Introduction: DIY Invisible Fence Battery

Picture of DIY Invisible Fence Battery

Invisible Fence pet containment systems require a new battery in the dog's collar every 3 months. Invisible Fence dealers sell battery packs for around $15. This expensive battery is a plastic case around a common CR1/3 lithium cell, readily available from any hardware or drugstore for less than $5.00. Here is how to "renew" your battery in about 1 minute!

Step 1: Prepare Tools and Supplies.

Picture of Prepare Tools and Supplies.

You will need:
- A 3V lithium cell known as CR1/3N or DL1/3N
- A spent Invisible Fence battery module
- A razor blade, a sharp knife or a very small shovel
- Optionally, something to grasp the battery with to avoid cutting off your fingers.

Step 2: Grasp the Battery

Picture of Grasp the Battery

Hold the battery sideways and grasp firmly

Step 3: Pry Off the Cover

Picture of Pry Off the Cover

With a very sharp knife, separate the cover ring from the battery housing.

Step 4: Separate the Cover

Picture of Separate the Cover

Gently work around the battery housing until the cover falls off. Be careful with the metal contacts! Note the orientation of the cell - the new cell will go in just like this.

Step 5: Pull Out the Battery Assembly

Picture of Pull Out the Battery Assembly

Gently pull out the cell by the metal contacts.

Step 6: Separate the Battery

Picture of Separate the Battery

Remove the cell from the metal clip. Discard the cell in the most environmentally-friendly way available.

Step 7: Insert New Cell

Picture of Insert New Cell

Put the metal clip around the new cell. Make sure the positive side of the battery only (the metal can) is in contact with the metal clip. Gently insert into the plastic housing, aligning the metal clip with the grooves on the inside of the housing.

Step 8: Check Battery and Clip Positioning

Picture of Check Battery and Clip Positioning

Make sure the cell is all the way in and is oriented correctly.

Step 9: Replace Plastic Cover

Picture of Replace Plastic Cover

It will snap into position between the 2 metal contacts.

You are done!


TerriB30 made it! (author)2016-03-02

Success! I have the integrated cover ring, so i carefully sliced off the top, notching around the clips like the original design. Using the tip of the carpet blade, I pried under the ring at each clip. It popped right off! Don't worry if the ring breaks because it is not necessary. Out of 2 power caps, one stayed in tact so I added it back, but the other works just as well.

CharlotteG38 (author)TerriB302017-12-29

Why do you say that the ring is not necessary?

CharlotteG38 (author)2017-12-29

Are you sure that the plastic ring is not needed?

scaeva (author)2017-07-27

I've been doing this for years, so I'll add a few tips: don't use a vise grip, use a soft jawed clamp. You don't want to over stress the sides of the container. The rings can also be glued back on if you want, using solvent cement such as for plastic models. Use a TINY amount. Also, periodically rub some silicone grease on the O-ring seals. They will last longer.

Kingring1 (author)2010-01-28

To those who are replacing batteries in IF Power Caps.  Though you may think that your saving a few dollars each time you install Non IF products, you will void all your warrantees!  IF puts a lot of engineering and professional designs into their products and support.  So, you may pay a little more for a power cap that makes sure your collar is working properly.  You are also guaranteeing that in the future, when maybe your transmitter fails, or collar receiver stops working,(probably due to your installing inferior battery and damaging the case) you will be charged for a new collar or transmitter( $200-$1000), when it would have been installed again for no charge at all.  I am an IF dealer who prides on our service and warrantee work.  I have installed warrantee repair even for dealers who didn't go out to fix their sold systems.  So, with that said, you call for service and batteries, you don't have to leave the house.  We are out there within 24 hours to take care of your issues.  I kind of think that I would rather have the comfort of knowing someone else out there cares about my pet as much as I do and at our dealership, that is how we think.  NOTE: when I looked at this way of installing new batteries, I was quite interested in the thought process, but also realized that no matter how you take this apart, you are damaging the case and weakening it.  It would only be a matter of time before the receiver would fail due to water penetration or corrossion of the receiver.  Good luck and I will be here to take your call.

scaeva (author)Kingring12017-07-27

Bull, plain and simple. I've been doing this for fifteen years. IF just wants to rip people off. I had to redo part of our installation because the installers didn't follow my instructions—they knew better, really. After our 3 year contract ran out, we got a lot of calls trying to frighten us into renewing. However, my research, which I wish I'd done before installation, showed me how much a ripoff IF is. You can find as good, if not better, electronic pet fences just by looking. With three years of old battery cases, If one shows strain I can replace it. Getting that supply of cases was the only good thing about our experience with IF.

