Making concrete mailbox post with pvc


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Old 06-23-09, 06:42 AM
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Making concrete mailbox post with pvc

Due to vandalism problems, I want to make a mailbox post using concrete in a 4" or 6" pvc pipe. Can i just mix enough regular concrete and pour in? Can I use the fast setting no mix concrete? Also I would be setting the post in deep hole with concrete. Any special concerns with pvc pipe interacting with concrete? Thanks.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:12 AM
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If you are talking about regular PVC pipe, were you planning to cover it somehow? White PVC drainpipe will degrade and get brittle if exposed to the sun.

No problem with the PVC and cement/concrete.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:27 AM
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Thanks gunguy.

Re the pvc pipe and sun damage: its a fairly shady location and I was planning on using the sch 40 pvc not the lighter drainage pvc. If you still think the pvc will deteriorate, can you advise:

what to use to protect the pipe, paint?...?

could I expect the concrete post to do ok after the pipe is deteriorated?

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:38 AM
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I really couldn't say to either question. But any of the standard drain or water pipe will degrade. Paint might work, though getting it to adhere well might be a problem...then you have a maintenance issue.

Why not use a PVC/vinyl fence post cut to the length you need. They have UV inhibitors in them. and if you want it strong, put 3 or 4 pieces of rebar in the post with an "L" on the bottom out into the concrete in the ground.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:40 AM
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Thanks gunguy, sounds like a plan.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:43 AM
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You may be setting yourself up for a lawsuit.
The federal goverment (US POST OFFICE ) states that the mailbox post must be made to break away if impacted by a vehicle. If you make it the way you describe then you have actually created a road hazard and can be sued if someone crashes into it with their car.
Since the mailbox is actually on the road or street right-of-way it needs to be break-away.
Stupid or bright idea depending on which side you are on but I wanted to make you aware.
This is what my road commision sent out:
A single 4 inch by 4 inch square or 4 inch diameter wooden post, or a metal post with a strength no greater than a 2 inch diameter standard steel pipe and embedded no more than 24 inches into the ground will be acceptable as a mailbox support. A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate, but may have an anti-twist device that extends no more than 10 inches below the ground surface. Larger wooden posts may be used provided the posts have drilled holes and the support design has been shown to be safe by crash testing, approved by the U. S. Department of Transportation.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:47 AM
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I used a PVC mailbox post which was 4x4 and hollow for 15 years with no issues.I'm sure you could figure out a way to pour concrete into it and it would probably last forever.

Maybe fill it upside down and let it set then put it in your hole and concrete in.It would be heavy so might need a hand and you'd have to create some support for a couple days while the setting hardened but it would probably last forever.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:49 AM
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Badeyeben, thanks.

Your comments bring me back to my original plan of the 4x4. Don't want the vandals suing me, or someone innocent getting unneccesarily injured.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 07:53 AM
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Ben...that makes no sense to me. What about the custom mailboxes built into brick/stone columns that you see at some houses? Or the ones made of stacked over hanging brick or block? Or welded anchor chain links?

Of course it is a Gov Agency...so making sense isn't a requirement...lol
 
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Old 06-23-09, 09:37 AM
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I ran down the reg and yes the federal highway administration does have rules that prohibit what would be a post that didn't break away.

In fact what the poster was sent by local authorities is word for word the regulation.

Perhaps there is wiggle room but it's probably a better idea not to take too much of a chance.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 09:49 AM
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Question

Do federal highway regulations only apply to federal highways, or do they also include state and county roads and city streets? Asking for information, not trying to argue against a federal law.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 10:18 AM
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Not to beat a dead horse...but I'll just give it a kick or 2...lol.

The USPS only regulates the mailbox itself and the mounting height, distance from the road..etc. The post itself is regulated by local (county, state, etc) authorities IF they have such rules in place. Most base the regs on the RECOMMENDATIONS/Suggestions of the FHA.

The FHA does have regs/rules on sign posts, barriers etc for Federal highways, and most states have adopted those for their DOT regulations. But those only apply to things on the Gov right of way.

Maybe the rebar would cause a problem, but a 4" diameter column of concrete in a vinyl fence post would break/shear off and shatter easier than a 2" steel pipe I would think.

OK, horse beating done.
 
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Old 06-23-09, 11:57 AM
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So ultimately it's a try it at your own risk deal.It appears you local area is using FHA regs.And yes I doubt a 4 in concrete post would technically violate the rules but then it would be up to the person interpreting the rules to decide.

That is if you ever have a situation where this comes into play.You're trying to deal with vandalism not vehicle collisions.I'd certainly put reflectors all over it and place it as far away from the road as possible etc.

High strength concrete might eliminate the need for rebar but it's a bit harder to find.

One last whack at the horse?
 
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Old 06-24-09, 10:19 AM
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Here is a kit I found.
THUNDERBIRD FOREST TREATED MAILBOX POST 312485 THUNDERBIRD FOREST PRODUCTS
I do not think anyone has a mailbox checker on duty going around seeing if everyone's box is on a proper post. I am just saying in this sue happy world we live in some people or lawyers will say the post should have broken and not caused the vehicle so much damage or injured the people in the car.
As far as putting the post off the right of way, well here the right of way is 16 feet from the center of the road. I doubt the mail person would deliver to the box that is that far off the road. There are rules on that too. I live in a rural area and actually had to have the post office send someone out to mark where the box went for me. I live by an intersection and the box had to be 60 feet past the intersection. So when the mail person was stopped at the box they woulds be clear if someone ran the stop and turned my way they had time to see the car before they hit it.
Granted there are many of the brick and welded chain posts around here too. The same thing happened to me and others where someone went around knocking boxes off the posts or actually knocking the posts down. I myself think the $30 or $40 for a post kit and some time doing the job is much cheaper than several hundred or thousands for a lawsuit. Kind of like insurance. You have it just in case you need it but hope you never do.
That horse is pretty badly beat up now!!!
 
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Old 06-24-09, 10:55 AM
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Thanks all for replies. FYI, late last summer my metal mailbox was badly dented and replaced with a rubbermaid mailbox. A week or so later they gave that a good swat but I was able to repair. Then last week, they just took the whole thing, post and all. It was not well secured in the ground.

Don't have kids old enough to have teenage enemies, etc., and no suspects my wife or I can think of so we figure somebody has taken an interest in annoying someone they don't know. Plus the house is distant from the mailbox, on a semi-rural road, so its easy pickin's.

So I am now thinking of a 4x4 post, buried 24 inches per allowable specs, probably with some cross pieces to make it harder to pull out. And the mailbox support I'll make good and sturdy. I figure this may be fairly vandal proof.

But there is always the mailbox. Don't think there is any legal version that can survive being pounded. (Could surround it with 2x's...might hold up). So my plan is too remove the target....

I'm going to fashion the mailbox so it can be removed easily. We will bring the mailbox out in the morning when we pick up the paper, which we do every morning, and fasten it to the post. When we pick up the mail late afternoon, we'll grab the mailbox and all. And so on. If we forget to bring it out, we'll get it the next day.

Hopefully my mailbox replacing days will be over. Maybe its a little extra effort, but it tickles me to think these huckleberrys will be lookin' for a mailbox that just ain't there.
 
 

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