|Item Weight||2.39 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||2.5 x 1.5 x 6.75 inches|
|Item model number||AVM-01|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
|Size||One Size Fits All|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
Miles Kimball AVM-01 Automatic Visual Mail Signal
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This little gem can be seen from quite a ways- it's not so big and obtrusive as some of the others. The plastic ball is about 1-1/2" in diameter and in the upright position is about 6-1/2" tall.
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UPDATE: If it rains while it's loaded, water will get into the ball, and it won't spring up because it's too heavy for the spring. Just take a small drill bit and drill a couple holes in it - one in the top, and one near the bottom - so the water can drain out.
It does exactly what it is supposed to through a simple and elegant mechanism. I'm aware there are electronic devices to do the same thing, but this is cheap and reliable. It has saved me innumerable walks out to an empty mailbox.
I've had two problems. After heavy rains, the ball can get water inside it and be too heavy to pop up. However, this has only happened a few times, and it's easy to unscrew the ball from the spring and shake out the water. The other problem is not with the device but with substitute mail carriers who don't recognize its function and, after closing the mailbox, reset the signal in the down position, making me think the box is empty. This is just a matter of education.
All in all, a great purchase.
First, if you can't see your mailbox, the versions of these mailbox alert devices that rely on being able to see the mailbox aren't going to be terribly helpful for obvious reasons.
But if you can see it, having a simple non-electronic no batteries solution is nice. The upside to the electronic versions is that you can hear them beep from around the house, so you don't need to keep looking at your mailbox. Downside, batteries aside, is the version I had didn't have very good range. So if your driveway is 100' long, shop carefully if you want to go electronic.
I haven't tried other mechanical versions, but some of them strike me as a bit elaborate and fussy to get them set up correctly. Look for that in their reviews.
My AVM-01 has been in service for a few years now. It's still nice and yellow. It's on it's second mailbox, having survived an out of control driver. It's also never filled up with water as far as I know, but maybe my mailman is kind enough to drain it when needed.
5 minutes with an electric drill, and you are good to go! I did caulk around the holes before I put the ball on to insure no water dripped inside on my mail, but honestly that step was probably not even necessary.
Bonus part is if your mailbox can be seen by your neighbors, they'll know when the mail person has been down your street. Very thoughtful of you!
My mail arrives at different times each day (don't ask me why) and I would never know when unless I had put mail in to be sent and raised the mailbox flag. I don't send out a lot mail and apparently neither do my neighbors because I rarely see their mailbox flag raised. There were times when I would go out to my mailbox (located across the street -I live in a rural areas) several times in one day to see if a particularly important piece of mail was delivered. No big deal except it always seemed to be during miserable, inclement weather.
Now all I need to do is look out my window in the comfort of my house to see whether my "mailbox ball" is up or not to know if the mail carrier has been to my mailbox. My mail carrier thinks it's cool but I guess no one else notices it since it's never been tampered with.
My parents have one on their mailbox too and we both have an extra set in case anything happens to the ones we have up. Love it and only wish I had purchased it a long time ago.
NOTE: Unless you want to do some tinkering with your mailbox, you need a mailbox that has a mailbox door "catch" on both the door and the mailbox itself (along the top of the mailbox at the front where the top of the door would close). That's the way it is mounted. My old mailbox was rusting out before I got this and since my parent's purchased theirs first I knew which type I needed to be able to use the "mailbox ball". I purchased my new mailbox (it's a brown/copperish color) from either Home Depot or Lowes.