DixieK (author)Kingring12015-03-09

Warranty? What a sham! IF warranty is garbage. My collar probe fell off in just over a year when the housing plastic broke. IF denied warranty. What exactly is covered? You will find nothing in writing. Complete scam.

jcperea69 (author)Kingring12012-04-26

Yo Kingring1 - You know that a "power cap" is simply a 3V Duracell DL 1/3N Photo Battery right? $4.19 anywhere in town. I used to work for IF and did this all the time in a jam. If you do it right, the collar will be fine. Beats the $25 IF is charging for the "power cap". Use the right battery peeps and you'll be fine. As far as this comment --------> "IF puts a lot of engineering and professional designs into their products and support"... If they really did, they would engineer the "power cap" so you could easily replace the battery with the DL 1/3N and not have to drop $100 a year in IF "power caps".

PS Be sure to lube the "O" ring with a little plumbers silicone lube to keep it from drying up and cracking. That's all..

ffhd1clt (author)jcperea692012-10-05

I've been doing it for years, except I pay way less than $4.19 per battery. I'm getting a CR1/3N ten pack from a place in TX called "Best Byte Computers, Inc. for $15! They charged me $3 for shipping (USPS), so the grand total for 10 batteries was $18, about what IF charges for 1! I understand what the dealer is saying, although you aren't "damaging or weakening the case" if you have the slightest knowledge of how to use tools. In fact, I think the vice grips are way over-kill for this plastic casing. But back to the dealer, and this isn't his fault, but if IF didn't charge an arm and a leg for their "power caps," many people wouldn't be searching for alternatives. I'm in business as well, so I have absolutely no problem with someone making a profit, but this is absolutely ridiculous. They could charge $5 each for these things, and still make a nice profit. Sorry, but sometimes the company asks for it. If you don't agree with me, then please answer this: why do you think $17 per power cap is a fair price? I just checked the IF web-site, and the price for one "power cap" is $16.99. Yes, I realize you can get the price down towards $13 each if you sign up for some kind of plan, but it is clearly too much.

peteosco (author)jcperea692012-07-21

Right on jcperea69, the whole invisible fence thing is a crock. The above fix works like a charm. You're right about the "engineering and professional design". As a matter of fact if they were really interested in attending to the customer and his pet, they could design a collar that beeps when the battery is getting low and have the collar rechargeable like the Sport Dog trainer collars. Now there's a company who cares. IF just wants to bleed you forever. I highly recommend the above work-around.

masjrds (author)Kingring12011-11-29

Here's the issue with that. I just called the IF company and said I would need somebody to come look at why my fence of ONLY 6 MONTHS wasnt working. The woman who answered said "Well it will be $80 for us to come look" Seriously you want $80 to see why YOUR fence stopped working after only 6 months?? I dont think so. Then she tells me Well you can sign up for our battery delivery for $69 and and we can see if that fixes it, since I hadnt changed it yet. I was not told the battery needed to be changed every 3 mohts and am FURIOUS I am just now finding out I have to buy this expensive battery of 3 months. I felt like our rep was dishonest to not mention this fact. I will NOT recommend this fence to anybody I know. I will tell them to go to petsmart like my neighbors tried to get me to do. They got their fence for $300 and the batteries are super cheap! And they have had it for 5 years and NO problems!!

TerriB30 (author)2016-03-02

"Batteries + Bulbs" had this battery in stock for $4.19 each. It was not carried at our local Walmart, Walgreens, nor CVS.

Cooper1712 (author)2015-05-30

IF appears to have made a design change to their power caps to foil this DIY approach. The plastic cover ring you used to have to pry off with the razor blade is now more integrated with the battery container portion of the cap. It no longer sort of snaps off so you can snap it back in. You have to bugger it to get it to come off. Not to worry, the ring is not necessary. I just sort of chipped the ring away and put in a new battery and put it back in the collar without the ring. There is a spring in the bottom of the cap that keeps pressure on the battery. Despite the design change, you still can change the battery.

GeorgeS105 (author)Cooper17122015-12-23

yep all you need to do is open up the hole that exposes the battery with a utility knife large enough to liberate the battery. out it comes. swap with new 4 dollar battery and woolah! saved 35 bucks!

