Installing Nylon Nail-Its: Step-by-Step Instructions
For many contractors and DIYers, projects involving electrical work are common. Electrical work requires precision and caution, and many projects should be performed by licensed professionals, or in collaboration with experts.
Conduit is used to protect and route electrical wiring. These conduits are often installed via conduit straps. When installing conduit straps to a concrete block wall, like those found in many basements, nylon nail-its are used by many contractors.
Nylon nail-its are light duty, drive type expansion anchors. They can be used in many materials, including concrete, block, and brick. The body of the anchor is rust resistant, and the nail is available in either zinc plated carbon steel or aluminum. They’re available in three head styles: flat countersunk, round, or mushroom.
A nail-it comes preassembled and is ready to be installed. Once the nail is set in the anchor body, it is tamper resistant. They should not be used for overhead installations.
1. Getting Ready
- A hole must be drilled into the base material before the nylon nail-it is installed. Before drilling the hole consider the following:
- The diameter of the hole to be drilled must be equal to the diameter of the nail being installed. For example, a 1/4” nail requires a 1/4” hole, and the 1/4” hole is drilled using a 1/4” bit.
- The bit must be carbide tipped and meet ANSI standards. The ANSI standard bit will ensure that the hole will meet proper hole tolerances that the anchor requires.
- It is critical to drill a hole into the base material a minimum of 1/2” deeper than the nail will penetrate. This extra space will ensure the anchor will not bottom out in the hole. This extra space allows room for any dust and debris created during the drilling process to fall out of the way.
- Use the depth gauge provided with the hammer drill to assure proper hole depth. If a depth gauge isn’t available, wrap a piece of tape around the bit at the proper drill depth. If using a keyless type chuck hammer drill, make sure that the bit is in the protracted position when setting the depth gauge or tapping the bit.
- The designated length of the nail is measured differently, depending on the head style. Both the round and mushroom-headed nail-its are measured from underneath the head. The flat head countersunk is measured as an overall length including the head.
- Before drilling makes sure that the diameter of the nail being used will fit through the hole in the item being fastened. The designated diameter of the anchor is larger than a true measurement. The hole in the item being fastened must be slightly larger than the designated diameter of the nail. A 3/16” nylon nail requires a 1/4” hole in the item and a 1/4” nail requires a 5/16” hole in the item.
2. Drilling the Hole
- Start drilling the hole in the base material, making sure that the drill is switched to the hammer and rotation mode. The hammering motion pulverizes the base material while the rotation removes the material from the hole
- A drill that is only straight rotation should not be used because the hole produced will not meet anchor tolerance requirements.
- The hole can be drilled by spotting the hole or while the item being fastened is in place. Make sure that the hole in the item being fastened is large enough for the bit to penetrate.
- Clean the hole of all dust and debris. This is critical to help ensure proper expansion and holding values. Clean the hole with a wire brush in an up and down and turning movement. Then vacuum out the hole, and then repeat the process. Compressed air works well but creates a lot of dust in the air and so may not work in some applications.
3. Install the Nail-It
- Hold the head of the nail and insert it through the item being fastened and into the hole in the base material. Push down on the anchor body until it is tight against the surface of the item being fastened.
- Strike the nail with several sharp blows with a hammer until the head of the nail is flush with the anchor body. The nylon nail is now expanded and set in the base material.