How Much Concrete?

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RT-Cat

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Been thinking of putting up my old Orbitron mesh 10 foot dish. Pipe is about 3-1/4" and about 6 feet out of the ground, all estimates. I am in the woods and do not have "open range" wind blowing, so somewhat sheltered. Want to keep costs down as low as I can. Ground here is what most call "gold sand." There is no clay in it.
So, what do most think of the amount of concrete that should be used?
 

Magic Static

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enough to fill the hole ;) Basically you need to dig below the frost line to keep the pole plumb...4'? Dig the hole as narrow as possible to conserve concrete. If the ground is too soft and keeps caving in you will need lots of concrete or a form at least. One thing you can count on is you won't use too much ;)
 
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RT-Cat

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enough to fill the hole ;) Basically you need to dig below the frost line to keep the pole plumb...4'? Dig the hole as narrow as possible to conserve concrete. If the ground is too soft and keeps caving in you will need lots of concrete or a form at least. One thing you can count on is you won't use too much ;)
OK, I'll get two Earth movers in here and dig 200 feet by 200 feet and 8 feet deep.:eeek Wait a minute, maybe my road won't handle that many cement trucks.
I remember the pipe hole for the first bud in 1984. The seller wanted to make sure nothing moved. That hole(I did to save money) took almost two yards. It sure has not moved since then. My nice Winegard(However it is spelled)is on that pipe today. Ground holds up good here. No cave in problem. Was just thinking there was an amount that most would agree on would be enough to do the job. I guess it is hard to calculate since the Earth is different where ever you go.
 

Radioguy41

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The general width recommendation is 1/3 the length of the pipe. The hole I dug for mine was 3' x 3' x 3.5' deep, slightly flared outward at the bottom, for a 10' pole, leaving approx 7' above ground (set the bottom on a brick). In my opinion anything less risks a high wind tilting it and at that point you would be SOL. Better too much concrete than too little because once it tilts you'll never get it plumb again and have to start over. In the past dozen years I've had two occassions where we had near hurricane winds and the dish never moved.
 
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RT-Cat

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Jeepguy,
That is a little over a yard and only three feet of pipe in the ground and no wind problems. Interesting. How far into the ground is also something I was wondering about. I just don't remember how long that pipe was from the 1984 installer and how far into the ground it went. Looks like three feet would be OK here since wind is not that much of a problem.
.
MS,
I well remember reading of that quality installation you did with that dish. Some day, some time, some one is going to state "what the hell is in the ground here" when they try to remove it!
I have had a hand dug hole 6' x 6' and 6 feet deep open here of four days many years ago and it never caved in. So, no problem with my dirt. (I was a heck of a lot younger back then!)
.
Well, now I have some ideas if I can get my money tree to pop out some leaves over the next few months. Hard to do with Winter coming.....
 

norman881

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Jeepguy,
That is a little over a yard and only three feet of pipe in the ground and no wind problems. Interesting. How far into the ground is also something I was wondering about. I just don't remember how long that pipe was from the 1984 installer and how far into the ground it went. Looks like three feet would be OK here since wind is not that much of a problem.
.
MS,
I well remember reading of that quality installation you did with that dish. Some day, some time, some one is going to state "what the hell is in the ground here" when they try to remove it!
I have had a hand dug hole 6' x 6' and 6 feet deep open here of four days many years ago and it never caved in. So, no problem with my dirt. (I was a heck of a lot younger back then!)
.
Well, now I have some ideas if I can get my money tree to pop out some leaves over the next few months. Hard to do with Winter coming.....
In 2014 I put 4 feet of a 10 foot pole into the rocky riverbed ground here in Spokane County. Last November we had 80 MPH winds take out our entire fence. My neighbor has been using my old fence for firewood. (That is why it is stacked in his yard in the photo) My dish shook a lot during the storm, but nothing moved permanently. I used 16 bags of cement and I filled the pole with cement too.

Just my $0.02.
 

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primestar31

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It depends a bit on your soil, (how soft or hard) and your wind load. I go with 800lbs MINIMUM. 10ft dish, as over 50mph winds a mesh dish is the same as solid, and can cause huge wind loads. My soil in mid-Michigan is sandy loam, and pretty loose. I'm sheltered in the woods, yet get huge winds at times. You'd be surprised what they are capable of doing.

You really should spec this for your average "worst-case" scenario. Say an 80 - 100mph straight line wind. Cement is CHEAP, and once in you never bother with it again. However, not using enough cement, or doing the hole improperly will cause you possibly UNending problems for a long time to come.

Make the hole bell-shaped, (smaller at top) a layer of gravel in the bottom for water drainage (helps keep the pole from lifting by itself), and a flat paver brick leveled and on top middle of the gravel (keeps the pole from sinking before the cement hardens up).
 
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RT-Cat

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Nice 2 cents there Norman881.
The polar mount for that dish covers up the top of the pipe so no rain issue. But the pipe fill up is a good idea.
If I go ahead with this project, I will be sure to use enough concrete and avoid any "pipe fall over" now that I have some good info.
With the very warm Summer here this year(not normal)I can only guess we will pay for it with a VERY cold Winter. I would not be surprised of a very deep frost this Winter.
 
