In this video, master electrician Heath Eastman helps a homeowner replace his lamppost that is not exactly to code.
To start, it is a mailbox post, not even a lamppost. The top is wide open to water infiltrations, only held down by a zip tie. It also uses a voltage way too high to use for residential outdoor usage. All in all, it’s an electrician’s nightmare.
Steps for Replacing a Lamppost:
Step 1: Call in the pros to help
- Installing a brand new post from scratch will require installing a light switch and connecting it to the nearest electrical source.
- A trench will need to be dug for the wires and a utility locating service will need to be called in to make sure the digging is done safely.
- Then the wires can be connected from the new lamppost to the light switch.
Step 2: Ensure the wires are GFCI protected
- In this case an underground feeder cable was already in place. UF cables are designed to be buried directly underground without conduit.
- Although Heath prefers to see conduit to ensure that the wire stays protected, as long as the cable is GFCI protected then it meets the code requirements.
Step 3: Start with turning off the power
- After the power is off, disconnect the lantern from the wires and remove the old post.
Step 4: Dig a hole for the post
- Dig about 6 inches deeper than what you want for the post.
- Add gravel to create a place for water to drain so there’s no water buildup.
Step 5: Place the post into the ground
- Make sure the post is facing the correct way. If there is a hole for the sign arm, face it towards the street.
- If there is a hole for the wires, face the hole away from the street.
- Make sure the post is level. Backfill the hole and pack down the dirt, checking the level as you go.
Step 6: Install the base
- Also install the sign arm, and top cap.
Step 7: Make the wire connections
- For this lamppost the wire was just too short to make it to the light fixture. To fix this Heath added a receptacle to the side of the post, made a splice, and ran a new wire to the lamp.
- Drill a hole where the receptacle will go into the post for a conduit connector. This will prevent any water that gets into the lamppost from getting into the receptacle box.
- Splice the old wire and new wire together.
Step 8: Add the light fixture and sign if applicable
- Turn the power back on and test it out.
Splice for underground wiring
The HST 1300 Underground UF Splice Kit for 14- to 8-gauge wire (Gardner Bender) has screw-down connectors to ensure firm contact with the wires. The connectors are then sealed inside moisture-blocking, heat-shrink sleeves.
Lampposts usually come in at least two pieces: the post, and the lantern. In this case, Heath installed a Hammond Lantern Post with Sign Bracket for the post and a Jefferson Post Mount Lantern for the lantern. This particular post was designed with a hanging sign in mind, which can be custom ordered separately. All of these items are manufactured by Walpole Outdoors.
To safely extend the UF cable, Heath decided to install an outdoor-rated receptacle, wire it with the UF cable, and then run a new cable from the receptacle to the lantern. He protected the receptacle using an Expandable Weatherproof In-Use Cover, which is manufactured by TayMac.
- Outdoor-rated receptacle
- Watertight conduit connector
- Weatherproof receptacle cover