There is a large variety of concrete fasteners. Today we will be focusing on drop-in anchors. Keep reading to find out what they're for, how to install them, and how to choose the right one for your application.
What is a drop-in anchor?A drop-in anchor (aka a flush shell) is a fastener that can only be used in solid concrete. After you have installed the drop-in anchor, it is permanent. Drop-in anchors are for attaching a bolted object to concrete, such as a threaded rod, stop sign, a railing, or whatever. They can be used on the ground and overhead, for example, to fasten a light fixture to a concrete ceiling. While the anchor is permanently inserted in the concrete, it has essentially created a threaded hole, so the bolt can be changed when needed.
They come in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", and 3/4". Drop-in anchors are made in zinc-plated carbon steel and stainless steel.
How do I install a drop-in anchor?Installing a drop-in anchor does not require many tools.
You will need:
- Hammer drill (aka rotary hammer)
- Masonry drill bit
- Vacuum or blow out bulb
- Wire Brush
- Drop-in anchor
- Drop-in anchor setting tool
- Threaded bolt
Steps for installation:
- Make sure you have the right size masonry drill bit. Check the manufacturer's specifications to determine the size of hole you need to make. While there are generalizations about the size of hole you need from online tutorials and how-to articles, your most accurate source of information would be directly from the manufacturer of the drop-in anchors you are using.
- Find out how deep you need to drill and adjust your drill bit depth accordingly. If the depth cannot be adjusted on the hammer drill, create a marking around the drill bit at the point you need to stop drilling to make sure you don't drill deeper.
- Many hammer drills can be either in drill mode or hammer mode. Make sure your tool is in hammer mode.
- Put on safety equipment, such as eye and ear protection, make sure to do this before starting the next step.
- Use the hammer drill to make a hole in the slab of concrete until you reach the required depth (where the tape is placed on the bit).
- With a vacuum, suck out the dust and debris from drilling. After, use the wire brush to brush away any debris that may be sitting in any corners and crevasses. Vacuum one more time. Cleaning the hole is crucial to making sure the anchor is as secure as possible. Instead of a vacuum, you can also use a blowout bulb to blow away any debris.
- Drop the anchor into the hole with the with the opening facing the exit. Insert the drop-in anchor setting tool into the top of the anchor and hammer down until the setting tool touches of the top of the drop in anchor. The anchor is now secure.
- You can now attach your fixture to the concrete. Insert the bolt into the hole and use a wrench to tighten it securely.
Here is a video demonstration of the steps above:
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