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fred555

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I make the hole as deep as possible, this is as deep as I can possibly get it
with a set of post hole diggers, 4 1/2 feet, then use as much concrete as
it takes to fill it, usually around 16 or more 60 lb bags. It is well under the
frost line here of 18 inches. 4 1/2 feet should suffice anywhere in the continental
US I am aware of as far as the frost line goes, which maxes out at 4 feet up north
I believe.

hole3.jpg
 

wvman

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I make the hole as deep as possible, this is as deep as I can possibly get it
with a set of post hole diggers, 4 1/2 feet, then use as much concrete as
it takes to fill it, usually around 16 or more bags. It is well under the
frost line here of 18 inches. 4 1/2 feet should suffice anywhere in the continental
US I am aware of as far as the frost line goes, which maxes out at 4 feet up north
I believe.

View attachment 119726
To get that deep here with a set of post hole diggers you would need a half a case of dynamite. This is the rockiest place I've ever seen. I spent half a day finding a place to drive in an 8 foot ground rod for the electric when I first moved here. I was about to give up when I accidentally located a sweet spot at about a 45% angle. Even at that, it took a 20lb hammer to drive it in. :)
 
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fred555

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To get that deep here with a set of post hole diggers you would need a half a case of dynamite. This is the rockiest place I've ever seen. I spent half a day finding a place to drive in an 8 foot ground rod for the electric when I first moved here. I was about to give up when I accidentally located a sweet spot at about a 45% angle. Even at that, it took a 20lb hammer to drive it in. :)
One of my buddies has one of these or they can be rented, a big hammer drill.
There is an attachment almost like a big lug nut socket that is used to drive in ground rods.
The ground rod fits inside the socket so it wont slip off. You set it so it just pounds, and not twist.
Makes real quick work of it! Well maybe except for big rocks.

 
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wvman

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Been thinking of putting up my old Orbitron mesh 10 foot dish. Pipe is about 3-1/4" and about 6 feet out of the ground, all estimates. I am in the woods and do not have "open range" wind blowing, so somewhat sheltered. Want to keep costs down as low as I can. Ground here is what most call "gold sand." There is no clay in it.
So, what do most think of the amount of concrete that should be used?
When I was installing BUD's, I dug a 3x3 foot hole, and then went down another 1 1/2 feet in the middle of the hole with post hole diggers. We used a 1/2 inch bolt through the pipe to keep it from twisting in the concrete. The extra 1 1/2 feet of pipe was to drain off lightning strikes. The extra hole was packed with dirt, not concrete. Can I prove it helped? Nope, but I felt it couldn't hurt. It also worked as a non tip point for the dish. I know a guy not far from where I live who tried to use his pickup to pull one of our poles out of the ground and jerked the bumper off his truck.
 

wvman

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One of my buddies has one of these or they can be rented, a big hammer drill.
There is an attachment almost like a big lug nut socket that is used to drive in ground rods.
The ground rod fits inside the socket so it wont slip off. You set it so it just pounds, and not twist.
Makes real quick work of it! Well maybe except for big rocks.

I had access to one of those and tried it, but the rocks were just too big. When they put the water line in a few years ago, they were trying to remove the rocks in front of out house with a track hoe and just about shook our house off the foundation. I had to make them stop and they went and got a jack hammer attachment. It's interesting when you want to build something or dig. I think the ground hogs around here have carbide toenails.
 
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norman881

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When I was installing BUD's, I dug a 3x3 foot hole, and then went down another 1 1/2 feet in the middle of the hole with post hole diggers. We used a 1/2 inch bolt through the pipe to keep it from twisting in the concrete. The extra 1 1/2 feet of pipe was to drain off lightning strikes. The extra hole was packed with dirt, not concrete. Can I prove it helped? Nope, but I felt it couldn't hurt. It also worked as a non tip point for the dish. I know a guy not far from where I live who tried to use his pickup to pull one of our poles out of the ground and jerked the bumper off his truck.
I forgot to mention that I drilled 2 holes at the 2 foot level and 2 holes at the 3 foot level and stuck a 16 inch section of rebar through the pipe at both levels. Thanks for the reminder wvman.

$0.02 more cents,
Norman
 
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RT-Cat

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Lots of good stuff here. I like the carbide toenails. Will have to tell a friend of mine that has a problem with a wood chuck and his diggings.
I was aware of the bolt to stop a twist.
The cement bags stated here were "redi-mix" or what ever you want to call it. I will have to check on 90+ pounds of cement only and getting the gravel to go with it to get the one that costs less for the amount of mix I end up with.
That three foot hole with a smaller hole brings up memories of my 1984 install. I have a three foot round mound above ground that tapers a little away from the pipe, so that makes me think of back then when I put it in. Memory gets foggy as you get old.....
I am going out today and check on prices of all the stuff I will need. Will see if/what the local recycle center has to offer for pipe. I know I have seen some there in the past when I was walking through their yard. I just may have a lucky day and find exactly what I want.
All I need now is someone to do all the work. I asked my avatar but at 16 years and overweight his only comment was a big snarl.
Bummer, Tried to add a picture, but can't get that to work.
 
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Radioguy41

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To get that deep here with a set of post hole diggers you would need a half a case of dynamite. This is the rockiest place I've ever seen. I spent half a day finding a place to drive in an 8 foot ground rod for the electric when I first moved here. I was about to give up when I accidentally located a sweet spot at about a 45% angle. Even at that, it took a 20lb hammer to drive it in. :)
Yeah, same here, it's all rocky shale. At my previous house the guy actually broke the frost tooth off the bucket laying in the water pipe. He was not a happy camper. The only way you can dig around here is during, or immediately after, a steady rain.
 
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