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Country Discussion Topics
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Light Pole
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Chris Todd    Posted 05-11-2002 at 07:29:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
How deep in ground should I set a 20' wooden light pole? Is there a formula for diff. lengths?
Thanks in advance

Les...fortunate    Posted 05-11-2002 at 08:49:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes, there is a formula that we use in the utility business. I would say that 4' is prolly okay for a 20' pole. Make sure you tamp it good; a little dirt, a little tamp, a little more dirt, a little more tamp. No rocks.
Some on here would tell you to do this "by the signs" but I say do it wherever you want the thing.

buck    Posted 05-11-2002 at 15:15:40       [Reply]  [No Email]

Now Les you know darn good in well that if you don't plant that pole on the proper sign it ain't going to grow any lights.

BOSS    Posted 05-11-2002 at 15:03:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do you think that formula would work for street lamps? I came across 4-1890 street lamps, on a job. The customer didn't want them anymore and asked us to remove them. I decided to take them and throw them in our warehouse until I can figure out what they are and what I can do with them. I went to the local library and looked at some old city pictures and sure enough there they were. These things are 22ft. high, about 500lbs. a piece cast iron, about 12 inches at the base going up to about 5 inches at the top. with a 6 foot arm with the fancy bent metal scroll. They are going up in our driveway, after I get them sand blasted, painted, and rewired.
Would a 4 ft. footing work for them also??

Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-11-2002 at 23:52:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have set a lot of light standards in the past. If yours are the bolt on type you will need to set a 24 inch sona tube or somthing round to pour concrete in. Make a templet for the mounting base usaley 4- 3/4 to 1 inch 2 ft to 3 ft long L-bolts set in concrete. Take plywood and double nut the ancors to it and set it on top of the tube to hold them in place till the concrete sets up . Make a rebar cage in the tube to keep the concrete together if it cracks. The one I set are usaly set up for 180mph wind load and are set in the ground 5-6 ft deep depending on the height of the pole. For a 22 ft one 4-5 ft would be just fine to keep it from being blown over in a storm. Mark H.

Nathan(GA)    Posted 05-11-2002 at 17:56:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
BOSS, A few cities around here are putting up the replicas like you describe. They look nice!

I'd do like Les says and get top dollar for the originals and buy replicas.

Remember, with most old items, they are worth more with the original patina.

Les    Posted 05-11-2002 at 17:27:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Man, I would do a little more research as to their value and sell the blasted things for the highest dollar you can get and put you in a good lookin replica if you find one you like.
If you do decide to keep them and put them up, maybe think about pouring some concrete in the hole just to be sure. I'm no expert so don't take my word for it, though. What little I know is about wooden poles for electric wires.

DeadCarp - 1890 Street Lamps?    Posted 05-11-2002 at 16:35:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Boy, I'm not too sure about those. And they're cast you say? Even though I haven't seen them, they're probably bent from all that juice climbing way up there all those years.... Tell ya what, I'll have to look at them awhile so you go ahead and haul them over to my place and be careful how you stack them, and I won't charge you a dime for storage! How's that for a deal? Better yet, just stick them in those new holes yonder & I'll try them out for ya! LOL

BOSS    Posted 05-11-2002 at 17:00:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
All that I have been told about them seems to be confirmed by the next little research I do. The railroad took them out when it went through a part of downtown, about 50 or 60 of them, they kept them awhile in their yard and sold them in 1940s to various churches and schools. I got mine from a church, they paid $50 a piece.
I talked to a antique light expert, He said they aren't what they are, everytime he would ask about a part, I would say yes they have them on them, he would act surprised, after about 15 minutes of him asking questions, he said "ah, what the hell, there not worth much, but I'll give you $200 a piece, if you bring them over." I talked to another expert in antiques and she said,"Don't part with them, their worth ALOT."
My neighbor didn't know I had them, and she showed me one that she found after years of searching, and bought it for $400 it was about 12ft high.
I'm kinda excited to get them up, coming up with the money to refurbish them is the hard part. maybe next year.

Hogman    Posted 05-11-2002 at 12:04:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
And all,remember one absolute;"soils engineering is not an exacting science"! ! !

Salmoneye    Posted 05-11-2002 at 08:01:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dunno where you are, but steadfast rule around here is minimum of 4 feet to get below the frost line.
Otherwise the frost will heave that sucker the first year and it will be at an angle or on the ground soon...

Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-11-2002 at 07:53:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Depending on the soil 3-4 ft should work just fine. If the groung is hard pan 3 ft would be good and it would break off befor up ending. If it was sandy I would say 5 ft so it would not get loose. Power poles are set at 5 since wires pull off of them and more wind resistace with cables between them. A farmer once told me about the 1/3 rule 1/3 in the ground and 2/3 above for a good gate post. Mark H.

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