tapcon hell

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Anyone have experience with small tapcon concrete screws? 1/4" head, about 2" length. I can't get them in. I tried a socket, all my weight on it, I'm lucky to get 2 turns before it strips. Why they put such a low profile hex head on something that needs this much force is beyond me. Whatever this blue coating is doesn't help I'm sure. Then I move on to a flat head screwdriver, takes all my strength and weight to turn it, 5 minutes later it's 1/2" in and then the slot is chewed open. So then I grab the vice grips, clamp it and start turning, the head snaps off within a few turns, it's not even an inch in. I drill the holes an extra inch deeper and blow it out with compressed air, makes no difference. I'm using the bit that came with the screws.
WTF? Am I missing something? This is run of the mill garage floor concrete, the direction say drill a damn hole and use a screwdriver to sink it in? Should I try oil lubrication? My floor has several holes with snapped off anchors now.
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On Jun 29, 12:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've had better luck by cleaning the hole that's drilled _very_ well. Tom
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wrote:

To add a little to what Tom said, holes in floors do not allow the dust to be pulled out with the bit. A once over with a shop vac and crevice tool helps a lot.
You are using the bit made for tapcons? It is a custom size.
Colbyt
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Colbyt wrote:

He stated that he blew out the hole with compressed air, which works just fine.

He stated that he used the bit that came with the Tapcons.
--
Dave
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On Jun 29, 3:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

They work much better with impact drivers. You may also have one of _those_ slabs that are harder than hell. In that case there are better fasteners. http://www.itw-redhead.com/redidrive_prod01.asp
R
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I have the problem the other way around where the concrete breaks off when I torque it down. Did you use the drill bit that came in the box? Sounds like you need a slightly larger drill bit.
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On Fri, 29 Jun 2007 12:45:16 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Thats pretty much the same experience I had. I bought the drill bit, I cleaned out the holes and I couldnt drive them in if my life depended on it.
I finally gave up and just used normal mollies and I've never even looked at a Tapcon since.
-dickm
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I also had a lot of problems. The hardware guy said that they work best in new concrete and that my 30 year old concrete was "too hard". Go figure!
Smarty
wrote:

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wrote:

Concrete gets harder every year.

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More expensive too.
R
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What are you anchoring to the floor? Two inches sounds long. I just anchored some shelving tracts in a wall that was form poured HARD concrete, and they went in like a breeze. The geek at HD (of all places) told me to use the 1 1/2" ones. I woulda used the 2" ones if he hadn't told me. After reading the f - ing directions, the pullout rating on the 1 1/2" is about what the 2" is. The tracks sit 1/2" off the wall, so it only uses 1 " of grip. If I was anchoring to soft grouted masonry, I'd use longer ones, but then, if it was soft grouted masonry, I'd be using sleeve anchors.
Something's wrong at your house. Shorten up on the fasteners, blow out the hole, chase the drill a time or two extra, make sure you are using the right drill, and if it still don't work, just get the right fastener.
Steve
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Guys, I don't understand all these posts. I don't recall ever having a problem with tapcons in concrete. Hard fired brick I have experienced some problems.
Are you following the directions? The screw should only penetrate the concrete by 3/4", an absolute 1" maximum.
Don't mean to insult anyone with that question.
Colbyt
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've never had one break but I've had a few that were hard to drive IF I STOPPED DRIVING BEFORE THEY WERE ALL THE WAY IN. I generally use a 3/8 drill to drive them, apply a *lot* of down pressure and let the square drive bit cam out.
You might try lubricating them but not with oil...cake soap or beeswax.
--

dadiOH
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They are meant to be power driven it one continuous stroke if you stop it can seize up and when you try to start again it can snap.
For the 1/4 head screws you need a power drive bit in a cordless screw driver. I find cordless screwdrivers work better for driving screws because I think it doesn't spin up as fast or has more torque at slower speeds.
I've never used an cordless impact driver but it probably work great.
One other thing to consider is the length of the screws. you don't need that much in the concrete.

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On Jun 29, 2:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

<snip>
My floor has several holes

For small screws like that it is a whole lot easier to just drill a hole and set a regular Grade 5 threaded stud in the clean hole with a dollop of 2-part epoxy. The bond to concrete is tremendous. Tapcons and redheads are great products, but in smaller sizes and low strength concrete epoxy is superior. HTH
Joe
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On Jun 29, 3:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

-- the direction say drill a damn hole and use a screwdriver to sink it in
My package of ProCons (just another brand) says to drill a damn hole and *power drive* them. I can't imagine trying to install them by hand.
-- Whatever this blue coating is doesn't help I'm sure
Actually, if I understand the concept correctly, it is this blue coating that makes them work. As you power drive in one steady motion, the blue coating heats up and bonds with the concrete. I think this is why you can't stop when driving them (they jam up) and you can't use them in the same hole if you remove one (it strips the hole).
Once they're in, they're in for good, but once you mess one up, it's time for a new hole.
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I have the reverse problem often.
I do EVERYTHING right (even used the $22 "kit" sold to drill and install the screws. My problem is that about 1/3rd of them "spin out". Even the screws the "work" sometimes strip when I tighten them.
I still use them but depending upon the application I used the hardened "concrete nails" or just put in a plastic insert rather than the Tapcon system.
The problem, as I see it is that especially when drilling old concrete, the "hard bits" in the concrete cause the drill bit to "wander" and effectively the hole is oversized. You can salvage the oversize hole by using the next size fastener (you should also ream out the hole with the next size larger bit) or by injecting epoxy and effectly convert to another system.
If you are twisting off the heads as compared to spinning out from female thread failure you effectively have an undersized hole. Clean out the hole with air or even just a pipe cleaner (thin wire with "fuzz") before you use the screw. Use a new drill bit as an old bit may lose diameter from side wear.
If you MUST use those screws (you need the strength over plastic inserts, you need "pullout" resistance, or you don't want the vibration from hammering in concrete nails) then buy their installation kit. It grips the hex heads well and stops driving when the head is driven below the surface of the wood.

In a garage floor I believe your first choice should be concrete nails. They fail also but not in ways that end up with partly inserted fasteners you can't get out.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Time to review the instructions. You are supposed to power drive them with the suggested driver tool.
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George wrote:

Hammer-drill/driver may help, too.
Me? I'd go w/ powder-actuated myself and toss the tapcon's in the "nice theory, no good in practice" pile along w/ the various other things over the years...
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., ...
--
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If you're driving Tapcons with a hammer drill, that might be why you haven't had much success with them. Try an impact driver.
R
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