Ground Sleeve for Wood Posts?

pbx2_gwJune 13, 2014

Is there an in ground sleeve that I can put into the ground to be able to slide a trellis out & in easier?

Background:
I have a decorative 3 sided wood screen/trellis that I have on the side of my house to shield a tankless water heater hung on side of house.

Trellis is installed in ground via 2 posts that holds the front panel. Side panel unscrews of the front 2 posts & only serves as balancers & side screening.

Issue:
However, getting the trellis posts back into the ground always is a chore & it doesn't go fully back into where it came out of...leaving about 3 inches of unpainted posts showing above ground.

Want:
When doing maintenance on the tankless water heater, I can pull the posts out of the ground & the entire trellis can be removed for easier front access to the water heater.

I assume the trellis is fabricated with pressure treated wood 2x4's.

(sorry I don't have pictures handy at the moment to demonstrate.)

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kudzu9

Make your own sleeves...I have, and it's cheap. Just get some ABS piping of approximately the right inside diameter, and cut to length: maybe 2 feet. A 2X4 has a diagonal of about 3.8" so it should fit into 4" ABS pipe with just a little slop. If you use a 3" ABS pipe with a 2X4 you would have to trim some of the base of the 2X4 so it can fit inside.

The best approach to setting the pipes into the ground is to fit them to the trellis posts, dig the holes, and set the whole thing -- trellis with bases inserted into the pipes -- into the holes and backfilling. That way you don't have to worry about positioning the pipes in exactly the right spots to receive the trellis...the trellis will make that happen.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 2:16AM
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pbx2_gw

Thanks kudzu9!! Exactly the type of info I was looking for.

Any reason to go with ABS vs. PVC?
Do you backfill with rocks or something else?
I assume that because the ABS pipe is round, that there will be some room around a square-ish 2x4 post?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 3:47PM
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kudzu9

You can use either ABS or PVC. I just prefer the ABS because it is black and less noticeable. There will be some space inside the pipe around the post, but that will provide drainage and make the post end last much longer. If the post is a good fit for the pipe, and since the rest of the trellis will stabilize everything, I'm not sure you need to backfill. If you did backfill, you could use some washed gravel, but just remember that you will have to get it out of the pipes each time you pull the trellis and want to reinstall it. If you need more stability, some properly sized wood wedges would do it. After you install them, put a screw into each one right at the rim of the pipe. This will make it easier to pull them, and they won't slip down inside if they shrink.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 9:01PM
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SaltiDawg

kudzu9,

The OP should really be grateful for your response!

Great job!

SaltiDawg

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:21PM
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kudzu9

SaltiDawg-
Thanks. Sometimes I have useful solutions...which are typically based on my previous trial-and-error efforts!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 11:04PM
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scrappy25

Are you saying that the space around the 2x4 inside the pipe should not be filled? Why would that not just fill up with water and decaying grass clippings?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:32PM
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kudzu9

scrappy-

  1. Unless it's pressure treated wood, it would be better to not have moist dirt in continuous contact with it. If you place a couple of inches of gravel or drain rock in the hole and then put the pipe in, any moisture should rather quickly drain away.

  2. The original poster plans to occasionally remove the trellis, and having the pipes filled in will make removal harder and will mean getting down inside the pipes to remove any remaining fill before the trellis can be set back in.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:36AM
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natashaB

That was interesting. I would suggest that you make your own sleeve.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:20AM
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pbx2_gw

Posted by kudzu9 (My Page) on Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 1:36
er plans to occasionally remove the trellis, and having the pipes filled in will make removal harder and will mean getting down inside the pipes to remove any remaining fill before the trellis can be set back in.

kudzu9 - I was thinking that the sleeve would be a wall surrounding my 2x4 post & would thus keep the pebbles & drain rocks outside the perimeter of said sleeve.

The space around the post may be empty but rain or water would fall to the bottom opening of the sleeve into the french drain rocks at the bottom.

I can then remove the trellis anytime i want without fear of backfill rocks stopping the re-install of said trellis.

Below is the problem I am trying to solve.

This post was edited by pbx2 on Wed, Jun 25, 14 at 21:38

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:26PM
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kudzu9

pbx2-
You've got it. Your interpretation is correct and there is no need to put any kind of fill inside the pipes, particularly as you want to be able to pull out the trellis easily and then reinsert it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 1:36AM
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dennisgli

You could put rounded, pressure treated fillers on the long side of the 2x4s at ground level. That would help keep stones, etc from falling down the sleeves.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 12:42PM
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pbx2_gw

Thanks dennisgli - are you suggesting a cut to fit cap of some sort over the sleeve?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:12PM
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hippy

Just use a Composite Sleeve. A 2x4 will easily slide into 2x4 sleeve and fit snugly.

Beats the heck out trying to stuff a 2x4 (1 1/2 x 3 1/2" actual size) into a piece of 4" PVC.

Be sure to seal the bottom by screwing a piece of Composite deck board to it. Drill a hole in the board for drainage and add a handful or two of small gravel or stone. You can then pull the post out easily and even replace them without having dig up your yard but once.

This post was edited by hippy on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 23:58

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:53PM
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pbx2_gw

@ Hippy - my solution after feedback from above:

Put Oatey's Cement on four 4" NIBCO couplers together:

Stacked 4 each into two 16" holes in the ground.

Backfill & bolster around each 'silo' with the dirt I dug out & slid the 2 trellis posts into each with plenty of room to spare.

I didn't put anything at the bottom of each silo & will see if any earth pushes into bottom opening. I doubt it but will monitor. If so - I have left enough space to add a few drain rocks to the bottom to support any mudslides. haha.

It's a neat solution & thanks to Kudzu9 above for the detailed but succinct explanation of the concept.

I'll post pics some times. I was soo excited about how well it worked as planned, I forgot to take pics. LOL!

Here is a link that might be useful: NIBCO 4

This post was edited by pbx2 on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 13:05

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 3:30PM
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kudzu9

pbx2-
Glad it worked out for you. Should make life easier...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 3:35PM
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hippy

Thanks for letting us know that you got it.

Just to add. The rock in the bottom is to allow water to drain so that your post are not submerged in water or mud causing them to rot prematurely..

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:42PM
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