TECH TIP: Don’t Set Poles Directly on Concrete

Light pole base plates should not be set directly onto concrete footings, regardless of how level and smooth they are. Light poles need leveling nuts. In the wind, all poles vibrate and move ever so slightly. Over time, the concrete will become worn down and start to disintegrate, making the top nuts loose. This problem will get exponentially worse over time until the pole or washers fail. Proper installation is leveling nuts and washers under the pole base with top nuts and washers above the pole. This allows the pole to be leveled and maintains the metal-on-metal connection that won’t get loose over time, if installed correctly. If the existing anchor bolt projection is too short to add leveling nuts, check out our Thread Extenders to get more useable thread!

Poles should not be set with expanding (Red-Head) anchors for the same reason. Retrofit anchor bolts should be drilled and epoxied. For more information see our tech tip on drilling and epoxying new anchor bolts.

Most light poles that look to be set directly on the footing are actually set on leveling nuts with dry pack filled in after the pole has been installed. See our previous tech tips on dry pack and water drainage.