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What's safe length when using extension ladder & angle to perpendicular?

What is the safest length or height to be using an extenson ladder? I see one for sale and it is 28 feet and two pieces. There are also different angles at which to lean the ladder. The shorter ladder I have, was used last year and I guess the angle to the ground was too small (where 90 degrees would be perpendicular and straight up) because it would wobble side to side as they climbed up it. It should have been closer to 90 degrees than say, for example, 45 degrees with the ground. I'll put this in maintenance, since ladders are used in maintenance jobs of various kinds. So, in use, when fully extended, a two piece 28 foot ladder won't get you but maybe 25 feet up. That leaves 3 feet above what it is leaning on. But, shouldn't some of the top piece and bottom piece overlap "x" number of feet? Hypothetical: Can a 28 foot extension ladder reach the top of a building 28 feet off the ground? The answer is no unless it is fully extended and 90 degrees to the ground or straight up. So if not 28 feet, then how high can you safely get with a 28 foot extension ladder? Thanks. As you extend the two pieces and get closer and closer to full extension isn't there a limit where top piece should overlap the bottom?

Asked By: lyong222 - 12/20/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Every new ladder has a *working height* listed on the label. I would guess a 28' extension ladder has about a 20' working height. That lets each ladder section overlap and lock into each other about 4'. Make sure each section is made and matched so they will slide into one another. The bottom main section should have a... More
Answered By: Tedruski - 12/21/2012
Additional Answers (2)
The normal angle is near 60 degrees with vertical. You also want to have at least 2 to 3 feet over what you are resting it on at the top and even better if you can tie it off at the top so that it will not go side to side.
Answered By: RobertB - 12/20/2012
 
read the directions. when standing at the foot of the ladder, extend your arms fully and you should be able to grab the ladder! this is the correct angle! 60 degrees? no way. for every degree further out, the weight limit of the ladder comes down... More
Source(s):
Answered By: Harry - 12/20/2012
 
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