Common Concrete Anchor Fails

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No matter what trade you work in you will need to use a concrete anchor at one time or another. Here are some mistakes I have seen (and made) that you are going to want to avoid.

Know your concrete

Is it concrete block hollow cell? Poured cell? Concrete slab? What is the PSI? Not all anchors are created equal for every type of concrete. Make sure you know exactly what you are fastening into and choose the right anchor.

Tapcons are light duty

First off “tapcon” is just a brand name for a type of screw in concrete anchor so take the name with a grain of salt.

Your typical threaded “tapcon” is for light duty tasks. While a tapcon may be fine to hold down a condenser (that already want to stay down), it would probably (definitely) be the wrong option for mounting a heavy motor assembly to the wall. For big jobs go with a tougher anchor. Hint: if it has threads and you “screw” it in, it probably isn’t the toughest option.

Anchors embedded too shallow

Most concrete anchors have a minimum embedment depth. You can usually embed deeper but you need to at least hit the minimum, read the directions.

Anchors too close

All anchors have a minimum distance they can be from one another. If you get them too close the whole kitten kaboodle can pull right out on you (I’ve done this).

Don’t over drill

Wedge anchors (Red Heads) are a common heavy duty anchor. When drilling the hole wrap electrical tape on your bit at the depth you want to go so you don’t over drill the hole or worse…. blow out the other side.

Clean the hole

With a wedge anchor, the dust in the hole can act like a lubricant, making it easier for it to pull out. When done drilling use a round bottle brush or vacuum to clean the holes out. This is especially true when using an epoxy “chemical” bolt.

Warbling the bit

With concrete anchors, use the right size bit and run it straight it. No warbling the bit around… unless your desired result is having the anchor pull out and destroy a monastery, then warble away.

Torque it down

Sorry, you do really need a torque wrench, especially if you are working with large wedge anchors. Torque that sucker down to factory specs and you won’t need to worry. Keep in mind, you may wanna retorque it after it’s been put under load a few times, especially in safety-critical applications.

Don’t overload it

Before you get started make sure you know the  Ft/lbs of force the anchor will be under and play on the safe side. Like GI Joe says… now you know, and knowing is just scratching the surface.

— Bryan

P.S.- you can watch a video on wedge anchors HERE


  1. Avatar JULIUS says:

    how can i view the all video that you posted? please let me know thanks and more power.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
Translate »

Daily Tech Tip

Get the (near) daily Tech Tip email right in your inbox!
Email address