how deep should I bury the post on a split rail fence?


I'm trying to replace a post on a split rail fence and I'm having a hard time digging out the remains of the old post. I've gotten down about 17 inches and the post is going to rise about 38" off the ground. Is that enough? I've been reading that I should use gravel as a base is that recommended or will just backfilling the dirt be good enough to hold it?
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Gravel in the bottom of the hole is needed for drainage. How long did the old post last at 17" or is it deeper than that? A PT post should last as long as the original under similar conditions.
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don't know only owned the house 2 years. Looks like the fence is at least 10-15 years old, maybe more. The old post is deeper. I'm having a hard time removing it so that's why I was wondering if 1/3 underground would give it enough leverage to hold up.
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33 feet.
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Many places 1/3 is the rule, some more some less, it depends on the stress that the fence may get (holding up a gate, or having kids climb the fence or containing large animals. It also depends on the local soil conditions. It is always a good idea to have several or more inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole to allow drainage and reduce rot.
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Just hope you called the free utility marking service before digging. Even though only 18", in milder climates, CTV and water can be close to the surface. As long as you call and they mark it, if you hit something heeding the markings it's no $ to you.
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wrote:

The post needs to be below the frost line if you want to avoid the freeze-thaw upheaving. Put a 2" layer of gravel in the hole before placing in the post.
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I'm sure. You might rent a little two-man auger and auger a hole next to it, or put an old chain on a saw and cut it into pieces.

Sounds like a decorative fence, that should make it last until you're dead. If you have livestock and they lean into it it'll last maybe a week.

A couple inches of gravel in the bottom will aid drainage, tamping ALL the dirt back into the hole should hold it until you're past post replacement age. -----
- gpsman
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how about along the sides at well, will that enhance the life of the post? I noticed a bunch of tree and bush roots had made their way through the old post.
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Eh, there are different schools of thought. I'm a "no concrete" guy. Posts are temporary, they are going to need replacement, no matter what, even if they're locust.
I like to keep it simple. -----
- gpsman
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