively priced.

Electric fence charger video:

Here's a short video showing how to set up the electric fence charger: