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Tall PVC Flagpole Answered

I know there are already instructables that show how to build a PVC flagpole, however what I need to build is different.  I want to build a flagpole that is 15-20 feet tall and can withstand relatively strong winds.  In addition, it needs to be portable and be able to be disassembled, so the sections of PVC can be no longer than 5-6'.

I am worried that just using standard PVC connectors to connect the different sections will not be strong enough to withstand the wind.  This flag will be placed in the sand on a beach facing the ocean, so a 15-20' tall flagpole will need considerable strength.

I figured I would use a 5 gallon bucket filled halfway with cement as the base, and then bury the base in the sand so it is sturdy on the bottom.  From there, I am having trouble coming up with alternative ways to attach the sections of PVC (besides connectors) that will withstand high winds and not snap.  Do you think the connectors will in fact be strong enough? If not, are there any good alternatives?

Lastly, would drilling holes into the PVC (to attach eye hooks) compromise the strength of the PVC too much?


I'm not sure about how you might join the sections together, but as you say that this will be used at the beach, why don't you get a bucket with a lid on it and leave it empty, that way, it wont be as heavy to carry around, and you can store some of the PVC sections in it. For the weight to keep it down in the winds, simply fill it up with sand (and maybe a bit of water) when you get to the beach. When you want to go home, just empty it out, pop the PVC sections back in the bucket, and there you go! You saved yourself a lot of carrying, as well as cement. Just make sure the bucket is strong enough - because sand and water (in bulk) is notoriously heavy.

You could select a size that fits inside of a slightly larger size to help strengthen it. I would have the cement connected to a short outside piece, and start with a full inside piece so that the joints dont match up. Then add the actual outside fitting joints to the bigger size, and between the two it should hold up nicely.

I thought of that, but schedule 40 PVC doesn't match up nicely between different dimensions (the smaller dimensions are too small, it just slides right down bigger pipe) unless you get into really small dimensions. I think the only option I have is to trust that the connectors will be strong enough.

IIRC, 1 1/2" fits nicely inside of 2" pipe... although 1 inside of 1 1/2 would probably make a nicer flagpole if that worked. You can test out the short sections at any of the box stores, most of them carry like 2 foot sections you can buy in a little rack.

I think wood is a better material, how you'd join 3 sections together I don't know but I'll add a picture of an idea.