Replacing a lamppost

I am going to replace the post lamp out front. As long as I am at it, the post is pretty rusty, so I might as well replace it also.
How are posts installed? Presumably I have to dig the old one out, but what will I find when I get down there? Is there a box, or does the cable just enter at the bottom and run up to the light? Any concrete? I would rather be prepared than surprised. Thanks
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Prepare to be surprised.
It can be anything from a mondo big footing to a couple of shovels of concrete. It may be in PVC conduit, or may just be a direct bury wire. Junction boxes to wire nuts.
Whatever you do, kill the current to it, and test it before you do any digging or pickaxing.
Within a couple of minutes, you will have a good idea what's there.
I have replaced two, and they are really simple to do with direct bury wire, and a simple form for the new post. Don't let the concrete get inside the post to concrete in the wire.
Steve
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The way it's usually done today is with a direct bury wire, running up to the top of the light (no box). It may also be done the same way with conduit -- usually no buried box.
It's probably set in concrete. If it's done correctly, they'll have used a short conduit (assuming direct-bury wire) that the wire can be pulled through before pulling up the concrete. If it's done poorly, the wire may be sandwiched into the poured concrete and you'll have to be very careful when removing it.
If it were me, I'd probably just try repainting the pole (sanding off rust, using a few coats of good rust-preventative primer, then a good rust-preventative paint) before going to all that work if it's in otherwise good condition.
-Tim
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