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Old 08-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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Tapcons


HI,

I use tapcons for any work where I might want to change it later, i.e. a temporary wall in the basement, temp shelves, etc. They are very easy to remove.

I have a problem with the tapcons in my home I have never had before. They keep snaping off when I drive them in. They are Tapcon brand name. I've tried the larger 1/4" tapcons. Many of these are only around 2" tapcons. I am positive I am using the correct size bit and drilling more than deep enough(extra 1/2" to 1" deeper than the Tapcon). When drilling the hole I pull the drill / bit in and out a couple times to make sure I get the dust out. Yet, even if I use a drill with a clutch on it, the tapcon just snaps off in the hole once it is about 3/4 of the way in.

This has happened to me maybe 20-30 times now in my basement with Tapcons from multiple batches. I was putting up a 4x4 electrical box,and wanted 2 tapcons in it to hold it in place. The I broke of 5 tapcons in that box before I finally drilled a larger hole and used a zamac.

I get the feeling that my concrete was a high stregenth pour from how hard it is to dril into, even with a Hilte Te5. There is metal wire / rerod in this pour.

I've resorted to using Zamacs or the Nail type anchors you pound in. But to remove those you have to use a disk grinder.

Has anyone ever had this problem with the Tapcons? Is there a solution? Prior to working with tapcons at my house, I thought tapcons were really strong can can't ever remember having one break.

Thanks

Jamie

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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If you are in fact using the right size of bit and are blowing the hole out I'd guess that your presumtion about your concrete being overly hard could be accurate.

Or, your impact driver (if you're using one) is just torquing the screw too hard from the repetitive impacts as it drives it in. Maybe try it with a good solid 1/2" regular drill.

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
If you are in fact using the right size of bit and are blowing the hole out I'd guess that your presumtion about your concrete being overly hard could be accurate.

Or, your impact driver (if you're using one) is just torquing the screw too hard from the repetitive impacts as it drives it in. Maybe try it with a good solid 1/2" regular drill.
I had wondered the exact same thing. Was using the Makita LXT impact driver, and switched to the regular Makita 1/2" but still had the exact same problem.

Are there any other type of reversible anchors?

Thanks

Jamie
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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Simpson makes a pretty wide line of high-quality anchors, many of which are intended for commercial applications where the concrete is quite a bit harder in some cases. Similar stuff is available from Hilti. I'd try these...Titan HD's. Note the very shallow thread depth and the wide shaft on the screw. Much stronger than a tapcon. The smallest they make is a 3/8" x 3", and it uses a 3/8" drill bit.



Here's the mini Titan HD's that more closely resemble tapcons and are available in similar sizes:

They make it very clear that these must not be driven with a tool that exceeds 100 ft-lbs of torque.

http://www.simpsonanchors.com/catalog/mechanical/

Not sure it'll work better for you but it couldn't hurt to try.

Other options available at home centers would be lead lag screw shields, wedge-its, or sleeve anchors. They're all bigger but would serve the same purpose and all just insert into the hole and are then expanded. The lags are removable but the other two are not.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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The Makita LXT has a torque of 170 ft.lb. Tapcon in 4.2.1 says to install with a rotary only hammer drill: http://www.icc-es.org/reports/pdf_fi...S/ESR-1671.pdf This may be your problem. Be safe, G
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:16 PM   #6
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I've had MUCH better luck not breaking tapcons using an impact tool rather than a constant speed one (like a drill). I usually use a pneumatic 'palm wrench'. It's 3/8 drive, and has a paddle on top for forward and reverse. I set the throttle control at about 1/2 or a bit less, full torque will break more of them.

It'll break them if you pound on them long enough, but there's something about the impact action that seems to make them easier to drive in.

Using a pneumatic tool has another advantage as well; air is available to blow the dust out of the hole. Use safety glasses though, chips come flying out pretty fast, and they know where your eyes are!

Same thing with deck screws, using an impact breaks far less of them.

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Old 08-14-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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JAMIE, a couple of things that come to mind:

- It's highly unlikey that your concrete walls are too strong. Far more likely that the aggregate is too hard.

- I assume that the Hilti your using (only because I'm not familiar with Hiltis) is SDS Plus. If that's the case, make sure your buying decent bits like Bosch or DeWalt. Look back here a week or 2 in the tool section to see an example of one of these kits.

- If it is SDS Plus, look into a Tapcon driving system. It will utilize the SDS system, meaning only one tool to drill & drive. As stated above, using a rotary hammer action or impact will drive much easier. You can use the hammer mode of your SDS with the driver system to accomplish just that.

- What KC suggested is also made by others I believe. I think thy're called "wedge bolts." I can honestly say I've never tried them , though, as I believe they required a special tapered masonry bit to install. The bit was very specialized not easily attainable, other than special order.

- I don't think the brand materrs much. I've broken a few Tapcons here & there thru the years, but no-where near to even 10% of them. We use Tapcons alot & use any brand. We also use Tapcons over & over before we toss them. I would guess we can get 10+ uses out of each Tapcon, if not more, as we use them mainly for temp. concrete forming. That may also be why we have less problems tho, as the Tapcon threads may become less aggressive per use.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
- What KC suggested is also made by others I believe. I think thy're called "wedge bolts." I can honestly say I've never tried them , though, as I believe they required a special tapered masonry bit to install. The bit was very specialized not easily attainable, other than special order.
Common wedge anchors don't require a special drill bit. Just a regular old masonry bit. They're cylindrical when inserted into the hole. Cranking the nut down pulls the rod through the wedge which expands it out. They're easy and they work great. You can't get them out though.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Common wedge anchors don't require a special drill bit. Just a regular old masonry bit. They're cylindrical when inserted into the hole. Cranking the nut down pulls the rod through the wedge which expands it out. They're easy and they work great. You can't get them out though.
KC, I have to admit, my memroy is terrible & I may have been misled about the masonry bits. Either way, the fact that they're not removable must be why I've never used them. I would agree that they do have their place though.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:54 PM   #10
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I use Zamacs with the phillips head. Remove the pin part and use a hammer to pull the rest of it from the wall.
I use the tapcon system, and a hammer drill to drive the screws, and have broken less screws than useing a drill to drive the screws.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:36 AM   #11
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Tapcons


Thank You, for all the tips and suggestions on dealing with this.

Thanks again,
Jamie

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