How To Install Tension Cable on Chain-link Fence


A tension cable, sometimes called a tension wire, will add stability to the chain-link fabric on a fence. When used near the bottom of the fence, the tension wire makes it more difficult for animals to dig under the fence, since the fabric won't have any give to it. You can choose to thread the wire through the chain-link fabric, or use ties to attach it the wire -- both methods will get the job done.

Things You'll Need

  • Rail-end band
  • Carriage bolt
  • Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Hog rings
  • Place the rail-end band at the bottom of a terminal post. Connect the two flaps of the rail-end band with a carriage bolt, but don't completely tighten it yet.

  • Slide the end of the tension cable through the hole made by the terminal post, the rail-end band and the carriage bolt. Loop the tension cable around until 6 inches have been threaded through.

  • Grasp both the long section of the tension cable and the 6-inch end of the tension cable in one hand. Pull on them to make the loop as small as possible against the carriage bolt. Tighten the carriage bolt to secure the cable.

  • Grasp the loose end of the tension cable with a pair of pliers. Wrap the end of the band around the carriage bolt. Continue wrapping the wire around until there is no slack left in the end of the wire. If the carriage bolt becomes completely wrapped while you still have cable remaining, simply wrap the cable around itself.

  • Thread the tension cable through the lowest diamonds of the chain-link fabric. Alternatively, run the cable on the same side of the line posts as the chain-link fabric. Connect the tension cable to the fabric every two feet with hog rings. Place the cable and the fabric against the back of the ring, then squeeze the ring together with pliers. Do not connect the tension cable to the line posts.

  • Cut the tension cable so it will extend six inches beyond the next terminal post.

  • Pull the wire tight. Attach the wire to the next terminal post in the same manner as you connected it to the first one.

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  • Photo Credit barbed wire fence image by Stacey Lynn Payne from
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