Replacing fence posts in breezway concrete slab

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Old 05-17-14, 06:52 PM
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Replacing fence posts in breezway concrete slab

Short version: Is there a post base strong enough to support a gate post on a concrete slab?

Long version: After 63 years, posts for the fence across my breezeway have to be replaced. They are set into the concrete slab between the house and driveway and have been sinking for years (see photo). Short of saw-cutting the slab, I don't see any way to do a typical post replacement. Since one post supports the gate and the other receives the gate both have to be really secure.

Removing the old posts, filling the holes with concrete, then using one of the Simpson post bases seems to be my best bet. However, I am worried that even with the beefiest ones I see (E-Z Base or ABU44Z Adjustable Post Base) I could wind up with some wobble, mostly from stress compressing the post where it contacts the base. The wobble then loosens bolts/screws, allowing water to enter, and before too many years they need to be replaced again.

My other option seems to be using posts long enough to attach to the roof beam above. I could live that that not looking as good but the beam is not directly above - only about 1.5 inches of the post would be directly under the beam. Yes, I could notch the post but it would look pretty hokey.

What do you think, would one of the heavy Simpson bases work? Any body have any other ideas? Thanks.

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Old 05-17-14, 08:47 PM
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I've had custom post bases made at a welding shop in the past from a piece of 1/4" x 4" square steel tube that is about 6 to 8" tall, and is welded to a flat plate of steel for a bottom plate. This allows you to anchor the plate to the pad, shimming underneath it with galvanized washers to plumb the post up. A 4x4 fits nicely inside the tube and I just lag it to the steel tube in a couple places. I put a big weep hole in the bottom plate and sealant around the perimeter of the post where it meets the steel to try and keep water out. It's always worked well.

Simpson post bases would be pretty wobbly in my opinion.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for the reply XSleeper. What you describe sounds a lot like the Simpson E-Z Base (see photo) but they are only 5-1/2 inches tall. I will look into that, except maybe more like 12-inches, though I am afraid something custom like that will be way expensive.


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Old 05-18-14, 08:01 AM
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That is similar... never seen that one before! It would probably work okay. A drive pin anchor will probably be your best type of anchor to use.
 
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