Asked on Apr 02, 2012

"Replanting" a clothes line

by 3po3
Last summer, I made a concrete base around a clothesline pole to put it in the ground. On the advice of Hometalkers and others, I made the bottom of the base wider than the top to prevent the frozen soil from heaving it out of the ground. It didn't work. During the winter, the base cracked and the narrower core was pushed loose. I hope this description makes sense, but basically I am trying to figure out what to do now to get it in the ground and keep it there.
  8 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 03, 2012
    How deep did you make this? I've done dozens of deck footers in concrete with never a problem of the concrete failing. Did you wet mix or dump in dry mix and then add water like for some fence post type installs?
  • 3po3 3po3 on Apr 03, 2012
    Thanks for the reply, Kevin. It's not very deep because I didn't have much to work with on the bottom of the holder for the pole. I couldn't really bury the thing deep because I wanted to be able to remove the pole for the winter. I guess I'm wondering if I should A. Try and break off the existing concrete and start over B. add concrete around my current base C. some other other brilliant option that I haven't thought of.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 04, 2012
    For a "removable" system you could set a piece of PVC or ABS plastic centered in a deep Sono tube type pier. The metal clothes line pole would fit "inside" the PCV pipe. Here PVC is better than Galvanized as it would not "rust" together to the metal pole. An end cap can be set over the PVC during the winter to prevent debris from getting in there.
  • 3po3 3po3 on Apr 04, 2012
    KMS, you're a genius. I wouldn't have through of using PVC, but now I have more questions. Is a "deep Sono tube type pier" something I can buy or do I make it, and how? Also, part of why the current base is so shallow is that the installation instructions suggested putting a few inches of rock in underneath the bottom of the base, and leaving the drain hole open so water doesn't pool in the base. Is that something I should worry about?
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 05, 2012
    The sono tubes are giant cardboard tubes that are yellow on the outside and have a cardboard color inside that is coated with a wax type layer. They normally come in 4 foot lengths but you can get bigger ones, for really tall projects...I used 6' 12 and 16" ones when I built my addition. The 6" size should be fine for this project. This project could be done with just 1 tube cut in half to 2' You can find them at your local home center back in the concrete section. I would set the pvc in the concrete with an end cap installed at the bottom. A roofing vent stack rubber boot can be installed at the bottom of the metal clothes line pole to act as a cover to keep water out, when the pole is removed a pvc cap can slip over the opening during the winter.
  • 3po3 3po3 on Apr 05, 2012
    Thank so much Kevin. You always come through for us all. I will check this out and try to get this replanted this weekend. Cheers.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 06, 2012
    I spent yesterday digging out concrete fence footers...three out three poured. Today I have two more to go and then I can start on the fence and gates....I forgot to bring my "rock bar" yesterday...this soil in N. Boulder is full of rocks and is heavy with clay...not the best the dig in. Hopefully your digging is better.
  • Glenda Pino Glenda Pino on May 10, 2015
    When my clothesline was installed several years ago, it was set in concrete. Over the years the metal has failed. I am thinking of putting a round cardboard container (oatmeal container) and filling with cement and then peel off the cardboard. What do you think about this idea?