The role of concrete anchor bolts consists of creating a permanent or, at the very least, semi-permanent bond between the structure and concrete component. Therefore, don’t be too hard on the anchor bolt when it refuses to budge; it’s just doing its job. The more thorough the installation job, the harder it will be to […]

The role of concrete anchor bolts consists of creating a permanent or, at the very least, semi-permanent bond between the structure and concrete component. Therefore, don’t be too hard on the anchor bolt when it refuses to budge; it’s just doing its job. The more thorough the installation job, the harder it will be to dislodge the anchor bolt from its position. Hard, but not impossible, as you are about to find out from the following guide. The four following techniques are listed in the order of difficulty and complexity of the procedure as well as the specificity of the tools required for the job. Let’s elaborate.

  1. Using brute force (in the form of a hammer and a prying bar)

The method which requires the least amount of subtlety will first involve lodging the prying bar underneath the anchor’s plate by hitting it with the hammer. Next, push downwards on the plating in order to turn it up – you will need a bit of strength for this. Use a pair of pliers to improve the grip on the bolt and, if necessary, start drilling small cavities in the plating that will later be chipped with the hammer. A grinder can be utilized to sever the anchor bolt afterwards.

 

  1. Getting a little leverage from a couple of threaded nuts

A less conventional technique – which in all honesty has limited chances of success, but there’s no harm in trying – consists of attaching threaded nuts to the anchor bolt. Tighten them as much as possible and ensure they’re flush with the superior section of the bolt. The threaded nuts could provide superior leverage when attempting to remove the bolt with a pair of pliers. The main reason why this method may or may not work is that it relies heavily on the bolt not being installed correctly in the first place. An anchor bolt that has been effectively imbedded in the concrete tends to fuse with the material, making it a lot more difficult to extract.

  1. Utilizing a 2 by 4 as the middleman

While it may appear this approach also relies on brute force, the truth is that you actually have to be very careful and control your motion perfectly. Basically, one side of the 2 by 4 is placed on the anchor bolt while the other is held still by you. Utilizing a medium size wood mallet, hit the end of the board that rests on the anchor repeatedly, increasing the speed of the motion slightly every time. You have to be careful not to bend the anchor sideways in the process; the strikes have to go directly on the anchor’s plate.

  1. Bust out the vice grips or, if you don’t have that, a pipe wrench

Last resort, the vice grips or your trusted pipe wrench will have to come into play. Either of these tools should confer you the leverage to extract the stubborn bolt. Remember that you can also maximize the torque output for the pipe wrench by attaching an extra pipe, but turning it too quickly may cause it to bend.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.

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