The power company says I can put my permanent service entrance on a 6" x 6" pressure treated post. My friend suggested I consider a metal post sunk in concrete, for greater longevity.

How long should I expect a treated post to last in the ground?

Here's the diagram the power company gives:

Puget Sound Energy Remote Meter diagram


A PT post will last a long time in concrete, maybe 5 to 10 years in soil alone. I suggest you embed the post in concrete, trowel a peak around the post so water runs off, and don't let the PT post come in contact with the ground.

If you find the RV posts I mentioned earlier, they are steel, treated and when put in concrete will last 25 years or more.


It will not last long (7 yrs max) if the bottom of the post is wet. If you place stone at the base of the post, it should last 20+ yrs.

  • That's common advice, and I believe it's true for most soil types, but for rich clay that doesn't drain well, it may make the situation worse: it will give water a place to pool. – Jay Bazuzi Oct 17 '12 at 3:52

The length of time will also depend on whether it has been cut after manufacture or not as well. The treatment does not always deep seep into the timber, therefore making any post delivery cuts may expose any untreated timber. Always best to retreat a fresh cut before installing.


I am an experienced fencing expert and decking master. I know 100% that a spruce timber post will not exceed 4 years before collapsing with rot once buried in the ground.

  • Is that a pressure treated post, or an untreated post? – Tester101 Apr 26 '17 at 10:46

I had 2×6 pressure treated lumber laying above ground on 8 inch cement block storing it out side for about 23 years exposed to snow. sun ECT. It has not even started to rot or crack this is concrete applied proof so take it from here but the individual outside stair tread has started to open face crack cause I neglected to seal it with linseed oil mixed with powdered milk that makes it water proof and durable many many more years.

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