How do I know if my fence posts are set in cement?


How do I know if my fence posts are set in cement? The dirt and grass goes all the way up to everyone of the 30 plus posts.
I need to know now because I may have to take one post out temporarily.
I have an all-wood picket fence that came with the house, installed by a well-known fence company which is still in business at 3 locations in 3 counties 26 years later**. No cement or concrete shows at any post, but no posts have shown any indication of leaning, except the one that the gate is hung on. With that one, I diconnnected the section of fence atttached to it, soaked the earth with water, used a come-along to pull the post vertical, and then nailed the fence section in place while the post was vertical. The post straightened up pretty easily after quite a bit of water, but not a flood.
**I guess I should call them and ask, but maybe no one knows anymore what they did then.
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Get a piece of rebar about 4 or 5 ft long, 1/2" dia would be god, and try to drive it down alongside the post, a couple inches away. You should be able to tell if it hits concrete. Try it in a few spos around the post to be sure.
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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On Sun, 08 Oct 2006 14:18:46 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net () wrote:

Thanks. Boy, is that obvious, NOW THAT YOU'VE TOLD ME!
So, if there is no cement, how hard is it to get a 4" diameter round wood fence post out of the ground, and how do I do it?
CAn I connect a chain to my bumper jack, or a floor jack, wrap it around the post, and jack? If I make some dents in the post, that would be ok.
(And I have an old 4' piece of rebar that, with a rope, had been holding up my apple tree. The tree doesn't need it anymore and it kept me from mowing the lawn right. I threw away the other 3 but kept the last one, even though it was bent too, for a reason I didn't know. Now I know!)
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wrote:

Look up "prussik" knot. It is a good way to have a rope hold onto something. Or, just rock the post back and forth until it is loose, and lift it out.
Bob
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wrote:

I just did. I'll try it.

This is pretty obvious too, nowthat you've told me. I guess I should think more before posting, but somehow those things seem permanent!
Thanks.

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mm wrote:

I tore down an old shed last year that was built on 8 4x4's sunk 2 feet into the ground with no concrete. But the soil around here is heavy clay, and the earth had a death grip on those posts: a four-ton hydraulic floor jack and tow chain failed to do the job.
What finally worked for me was to dig a small trench around each post, and let the garden hose run slowly for about an hour on each post. Then rock the post back and forth, and pull the sucker out by hand.

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I pulled about a dozen 4X4 posts in my yard using a "farm jack" which is kind of a super-heavy-duty bumper jack. If I didn't already own one, I believe a regular bumper jack would have worked OK. Instead of a chain I used a couple big C clamps and clamped a 2X4 block about 8" long to the posts, and then put the jack against the block. If the jack isn't powerful enough, soaking the ground around the post may help. Put the base of the jack on a piece of 2X10 or whatever to distribute the load and keep it from sinking into the ground.
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Done it many times and it works great; just remember to set the jack on a concrete block, paver, or scrap of 3/4 plywood.
It's kind of embarassing when the post doesn't move and you just jack the jack into the ground(done that too)<g>
John
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On Sun, 08 Oct 2006 23:30:47 GMT, "John] "

I hope I remember that. ;) Thanks a lot guys.

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they don't need concrete in some rocky soils in some climates. your particular post may vary from the others. the specifications of the job may have been selected by the previous homeowner or local permit office.
mm wrote:

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