How to Replace a Broken Fence Post

Опубликовал Admin
28-09-2016, 12:45
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Depending on the type of post and how it was set in the ground, replacing a fence post can be a manageable job. Taking into account what material the post is made of will help you get the job done well.

Replacing wooden posts and tubular metal posts

  1. Examine the post.
    • Farm fencing usually only has the corner poles set in cement while suburban wood fences may have every wood post set in cement.
    • Tubular metal posts such as those used with chain link fence, are generally set in cement.
  2. Remove the fence from the post by removing screws or nails and pulling it away from the post as much as possible.
  3. Lift the post away if it is loose or broken at the bottom. If it is firmly set, proceed to the next step.
  4. Cut the post off just below ground level with a jigsaw, or hacksaw if leaving the underground portion is not a problem with future plans. If leaving the bottom of the post in the ground is a problem, do not cut off the post, proceed to the next step.
  5. Determine if the post was set in cement.
    • Dig around the post to look for cement.
    • Use a probe close to the post to feel for cement.
  6. Remove the old post.
    • If it’s not set in cement push the post back and forth in the hole until it loosens, then lift it up. If it is stubborn you may need to dig around the post on all sides until the post loosens.
    • A post anchored in cement will need to be pulled out. Cut a notch near the top of the post. Attach a heavy duty chain or cable under the notch. Attach the other end of the chain or cable to a tractor or truck and pull it out.
  7. Choose a new post that is the same shape and height of the old post.
  8. Dig the new hole if you cut off the post. A post hole digger or a narrow spade works best.
    • Dig as close to the old hole as possible, exactly even with it.
    • Make the hole about 6 inches wider than the post on all sides.
    • To determine depth measure the old post from the top to where it set in the soil. Subtract that from the length of the new post. The answer is the depth you need for the new hole.
    • Rent a powered auger that can make holes for fence posts if you have a lot of posts to replace.
  9. Clean out the old hole of gravel, broken cement or loose soil if you are re-using the hole you removed the post from. Make sure the depth is correct by measuring as you would for a new hole.
  10. Set the new post in the hole. Place a small level on top and adjust the post until it sits level in the hole. Have someone hold the post level or use props to hold it in place.
  11. Fill in around the post.
    • Mix a bag of ready mix cement according to package directions. Pour it around the post to the top of the hole. Let it dry 24 hours.
    • If you don’t use cement, and are replacing a wooden post put small gravel in the bottom 6, inches,(15.2 cm), of the hole, then fill the hole with soil to the top and pack it down firmly. Metal poles do not need gravel.
  12. Re-attach the fence to the post.

Replacing Driven Metal Fence Posts

  1. Remove any fence attached to the post.
  2. Drive the broken post below ground level with a sledgehammer if a metal post is broken off near the ground.
  3. Remove the old post if the post is badly bent or broken off well above ground.
    • Push the post or post piece back and forth, rocking it vigorously to loosen the pole.
    • Pull straight up on the post to lift it from the ground. This method works well for those with a strong grip and with a few poles.
    • Rent or buy a post puller if the ground is very hard or there are many posts to pull. You may have to straighten bent posts for it to work. A post puller works using a jack-like device to lift the post out of the ground. Some can be powered by hand and others by a power take off drive shaft on a tractor. If you are pulling hundreds of posts you’ll want to rent a powered post puller.
  4. Select a new post the same length as the old post.
  5. Place the new post close to where you removed the old one and as close to the fence as possible.
  6. Drive the new post into the ground until the triangular blade at the bottom is below ground.
    • Use a post driver, which is a hollow tube with a weighted end that fits over a metal fence post. It has handles on both sides. You lift the driver and let it fall on the post to drive in the post. They are inexpensive and you can find them at farm stores or hardware stores.
    • Use a sledgehammer if you don’t have a post driver to drive the post in.
  7. Re-attach the fence to the post.


  • A small car or lawn tractor may not have enough power to pull out posts anchored in cement.
  • You may need to loosen the fence at the posts on either side of the post you are replacing to give yourself space to work.
  • Don’t cut off a post until you decide if you need to remove the base from the ground to re-use the hole. It’s harder to pull out a stump.
  • If you are near a water source, a strong jet of water aimed at the post base can help loosen the soil.
  • You may need to clip or remove vegetation around the post to get to it easily, especially on older fencing.


  • Use safety goggles when cutting off poles.
  • When pulling out posts with a chain and tractor or truck, make sure everyone is far from the area in case a chain snaps or a pole goes flying. Pull slowly steadily and don’t make fast jerky pulls.
  • Don’t leave jagged post edges sticking above ground. Make a second cut below ground level, sand it off, or hammer down edges.

Things You’ll Need

  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Wire fence clips
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Saw - hand saw, hacksaw or jigsaw depending on what you need to cut.
  • Heavy duty pulling chain - 10 feet (3.0 m) or longer for pulling posts in cement
  • Fence post puller if pulling many driven in posts
  • Post driver or sledgehammer for driven in metal posts
  • Shovel, spade or posthole digger
  • Ready mix cement (for anchoring some posts)
  • Gravel - for wood posts if not using cement
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Some wood props for holding posts straight if you don’t have a helper
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