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Troubleshooting Tapcon

Troubleshooting Tapcon

Purchase Tapcons

Tapcon spins in the hole

  • Check the diameter of the bit being used to ensure proper size for the diameter of tapcon being installed.  A 3/16” tapcon requires a 5/32” bit and the 1/4” masonry requires a 3/16 bit.
  • Make sure that the hole is drilled using a hammer drill because using a straight rotation drill will not make a hole with the correct shape or tolerance.
  • The drill bit must meet ANSI standards.  An ANSI standard bit will ensure that the proper tolerance between hole diameter and anchor diameter are met.
  • Drill the hole a minimum of 1/2” deeper than the masonry screw will penetrate the base material.  This will ensure that the masonry screw will not bottom out in the hole.
  • Clean the hole of all dust and debris.
  • Do not over torque.  Once the masonry screw is tight against the surface of the material being fastened, do not continue to tighten.  Over torquing may cause the tapped threads to strip out. To avoid over torquing, tighten with your hand for the last few turns.
  • The threads will not tap into the base material properly when the masonry screw is installed in the hole too quickly.

Masonry Screw breaks off about 1/4” before it is tight against the item being fastened. '

  • Check the length of the screw being installed because using a masonry screw that is too long for the application will be problematic. Also, check that the minimum embedment is 1”  and the maximum embedment is 1-3/4”.  Because the lead threads cut or tap the threads into the base material, this lead thread can lose its ability to cut. This will stop the screw, and the continued torque will shear the head off.  The harder and more abrasive the base material is, then the less deep the maximum embedment will be. In some cases, the masonry screw may only be embedded 1-1/4” or 1-1/2”.
  • The hole was not drilled deep enough and the masonry screw is bottoming out in the hole.  Make sure that the hole is a minimum of 1/2” deeper than the screw will penetrate the base material.
  • In some cases, using a generic imported masonry screw may be inferior to using the American made Tapcon brand masonry screw. Generic imported masonry screws are known to be susceptible to having their heads break off during installation.

Masonry screws are removable and reusable

  • The holding values of a masonry screw that is removed and then reinstalled in the same hole will have less to zero holding values. The removal and reinstalling process may cause the tapped threads in the base material to deteriorate, which affects the holding values of the masonry screw.
  • Removing the masonry screw can be accomplished by simply turning the head of the screw counterclockwise.
  • Reusing a masonry screw into another hole can only be done if the leading edge thread is able to tap the threads into the base material.   The leading edge of the cutting thread does deteriorate over time, depending on the abrasiveness and hardness of the base material.

Different masonry screws are not all created equal.

  • All masonry screws are copies of the original Tapcon® brand American made masonry screw.
  • Most are coated blue to copy the original Tapcon® masonry screw, which creates the illusion that the user is using a Tapcon®.
  • Some coatings do not make the masonry screw rust resistant like the Climaseal® coating on the Tapcon® brand.
  • The threads on the Tapcon® are patented and allow for faster, easier installation.

Installation tools required

  • The hex washer headed masonry screw in the 3/16” diameter requires a 1/4” driver and the 1/4” diameter requires a 5/16” driver.
  • The flat phillips countersunk head in the 3/16’ diameter uses a #2 phillips tip and the 1/4” diameter uses a #3 phillips tip.

Length of masonry screw to use.

  • The minimum length of the masonry screw to use is determined by adding the thickness of the material being fastened plus the minimum embedment of 1”.  For the maximum length of masonry screw to use, add the thickness of the material being fastened to the maximum embedment of 1-3/4”.
  • Hex head masonry screws are measured from underneath the head, while the flat head masonry screw is measured as an overall length which includes the head.