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Tips and Tricks Single Expansion Anchor

Installing Single Expansion Anchors:  Step-by-Step Installation Instructions

Purchase Single Expansion Anchors

Having a light on your porch or deck means that summer BBQs can continue long after the sun goes down. And even on freezing winter nights, having a light means the difference between safely walking to your car or slipping on unseen ice and falling down the stairs.

Clearly, having an outdoor light fixture offers both aesthetical appeal as well as improved safety. If you wish to hang a light fixture on the outdoor brick of your home, a single expansion anchor can be used for this type of application.

These anchors are easy to use and have a wide variety of uses in and around your home.


Single Expansion Anchors

Single expansion anchors are internally threaded, flush mounted anchors. They are made for use in hard, dense base materials—like concrete. They come pre-assembled with a single expansion cone, and they are made of a die cast, rust resistant Zamac alloy. These anchors are designed to be used in conjunction with a machine-threaded bolt that must be purchased separately.

How to Install Single Expansion Anchors

1. Prepare the tools and materials

  • Before installing the anchor, a hole must be drilled into the base material. Drilling into hard materials such as concrete, brick or block requires the use of a hammer drill. A hammer drill will provide the proper hole tolerance when installing anchors.
  • The use of a rotation only drill is not advised because it may create a hole not suitable for the anchor.
  • In conjunction with the hammer drill, a carbide tipped bit that meets ANSI standards must be used. The ANSI standard bit will ensure the proper tolerance between the hole diameter and the required diameter for the anchor.
  • The diameter of the bit required for the anchor is equal to the outside diameter of the anchor. The designated diameter refers to the inside diameter.


Designated Diameter

Carbide Bit Diameter

1/4” 1/2”
5/16” 5/8”
3/8” 5/8”
1/2” 7/8”
5/8” 1”
3/4” 1-1/4”


  • The hole needs to be drilled into the base material at least equal to the anchor length for the anchor being installed. Deeper embedments will most often create better holding values.
  • To ensure proper and consistent hole depth, use the depth gauge for the hammer drill being used. If a depth gauge is not available, then use the technique of wrapping tape around the bit at the embedment depth will also work.
  • When setting the depth gauge or taping the bit, make sure that the drill bit is in the most protracted position.
  • Select the correct bolt. The proper length bolt to use is equal to the thickness of the material being fastened plus the depth the anchor is embedded into the base material.

2. Prepare the drilled hole

  • Before installing the anchor in the hole, the hole must be cleaned of all dust and debris to ensure a proper fastening.
  • Use a wire brush in a vertical and an up and down turning motion, and follow this by vacuuming. Repeating this process will provide a clean hole suitable for the anchor. Compressed air can also be used, although it is often unsuitable for many applications because it creates an excess of dust in the air.

3. Install the single expansion anchor

  • Holding the anchor by the open end, insert the end with the expansion cone into the base material. A slight tap with a hammer may be needed to get the anchor flush with the surface of the base material,
  • Move the item being fastened over and line it up with the holes of the anchor.
  • Insert the proper type of bolt through the item being fastened and into the anchor.
  • Turn the bolt clockwise until the anchor is fully set.
  • Make sure that the bolt is not over torqued because this may cause the holding values to be reduced or even to be nonexistent.