Comparing 4B and 4C Horizontal Mailbox Units: What To Know
Browsing for mailboxes may sound easy, but it takes time if you are setting up a delivery system for groups such as neighborhoods or businesses. Cluster mailboxes are also ideal for apartments because they efficiently organize all tenant mail. Maybe you are replacing an old mailbox, or you’re buying a new system for a fresh building construction. Either way, you should know the difference between 4B and 4C mailboxes.
Cluster mailboxes come in various design specifications that adhere to USPS standards. So, how do you know which to rely on for the best performance? In addition, which are you allowed to install for your delivery system? Check out our guide below to find out what to know when comparing 4B and 4C horizontal mailbox units so you can make the best purchase for your project.
What Is 4C?
Let’s start with the modern design for cluster units, the 4C mailbox. This type of mailbox doesn’t only apply to the small lockers in which you receive standard mail. One of these units can feature parcel lockers for big packages or a trash and recycling bin. Suffice it to say that the 4C units are more versatile than they seem.
STD-4C represents the current USPS standard for mailbox designs. The 4C design allows for installation in new construction applications, whether inside or outside. For example, if you want to build a secure indoor cluster mailbox system, you can do it with a 4C unit. However, if you want to install outdoor cluster units on a curb, 4C mailboxes can get that done, too. It may seem like your mailbox choice relies entirely on your preferences, but it’s not quite that simple.
As of October 6, 2006, new construction projects must use cluster mailboxes that meet STD-4C specifications. That said, if you’re replacing a 4B mailbox but need new design specifications, then you must have a 4C unit installed. We’ll dive deeper into why that is in our 4B section below.
Thankfully, you won’t have to build the mailbox from scratch, so you don’t have to become an expert overnight. Work with a mailbox provider that can meet USPS standards easily. For example, at Postal Supply, we have various 4C mailboxes for residential and commercial properties.
Our 4C units include parcel lockers, trash and recycling bins, and more options. This ensures you don’t have to look far to find a reliable source of USPS-approved systems. If a new construction requires a 4C mailbox, then why learn what makes a 4B unit so special? Well, you might still be able to use one. Keep reading to find out why.
What Is 4B?
Like the 4C models mentioned above, a 4B mailbox features a column of multiple boxes for various tenants. In addition, 4B is for recessed mounting in walls. Specifically, the number of doors on each mailbox varies, so choose according to what you need for your building or community delivery needs. That said, are you even allowed to use 4B mailboxes anymore? Given that the new 4C standard is available, it’s an important question to ask.
After all, the 4B standards have been around for decades. This means that various commercial and residential buildings already have them installed. So, when it comes time to replace those mailboxes, do you need to opt for a 4C model instead? The answer is no, not always. If you are replacing a 4B mailbox, you can swap it out for a new model that meets its exact technical specifications. Remember, if you are not doing a one-to-one replacement, then you will need to install a 4C mailbox instead.
The STD-4B units are primarily approved for indoor use, whether it is in an apartment or an office building. However, you can install them in protected outdoor locations. Unlike a 4C mailbox, the 4B units cannot sit curbside unguarded from the elements. A detail that both titular mailbox standards ensure is that the unit can be either front or rear loading. Even though 4B mailboxes are not the current standard, you can still find them featuring parcel lockers for bulkier deliveries. Although we have showcased a few differences between the 4C and 4B mailbox design, there is still more to explore below.
Now that you understand what there is to know about comparing 4B and 4C horizontal mailbox units, let’s take a closer look at the differences. We have already discussed some subtle design changes, such as the difference between placement abilities. 4C models are fine indoors or outdoors, but 4B placement requires a bit more preparation outside. Another key difference to remember is that 4B models are approved for wall-recessed mounting, but 4C units have more versatile applications. As you can see from our 4C mailboxes at Postal Supply, this type of unit is available in recessed mount and depot cabinet variations. So, which is best for your installation?
Another detail you must remember when choosing between a 4B and 4C mailbox is the reason for the installation in the first place. If it’s brand-new construction for a residential or commercial property, then you will need to install the STD-4C mailbox units. These are also the units you will need to install when replacing an older 4B model whose specifications would need to change to fill the new slot in your wall. On the other hand, if you need to replace a 4B mailbox with the exact same model, then a new 4B mailbox is USPS-approved in this instance.
Remember that the USPS standards are not the only standards to consider when installing a mailbox. When choosing any model, take a close look at the visual design elements you can customize, such as the color. That way, you can meet the right specifications per USPS standards while still adding some personality to the appearance. So, which mailbox standard do you need to follow for your application? Check out the mailboxes available today so you can find one that meets all relevant standards for your setup.