Making post plumb--Helping neighbor

aaluck

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Guys. I need some help. My neighbor's husband died unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago. They had a non-functioning gate that she now wants to function.

The metal post is really in the ground but not plumb--probably 5-6 inches off. I removed the gate with the FEL and then I tried to move/loosen the post
PamGate.jpg
with the tractor but it won't budge.

Anyone out there that works on fences/gates that can give me suggestions on the best way to get this plumb would be appreciated.
 

Flintknapper

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No doubt the metal 'post' is heavily seated in concrete.

How tall is that post? Is it really out of plumb 5"-6"....that is a LOT!

What exactly is the issue? Is the gate dragging or is the gate simply aesthetically unpleasing?

IF the post is actually as far out of plumb as you suggest then pushing it back up straight/plumb (needs to be plumb both directions also) will loosen it so much that it will never stay there. So you'd do better to just dig/pull it and reset it.

IF it was plumb when first set and settled over time (due to soil conditions and the weight of the gate) then you have a different problem to deal with or it will just happen again. IF the post was installed that badly out of plumb (hard to imagine) then resetting should correct it.
 
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Pawnee

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If you want more vertical pull on the post you could try the 3PH with a chain instead of the FEL.
 
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aaluck

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How tall is that post? Is it really out of plumb 5"-6"....that is a LOT!
Yes its at least 4 inches. The gate is on the ground at the "moving" end. Not sure how it got that way.

I was thinking about using my auger to dig around it, move it to plumb and concrete the enlarged area. Do you think that would work?
 
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58Ford

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You can see the concrete pad below the post in the pic. Looks broken and cracked (time/age?) to me. I reckon the concrete will break up as you dig around (long breaker bar works good for me) and just needs to be removed, plumbed and reset.
 
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Tughill Tom

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It looks as if there is a fair amount of electric running in/ around it. Watch with using the auger in there.
 
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fried1765

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Yes its at least 4 inches. The gate is on the ground at the "moving" end. Not sure how it got that way.

I was thinking about using my auger to dig around it, move it to plumb and concrete the enlarged area. Do you think that would work?
You have identified the proper end of the tractor to use (auger), but not quite the proper attachment.
BH!
 

pigdoc

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It's probably asking too much for one free-standing post to support an iron gate that looks to be about 10-feet long, regardless of how the post is anchored. Realize that if you just pour more concrete around the post, it's going to eventually compress the surrounding soil, and you'll be right back where you started.

The post needs a guy wire or two from its top to the ground to keep the top where it belongs.

You've seen gate posts that are like 16-20 feet tall and then connected across the top to the post the gate closes against? That's to support the gate post so that it doesn't settle from the weight of the gate.

-Paul
 
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The Evil Twin

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IMHO, you should probably dig with a BH on the leeward side (left in the photo). That white fence is in the way though. But, if you could dig and then plumb the post then the filling you would need to do would be against undisturbed ground (to the right of the post in the photo). It may have to be opened up to get concrete in. And then it would not be undisturbed. However, that's probably how I'd tackle it. Even if the white fence had to be removed temporary.
I would also add a wheel to the end of the gate to help support the weight. Especially when closed. Assuming that's where it would be most of the time. Weld or U bolt it.
 
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fried1765

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IMHO, you should probably dig with a BH on the leeward side (left in the photo). That white fence is in the way though. But, if you could dig and then plumb the post then the filling you would need to do would be against undisturbed ground (to the right of the post in the photo). It may have to be opened up to get concrete in. And then it would not be undisturbed. However, that's probably how I'd tackle it. Even if the white fence had to be removed temporary.
I would also add a wheel to the end of the gate to help support the weight. Especially when closed. Assuming that's where it would be most of the time. Weld or U bolt it.
I would also do as you suggest, but I have a BH........we do not know if the OP does.
 

The Evil Twin

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I would also do as you suggest, but I have a BH........we do not know if the OP does.
Then auger and a shovel. Or just a shovel. Whatever it takes. It's not going plumb unless dirt is moved.
Maybe for feces and folly I'd try driving a bit down on the left side to open a void. If an auger is all I had.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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Do it right, once, yank it out, clean out the hole, make bigger in bottom(mushroom it), set post, fill with concrete. Post is 5' into ground, right ?
ONCE cured, it'll easily support the gate. I just removed 5 posts (4" pipe) ,11 feet long,set into 6" bored holes, 6' deep,set in 'crusher run'/fine pea gravel.12' wide gate hung from 1, Even the farmers bull never move them !
 
