Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Below are some frequently asked questions about our products. Read on to learn more about our products’ characteristics, installation, fasteners and warranty.

Product Characteristics

What are the inside dimensions of your post caps?
Our post caps come in many sizes, but the most common sizes are 4” x 4” and 6” x 6”, which are made to fit a nominal 4” x 4” or 6” x 6” post. The inside dimensions of the nominal 4” x 4” measure 3-5/8”, and the inside dimensions of the nominal 6” x 6” measure 5-5/8”. We produce a limited selection of other opening sizes, such as 4-5/8”, 4-7/8” and 6-1/8”. In addition, we make a 4” x 6” post cap (with inside dimensions of 3-5/8” x 5-5/8”) in two all-wood styles: Newport High Pyramid and Newport Classic. We also make an 8” x 8” Copper-Topped post cap with an opening size of 7-5/8” and a 10” x 10” cap with an opening size of 9-5/8”. All of these special sizes are available in cedar. Our 4” x 6” post caps are also available in redwood.

Will my stainless steel post caps rust?
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron that contains more than 10% chromium. Stainless steel has a hard oxide coating that makes it resistant to stains. Corrosion and wear strip away this coating, causing the steel to rust. To maintain this coating, clean the post cap periodically with a mixture of vinegar and club soda.

Will the brass post caps tarnish?
Our brass post caps, like our copper post caps, are a true metal brass—an alloy of copper and zinc. Our brass post caps are protected with a thin, clear coating of lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, the sun’s ultraviolet rays, moisture and pollution begin to break down this coating, exposing the metal underneath. Periodic reapplication of this clear coating will help to protect the brass post cap.

What preservative is used to protect Maine Ornamental’s pressure-treated wood post caps?
Our wood post caps are protected by Copper Azole Type B (CA-B), an EPA-registered pesticide containing copper and azole compounds to protect it from termite attack and decay. For more information, refer to the Copper Azole Safe Handling Information.

How bright is the solar post cap light?
The solar post cap light provides an ambient light not suitable for tasks.

Where can I purchase replacement LED light bulbs?
The LED bulbs are part of the whole solar cell component and are not designed to be replaced. The LED bulbs have an average life of 10 years, with a normal usage of 6 to 8 hours per day. We do have Solar Collector Replacement Units available.

What kind of replacement batteries should I buy for the solar post cap light?
If the rechargeable batteries provided with the cap will no longer recharge, they can be replaced with any AA rechargeable batteries. The life depends on the quality of the batteries purchased.

How long will the rechargeable batteries provided with the solar post cap last?
The rechargeable batteries should last approximately one year.

Can I use regular, non-rechargeable batteries in the solar post cap light?
No, the solar post cap light is designed to be used with rechargeable batteries. If regular batteries are used in the sun, they will destroy the solar collector. We do have Solar Collector Replacement Units available.

How long is the life of the LED light bulbs?
With a normal usage of 6-8 hours per day, the LED bulbs should last an average of 10 years. We do have Solar Collector Replacement Units available.

What is the metal underneath the post caps with the powder-coated finish?
The base of our powder-coated post caps is made of stainless steel.

What is powder-coating?
Our white, green, real patina, pewter and black post caps are treated with powder-coating. Powder-coating is a dry finishing process in which finely ground particles of pigment and resin are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto an electrically grounded post cap. The charged powder particles adhere to the grounded post cap until they melt and fuse into a smooth coating in the curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high-quality finish that is also environmentally friendly.

What does “patina” mean?
“Patina” refers to the natural weathering of copper due to airborne sulfur compounds, which gradually change copper’s surface color. The resulting color, called a patina, depends on location and climate. Salt, moisture, sunlight, ultraviolet rays and pollution can affect the final color. In general, copper progresses from a natural salmon color to a series of russet browns and grays, and finally to a blue-green or gray-green patina. To maintain the shiny look, apply a car wax immediately after purchasing the post cap, and reapply every 3 to 6 months. To encourage a natural patina, remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool.

What is post base trim?
Post base trim is a trim molding for the base of a post. Post base trim is available in 4” x 4” and 6” x 6” sizes, three styles, and three wood species: pressure-treated pine, cedar and redwood. Our post base trim is cut to size, with three sides pre-joined. The fourth side can be easily slipped into place and attached with finish nails, staples or exterior-grade construction adhesive.

Installation

How do I attach the post cap to the post?
We recommend using an exterior-grade construction adhesive to adhere the cap to the post. Apply the adhesive liberally to the inside of the cap and place the cap firmly over the top of the post. If you prefer to use Brad nails, be sure to pre-drill all nail holes to avoid splitting. For more information, refer to the installation instructions.

How do I attach the solar post cap light to my post?
To attach our solar post cap light to a post, apply an exterior-grade construction adhesive to the inside edge of the molding at the bottom of the light, and then place the light firmly onto the post. For more information, refer to the installation instructions.

Should the switch on the solar post cap light be in the ON or OFF position to charge the batteries?
Your solar post cap light will need 24 to 48 hours of sunlight, with the switch in the OFF position, to fully charge. Once the batteries are fully charged, you can leave the switch in the ON position. The solar collector will charge the batteries during the daylight hours, and the batteries will power the light during darkness. If your light dims, try recharging the batteries again by giving the light 24-48 hours of sunlight with the switch in the OFF position.

Should I remove the thin, clear plastic film over the top of the solar collector on the solar post cap light?
Yes. The clear plastic film is meant to protect the solar collector during shipping.