KathyM17 (author)2015-07-08

DavidPapaBoyd (author)2015-03-21

Took me all of 4½ minutes and 4½ dollars to pull this off. I too was told there would be an $80 service call fee after my system failed after 4 months. Although awfully expensive for initial investment, I will say that the system has contained our very adventuresome beagle, Max.

snyderdarc (author)2015-01-13

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the information below. I was not pleased with the cost of the IF instal, then the collars were outrageously priced. Mine came with a one year battery replacement. I've had it 6 months. Found my little dog in the field/forest area behind my house and realized battery dead. this was a Friday. By the time I called them it was mailed to me on Monday, hence 5 days without so far. and I was told they were supposed to last 3 months. This was 2 months. She said my dog tested it more (probably true). Anyway, rather than wait, per instructions below I found one at Radio Shack (don't go there.... too expensive $15). I will try Ace next time or use the 2 1.5v suggestion below. I did as instructed and it worked perfectly. When using the razor blade, the bottom broke off into 2 pieces. i just tossed tham. I am thinking of moving. Is there a better service to use next time..

sstew31 (author)2012-11-28

Thank you for these instructions. I followed them and it's much easier than it looks (I thought it would be tough to remove the end piece but it really isn't even tightly attached) I resolved my immediate need for a working IF collar in about 25 minutes (5 minutes opening the battery housing + 20 minutes driving to and from hardware store) The battery cost exactly $5.06. I was a little afraid it wouldn't go back together correctly but their really isn't anything that can get messed comes apart easily and goes back together just as easily.
I'm actually kinda mad at IF now that I see what they've been charging me vs what it's costing them to produce....argghhhh! Thank's again for these directions. From here forward, I'm keeping my money in my own pocket.

petsolutions (author)2006-04-21

Just to let you know that this procedure voids the warranty on your receiver. It is easily visible that the battery has been tempered with and if there is a problem with the receiver and needs to be replaced you will have to pay to have a new receiver. Why?? Because these batteries can leak inside the receiver causing corrision or the battery may come apart and get stuck in the battery chambers.

ffhd1clt (author)petsolutions2012-10-05

I've been doing it for years, and never once has a battery leaked. In fact, I live on a lake, and my dogs go in the water everyday during the warm months. Besides, who would go in for a warranty claim with a "power cap" that appears to have been tampered with? Just put in one of the rip-off batteries before going in...

Myself (author)petsolutions2006-05-31

Look up the "Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act" before spouting more barrotry.

TC_ChiWolf (author)2009-04-23

I just found that (not Best Buy - Best Byte Computers)has these online for $2.55. If you order 12 they go down to $2.35. The shipping was USPS for $3.00.

I have three dogs, so I got twelve. That should last me a year!

ffhd1clt (author)TC_ChiWolf2012-10-05

That's where I get mine, and I also paid $3.00 for the shipping. I just looked at my last invoice though, dated 09/21/09, and I paid $1.50 each for 10 batteries. They come on a "card," with an expiration date of 03/2020! Batteries like these have a really long shelf-life. The manufacturer on the card shows "Evergreen." These are CR1/3N, exactly what IF puts in their "power caps." I paid a total of $18, including shipping, for 10 batteries. IF charges anywhere from $13-$17 each, depending on how many you buy. They have created sites like this with their greed.

born_yesterday (author)2012-06-26

a good instructable that has stood the test of time! Sad that manufacturer proxies are trying to lie, but there it is. We'd all give them more credibility if those companies were battery manufacturers, but they're not.

GetAGrip2 (author)2012-04-13

Agree with sneedcb. Newer ones appear to be fully molded plastic. I destroyed one figuring that out! Maybe I'll try to CAREFULLY cut the entire way around the barrel part thereby creating two separate halves. I'll tape them together with a narrow piece of electrical tape !?

Worth a try.

Charing $20 for a less than $5 battery. !@#$!@#$ greedy bas$@#%%s.

kesslera (author)2012-03-30

This worked like a charm. Thank you!

The version I have also had a grey top (not black) but it came off easily by following the instructions. Also, my version had a spring built into the bottom of the metal clip. So I had to slightly modify the reassembly.

If you have a spring in the metal clip, for Step 7 carefully slide the metal clip back into the plastic housing, aligning the metal clip with the grooves on the inside of the housing. Then slide the battery in the same directions as originally instructed. Maybe you can to this step with the battery in the metal clip but I found it difficult given the spring.

The rest Steps 8 and 9 are exactly the same and works like a charm!

IF is a ripping off customers with this scam, charging an ridiculous mark up for "special" batteries for no legitimate reason other than to gouge customers.

