When most people think of poly chloride vinyl (PVC) pipe, it's usually associated with water and drain systems in a house. But PVC pipe offers an attractive and safe alternative to wire fencing for horses. The cost of materials makes it more affordable than poly-vinyl rail or metal tube fencing. It is more durable and less maintenance-intensive than wooden rail fencing. Pipe fencing is highly visible, making it ideal for preventing horses from colliding with the fence.
Things You'll Need
- PVC pipes
- Tape measure
- Plumb line or string
- Posthole digger or auger
- Cross connectors
- Five-way connectors
- PVC caps
- PVC primer
- PVC glue or cement
Call 811 or contact your utility company to locate underground utility lines to avoid when digging. Stay at least two feet away from all underground utility lines. Ensure the fence is built within the bounds of your property lines. Locate surveyor's marks in each of the corners of your property for verification. Plan the fence a few inches inside property lines rather than directly on them. Alternatively, obtain a copy of the parcel map from the county or city offices to establish property lines.
Mark the corners of the proposed area to fence. Drive a small stake into the ground at both ends. Tie a string to each stake. This forms a straight line to follow as you build. Measure and spray paint along the line every 10 feet to mark the postholes. Count the number of postholes.
Use a posthole digger or an auger to dig a hole three feet deep and eight inches wide.
Cut the PVC pipe with a hacksaw. For every hole dug, you will need one 5-foot section of pipe, two 30-inch sections and one 6-inch section. Rough sand the pipe ends.
Add six inches of crushed gravel to the hole. Use a 2-by-4 to compact the gravel within the hole. Insert the five foot pole into the center of the hole. Use a level to check that it is straight, and ask an assistant to hold it in place. Add five more inches of crushed gravel and tamp it down. Repeat until the hole is nearly full, occasionally checking that the pole remains straight. Cover the top of the hole with soil, mound it and firmly tamp it down.
Apply PVC primer to the free end of the 5-foot post and to a cross connector. Add a layer of PVC glue. Position the cross connector so each opening is parallel to the string line. Press down the connector, twisting if necessary, until it is attached to the post. Tap it with a wooden mallet to achieve a snug fit. Check the side openings to ensure they face the correct directions, since this connector holds the bottom rails.
Apply primer and glue to the cross connector on the post and to a 30-inch piece of PVC pipe. Attach the pipe to the connector. Continue to build upward in the same manner, add a second cross connector, a second 30-inch pipe, a third cross connector, a 6-inch pipe and a PVC cap. The completed post is now 10.5 feet, with eight feet above ground. Repeat at every posthole mark. For the corner posts, replace the cross connectors with four- or five-way connectors and cap the extra end.
Use PVC primer and glue to secure a 10-foot PVC pipe into each side opening of the cross connectors, linking the poles along the entire path of the fence. In total there will be three rails, so there will be six 10-foot pipes connected to each pole.
Tips & Warnings
- Some people prefer to secure the posts with cement by pouring cement into the hole instead of gravel and dirt. This is an option if the fencing is intended to be permanent, but is difficult to deal with when changing fencing or repairing posts.
- Do not use PVC pipe fencing for a horse that bolts or presses through fences unless you install a hot wire along the top rail. PVC can shatter under pressure and injure a horse.
- Photo Credit three graces - horses image by leprechaun from Fotolia.com
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