29

Purchased this house last week and the previous owners also did not know what it was. The pipe is heavy duty and set in concrete. There's water about halfway up the length of the pipe, but I haven't tested the depth.

enter image description here

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UPDATE: it was definitely an early generation giant satellite dish. Not only did we find 2 buried coax cables running towards the house when we removed it, I've since spotted several other such remnant poles in backyards across town.

  • 3
    Flagpole? They have been known to be stolen... – Harper Apr 3 '18 at 16:18
  • 13
    You should do something about that standing water. Mosquitoes breed in such. – Brock Adams Apr 3 '18 at 16:33
  • 9
    I strongly suspect that this pipe used to have a very large dog tied to it – Valorum Apr 3 '18 at 19:02
  • 3
    Side note: If you aren't going to remove the pole, a tennis ball or racquetball can cheaply plug the hole to avoid creating a mosquito habitat. – bta Apr 3 '18 at 22:52
  • 8
    The fact that it's set in concrete suggests that it was meant for supporting something, and it's not a pipe for water, gas, sewage or whatever. – Mike Baranczak Apr 4 '18 at 1:01
49

Since the pole is so thick and there's only one of them, it could have been the base of a satellite dish - like one of the old 8' dishes (big, not sure of exact measurements).

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The height is about right for that, and it's kinda short for a clothesline.

It filling with water is just from the rain. I've never seen anything plumbing or well related that looks like that.

  • 3
    I think this is a great guess. A dish there would have an unobstructed view of the southern sky. – Drew Apr 3 '18 at 14:01
  • 1
    Is that a ground wire wrapped around the base. – Kris Apr 3 '18 at 14:08
  • 1
    @Kris, no, if you look at it you can see the rusted remnants of a D-ring on a loop at the end of the cable. This vinyl covered braided wire rope is commonly sold for dog runs like this. – JPhi1618 Apr 3 '18 at 14:11
  • 1
    @isherwood, why do you think that's cast iron, and not weathered steel? That picture looks a lot like a post that's set in the back yard of a house that I own, and the one in my back yard is steel for sure. Like the OP, I don't know what the original purpose was, but it does have a clear view of the southern sky, and it has been used to support one end of a laundry line in recent years, and it also has been used to support a bird feeder. – Solomon Slow Apr 3 '18 at 16:19
  • 4
    The way it's broken and the thickness of the wall point to cast iron. Steel doesn't crack off like that, and is rarely that thick. This question is essentially asking for educated guess with no way to confirm. That's mine. – isherwood Apr 3 '18 at 16:40
23

My vote is that it is for a clothes line/rack. Water is just accumulated over the years from rain.

Example 1:
Woman hanging clothes on outdoor rack

Example 2: Kids swinging on outdoor rack

  • 4
    That's a fair guess, but it would be the most overbuilt clothes line rack pole I've ever seen! That pipe is almost a half inch thick! And there isn't a corresponding pipe elsewhere on the property. – Drew Apr 3 '18 at 12:30
  • 2
    If it was a for a clothes rack instead of a line, it wouldn't need a second pole/proximity to a house. Also the height just has to be enough to insert the rack, which could have its own pole. My parents-in-law's house had a rack in their back yard on an 8x8 concrete pad, so, sometimes things are just overbuilt? – stannius Apr 3 '18 at 14:48
  • 2
    Looks like base of part of umbrella-style drying rack: bestdryingrack.com/images-new/… – Bald Bear Apr 3 '18 at 19:11
  • 1
    @BaldBear My great-grandparents house (still in the family until recently) has a pole mounted just like this in the back yard, holding a clothes rack similar to the image you linked. Decades ago (ever since an indoor electric/gas dryer was common) they gave up on keeping kids from swinging on it and added hanging seats on each arm. Very fun for young kids and a classic example of their generation's frugality in re-purposing things. – brichins Apr 3 '18 at 20:19
  • 1
    My great-grandparents house has a clothesline in the backyard using exactly this type of seemingly-overkill pole (been there since at least the 1950's). It could hold enough wet laundry for the weight to pull the pole off of plumb, which could explain the OP's concrete. – bta Apr 3 '18 at 23:01
8

Remnant of a basketball pole, maybe?

  • 1
    That's also an interesting guess. The diameter is certainly in the ballpark. – Drew Apr 3 '18 at 12:30
  • 6
    Doubtful, no court or hard playing surface. – Tyson Apr 3 '18 at 12:40
  • 17
    Back in my day it was common to do backyard basketball poles without a playing surface. Purely for shooting baskets... – Brian Knoblauch Apr 3 '18 at 15:28
  • 1
    Tetherball is another option. – Benjamin Apr 3 '18 at 16:07
  • 2
    @Benjamin - It wouldn't be tetherball so close to the fence. – Hot Licks Apr 3 '18 at 21:41
-4

Perhaps used for grounding ? It must work specially when in touch with water or wet earth.

  • 3
    This big and so far sticking out of the ground? In concrete? Unlikely. – Mast Apr 4 '18 at 18:31

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