I moved into a house with IF. My last provider had off the shelf batteries that worked for a couple of years at a time. IF created a design that forces most customers into buying batteries from them and chose a batter to power their system that lasts a very short time (3 months or so) to keep you coming back on a regular basis. How convenient and thoughtful that they even offer a battery delivery plan!

And to further protect their real profit center, they threaten to void your warranty if you dare to deviate from their plan.

I would recommend avoiding this company. When another company has an install sale for new customers, I will terminate my relationship with them.

masjrds (author)2011-11-29

I love how they give you a "warranty" but when I just called they said its $80 for a tech to come look. What a joke!

steve3008 (author)2011-10-28


Has IF changed it’s receiver I bought a new one yesterday and they said the battery(off brand power cap) would not work in the new collar. The battery compartment does look different. I don’t want to ruin a new collar but don’t want to pay those inflated prices either. I don’t mind paying the off brand battery price to avoid having to “make my own”.

Thanks for any info

bwells3 (author)2011-06-21

wow, I just stumbled on this article looking for a cheaper source of the actual batteries. I didn't have a 3v bat, but I had 2 1.5v that I stacked together, worked great. Saving me LOTS of mone!

pupkinator (author)2011-02-22

Let's not mince words here. The Invisible Fence battery was very specifically designed to generate revenue for its dealers. There was no reason that a battery chamber in the collar couldn't have been designed to accept a "raw", off-the-shelf, 3v battery and still provide adequate waterproofing.(My Sony Shower Radio handles such requirements with no issues whatsoever.) Check out radio collars from other manufacturers and you'll see that it's quite possible.

More and more business models are relying on revenue from consumables to keep companies in business, and we the consumers end up footing the bill for years on end. Another facet of the obvious fiduciary goal of the Invisible Fence design is the total elimination of customer-controllable settings in the newer collars. If you want to change anything, a service call is required. Can you buy a setting modification kit for home use? Of course not!

Add to all this the fact that the price of a new collar itself borders on robbery, and the picture is complete. An engineer friend of mine broadly guessed that there are about $10 worth of electrical components in a MicroLite collar. Toss in $5 for the collar itself, $2 for the housing, $3 for the battery, and $10 for marketing, and you have a $30 (max) item retailing for $180.

imho (author)pupkinator2011-03-16

Lot's of products are "specifically designed to generate revenue." It's called Capitalism. The problem is that Invisible Fence adds an extra step in its pricing - a distributor/dealer system. The manufacturer sells its products to local Invisible Fence dealers through regional distributors. These distributors double the price of the products to the dealer, and the dealers must buy all their products from the distributor. The distributor buys powercaps from the manufacturer for between $4.50 - $5.00. They double the price to the dealer who then marks it up again before we can buy it. I am close friends with someone who used to be a dealer for Invisible Fence and it drove him crazy. Invisible Fence better wake up and get rid of the middlemen or they are going to be priced right out of the market.

Biggerdog (author)2011-02-15

Regarding the warranty - if you have a problem with your collar, go buy a battery from the dealer. Install the battery, wait a month or so, then apply for the warranty. If the dealer questions why you haven't bought batteries on a regular basis, explain that you don't use the collar continuously. In my case, that is true. I find that after training the dog and using the collar for a couple of months, I can remove the collar and the dog will still obey the training for about 6 months. Then a couple days with the collar on will give it a refresher course. It isn't even necessary to shock the dog. I put the collar on with the protectors so that all it hears is the warning beep and this is enough to remind it of what can happen.

steelerfan (author)2007-10-02

I'm an IF service tech, and I can tell you that modifying batteries will cost you in the long run. I have seen a few customers do this. I usually find out when I go to service there fence. Eventually the O-ring will dry out and crack and water will leak into the receiver. I have never heard of this causing a dog any harm but owners get very upset when they aren't covered under warranty. Every dealer keeps logs of everything sold to every customer and know when you bought your last battery, also the batteries change in some form from time to time. people caught usually will get their account red flagged for warranty reasons. using the proper power cap is the only way invisible fence can continue to offer lifetime warranty on there equipment.

Giant (author)steelerfan2010-10-12

Hee hee hee! An IF service tech says "use IF products or you'll get a mark on your permanent record!". Need I say more.

dshankweiler (author)steelerfan2010-02-28

 i'd say the same thing for a $99 service call....

