Do you guarantee the Wood Post Puller method will work on my posts? Every situation is different and we can’t guarantee success or that it will be easy – but our customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from a wide variety of applications. Customers have used the Wood Post Puller method to remove 6×6 posts set in concrete bases 3.5 feet deep x 20 inches in diameter. We stand behind the method but nothing will work in every situation and no guarantee is offered.
How will the Wood Post Puller work on broken fence posts? The Wood Post Puller method originated from our need to remove broken, rotten posts set in concrete from the heavy clay soil in Texas when nothing else worked. We recommend using pry bars on opposite sides to grab the concrete footing and lift it out of the ground.
Some digging may be necessary to locate the concrete or if the post has broken below grade level. A broken post makes it more difficult to ‘wiggle’ the footing and get the water to form the mud layer – sticking a pry bar into the stump can provide some leverage, but it may be necessary to do multiple insertions of the spike tool around the base.
Will the Wood Post Puller method work on wood fence posts broken below ground level with no concrete base? The integrity of the wood is the main question for this situation. If the wood is in good shape, but the break has happened below grade, then the Wood Post Puller method can be effective – it may be necessary to dig down around the post until the pry bars can grip the post and pull it out.
The Wood Post Puller makes any lifting method more effective by forming the mud layer and relieving suction force. If the post is badly rotted or the wood is weak then the difficulty will be that any prying/lifting/gripping will cause the post to break apart – in this case, we recommend using a digging bar to break it into pieces and remove.
Can I use the Wood Post Puller on posts that don’t have concrete? What about steel t-posts? Yes, the Wood Post Puller also works for posts without concrete footings and customers have reported success with t-posts as well.
What is the purpose of ‘wiggling’ the post and footing? Our method is fundamentally different than any other post removal tool on the market. After inserting the spike tool into the ground the water is delivered directly to the bottom of the post/footing.
As the water pressure from your hose forces more water out of the spike tool, it naturally spreads along the concrete and creates a layer of mud between the footing and the ground – greatly reducing the friction that holds the post/footing in place. It only takes the smallest movement to allow the water to penetrate and do its work – in difficult situations tapping the concrete and causing a vibration will allow the water to spread and form the mud layer.
What else will I need to remove my posts? The Wood Post Puller method makes any lifting method more effective by forming the mud layer and greatly reducing the hold of the ground on the post while simultaneously relieving suction force, but the spike tool alone will not remove the post.
For normal privacy fence posts (4×4 with concrete footings) the post and concrete together usually weigh less than 200 pounds so a couple of pry bars can easily do the lifting job. We also recommend a hose-end shutoff to control the flow of water.
Does the water pressure make the hole bigger? The Wood Post Puller method will not enlarge the hole when removing the post for typical situations. Watch the video on our website, you can see the hole is the same size as the concrete footing that was removed and there is a top-down view at the very end.
My soil is very hard – can I hammer the spike tool into the ground? The spike tool is well made and sturdy but we don’t recommend pounding it into the ground – the tip is likely to clog and the spike will be difficult to remove.
The recommended method is to use a jackhammer technique of small up and down motions as you insert the tool into the ground. The water will penetrate and loosen the soil in front of the spike with each movement, forming mud that gets pushed out of the way allowing the spike to go deeper each time.
In extremely compacted or sun-baked situations it may be helpful to soak the area with water the night before the work to loosen the top 3-4 inches of soil. The water will naturally run along the edge of the post/concrete and form the mud layer so any little wiggle in the post will be enough – even if the spike is not fully at the bottom.
Why do you recommend using crushed gravel instead of concrete to set the replacement posts?
Concrete holds the water next to the wood and accelerates the rot that will eventually cause the post to fail. A well-compacted mixture of soil and gravel will stabilize the post just as well without the negative aspects – the gravel allows for better drainage so your post will last longer and replacement becomes much easier. Read our post on how to pick the best pressure treated posts for your fence project.