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jkrubi12

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'...best way to get this plumb...'

Got to dig it out, remove as much existing old concrete clinging to the seemingly stout post, then reset it (with temp supports) and re-concrete the entire post with a larger concrete base.

Will require electrical disconnection, temporary white fence removal, full post removal / preparation / resetting / rewiring, then resetting the entire system (white fence, gate, opener, turf). It's a job alright, but that's the 'best way'.

As previously mentioned, without proper procedure any fix is a short-term fix and it won't be long before any work done starts to come undone. The support wheel idea will prolong a short fix, but I'm not sure a 'wheel' will work as expected in that kind of 'turf' situation. I do like the suggestion of support wires, especially if a short-term fix becomes the ultimate solution.

Since the post & gate appear to be in good shape, the solution to the problem should be seen as a restoration of the entire gate 'system' and re-setting the post should be figured into the repair.

If you follow through and do the work on your own, the finished product will represent your 'work standard' which I'm sure you'd like to represent well. There's (unfortunately) no 'quick' fix that's going to to last for any appreciable time.

Any type of 'straightening' effort could result in damage to the existing post requiring replacement or re-fabrication.

Anyways, kudos to you for stepping in to assist the widow. Good luck and I hope you and her are rewarded with a nicely functioning gate in the future. :)
 
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fried1765

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Do it right, once, yank it out, clean out the hole, make bigger in bottom(mushroom it), set post, fill with concrete. Post is 5' into ground, right ?
ONCE cured, it'll easily support the gate. I just removed 5 posts (4" pipe) ,11 feet long,set into 6" bored holes, 6' deep,set in 'crusher run'/fine pea gravel.12' wide gate hung from 1, Even the farmers bull never move them !
Making the post concrete base much larger at the bottom will basically allow the post loading to be distributed over a wider bottom area, but does not improve horizontal stability.
A gate post does not need such additional load bearing capability!
The OP should instead pour a large diameter concrete collar around the post, a foot or more below the ground level
The post needs additional horizontal support/stability at the point near where it exits the ground.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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up here we have plastic inverted mushrooms, some call them 'bigfoots'. Toss in big hole, back fill, tamp real good, then put post in bigfoot, pour in concrete, vibrate. need to go 4' down here to get past the frost line.
Also, some actually fill the post to just below the grade level with concrete.
 
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Russell King

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I agree on the dig out and replace it plumb, preferably with a deadman brace or two (90 degrees to each other in direction of closed and open gate). Try not to make a huge diameter hole unless you want to get a lot of concrete involved.

Read the instructions for the gate opener, I doubt it allows for a wheel touching the ground. They are also finicky on placement in relationship with the gate.

The wiring is probably problematic being inside the post in just replacing the post so tell us how that was done

Can you replace the gate with a lighter weight gate?
 

mikester

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Cheap and easy method:
Acetylene torch and some metal coat hangers for filler rod, cut a notch, bend and re-weld.

More work method:
Pull out the post and concrete, re-pour and make sure post is plumb.
 
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Motion

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I'd first try using the bucket and a chain, lock the tractor down and curl the bucket in the direction needed. Repouring is the best but with break out and electrical, bend it back and move on. You'll own that gate from now on!
 
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Flintknapper

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I'd first try using the bucket and a chain, lock the tractor down and curl the bucket in the direction needed. Repouring is the best but with break out and electrical, bend it back and move on. You'll own that gate from now on!
Post isn't 'bent' it is out of plumb.

Even if it could be pushed/pulled upright....it won't stay.

It would be pointless and unhelpful to do the job poorly. Either do it right....or decline the work.
 
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aaluck

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Thank you to everyone. Given the advice here I have called in a friend with a BH. I also think that given the fact that this somehow ended up out of plumb it needs more concrete.

We will remove it and reset deeper and try to mushroom it a bit (thanks @GreensvilleJay ). I'll follow-up with photos when done.
 
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