Tool Guy (author)steelerfan2008-06-29

Simple directions: 1. Razor blade the "lid" off 2. Go buy a battery (do not pay more that $7-8) Radio Shack, Duracell, Energizer, etc. The battery is nothing special - a 3V Photo battery. Take your old battery to show the store. 3. Put a little rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip and clan out the battery hole in the collar (not alot of rubbing alcohol, just enough to clean, do NOT submerse obviously.) 4. Replace the o-ring if it looks suspect. (Went to Lowe's and bought a pack of 10 for $1.27). Be careful - you do not want to nick or cut the o-ring. 5. Reassemble and place collar around the neck of your furry friend. 6. Play fetch with furry friend.

jeffconnelly (author)steelerfan2008-06-23

Hmmm... Everyone else says that it works well... Could this by any chance be counter-counter-spam?

sneedcb (author)2010-09-21

There is no black ring on my battery. It is completely enclosed with white plastic. If it were to open it would have to be from the other end but it looks like it is glued tight

berick (author)2010-05-02

As far as warranty, it is much cheaper. Why? My dealer wanted $350 for a new RC21 when I got a second dog. %149 on ebay and I'll take my chances with the battery. I've been doing it for over 10 years and the o ring (treated with vaselene) is fine. And like someone else states, o-rings are cheap at Lowes. And right now I am using two 357 batteries as I could not find 1/3N's locally until today.. at Ollies Junk Stuff. Or is it Ollies Real Cheap Stuff,

Anyway, batteries keep the dealer in business, but the battery plan is made to break me for keeping this excellent system,

presidential solutions (author)2009-02-07

I discovered this wonderful resource AFTER I had placed an order for two new batteries from my IF dealer. As usual, they did not have any in stock and they always need payment up front. I am still waiting (10 days now). I did not have a DL 1/3N on hand; but had plenty of Energizer 357's. I used two of the 357's as a temporary "fix" and they work! I have four mutts and have had an IF for 12 years. As far as warranty issues are concerned, I will continue to buy one every now and then and save an original; but my dogs are trained well to the fence and I am lucky enough to not need to buy that often. Thank you everyone for the great information!

As a kind warning to everyone "making their own batteries". I was doing this too for a while until I discovered that doing this caused damage to my IF collar. I know this because my dog is gone.

longer than the 30 dollar ones I was buying from the company

banasiak (author)2009-06-10

I did this over the weekend after my Inv. Fence battery died and my dog left the yard. I didn't want to chase the dog all weekend, so I found this method and it worked great!!! Very easy. I went to Wal Mart and they didn't carry the battery and went to Radio Shack and they had it for 10.00 a little pricey, but 5.00 cheaper than IF plus I didn't have to wait for them to mail it to me. I found a sleeve of 10 of the batteries online for 15.00 + 5.00 S & H = 2.00 a much cheaper it is unbelievable. Very easy to do...don't be discouraged.....

middnite03 (author)2008-05-28

I think this is a great idea,l ut I do have a problem. I just looked at my battery, it is ALL gray, there is no black ring on top, and it looks to be 1 sealed unit, anyone else see this yet??

john5410 (author)middnite032009-05-03

Mine is also all grey. The razor blade slides between the case and that grey ring cover. Look closely amd you'll see the line between the two pieces... worked exactly the same as the black ring shown in the directions... only diff is color....

Cent3rman (author)2009-03-30

Well I'll be... Carefully followed the directions and this works like a charm. It's extremely easy to do. Caused no damage to the cover housing like in photo 4 and it snaps off and back on just like new. I've got a bunch of old caps I can now replace the batteries in. A $5 dollar battery beats a $15 dollar one in my book.

lmeley (author)2009-02-27

I am trying your quick fix for the first time. When I tried to removed the plastic cover, I broke into. Mine doesn't appear to be the same as the one pictured in your instruction. It seems to be a part of the entire housing, same color, and is a brittle feeling plastic. Is there anything you can replace this with, or should I just buy a new battery?

bmen (author)2009-01-12

I know longevity fluctuates with challenges to the fence and with battery selections, but has anyone recorded how long this fix works with different batteries?

paw (author)2008-03-22

I have a battery that is stuck - the ridges broke off when attempting to remove it from the collar. The collar is under warranty, but a tech visit will cost me $99.00. Any tips on how to remove this darn thing without voiding my warranty? Thanks, Paw

mryouthgroupman (author)paw2008-04-06

You can use any sharp object (Knife, pair of scissors, etc.) to pry on it just a little while twisting it. It will come out, no worries. Also, you don't need to purchase the Duracell DL1/3N or the Energizer 2L76 battery. You can use (2) Entergizer 357 stacked in the metal 'u' shaped contact. Drop them into the 'plug' with the 'u' contact in the housing. Make sure the writing on the batter is facing down. Once you reassemble, you should only see the smooth metal.

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