Refasten Receptacle Box to Block Wall

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  #1  
Old 07-29-04, 05:09 AM
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Refasten Receptacle Box to Block Wall

Now that I've got all the receptacles and switches replaced upstairs (and my flickering lights problem licked), I'm moving on down.

I've got a large basement with block walls (not poured concrete). There are several receptacles installed throughout the basement, simply fastened to the walls with screws/plastic wall anchors drilled into the mortar joints. Just about all of them are loose and about to pull out of the mortar . What would be the best way to resecure the boxes to the walls? I was thinking about renting one of those nail guns that uses .22 loads to drive the fastener. Could I drive the nail (or recommended new fastener) into the block, or should I repair the mortar joint first and resecure in that area?

Thanks Folks!!!
 
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Old 07-29-04, 06:28 AM
Tesla
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Fastening anything to concrete or block walls sucks.

I like to use Tapcons. These come in a kit. It has a masonry bit and screws. The screws are designed to thread the hole as they're being installed. I don't put screws in the mortar, I stay in the block. And if convenient, I aim for the thick part of the block, you know, the center or a few inches in from either side.

Now what to do when Tapcons and other anchors donít work? Epoxy the buggers in!
 
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Old 07-29-04, 06:43 AM
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I don't connect directly to concrete walls or concrete block. Instead, I install a piece of wood and then attach the box to the wood. I use 1 x 4 lengths of wood, which I run down the wall from the ceiling. This way I can staple the wire to the wood. If you are concerned about protecting the wire, then you can run the wire in conduit down the wall, attaching the cionduit to the same piece of wood.
 
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Old 07-29-04, 07:14 AM
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Thanks for the replies. There is already conduit from the top of the wall down to the boxes. The top of the conduit is secured to the mortar joint using a c-hook and masonry nail .

I'll look into the tapcons. The wood is a great idea, but not really feasable unless I want to remove the conduit fastener. I eventually want to put sheetrock walls up, probably using metal studs. I really don't want to go to overboard here.....just safe and secure.
 
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Old 07-29-04, 08:40 AM
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A positive side effect of this is that you now have a demonstrable "need" for a hammer drill. The Tapcons typically come with a 5/32" masonry bit (not a very high quality one) which requires a hammer drill: a regular drill (non-hammer) will make no impression on masonry. Don't get a cheap drill, you'll just throw it out in a couple of weeks. Get a Bosch, DeWalt, Porter Cable or similar, with hammer and regular modes, two range gearbox, and you'll have a reliable workhorse for life if you take care of it. Get a nice big one too, you won't regret it as the mass of the drill makes the unpleasant task of drilling into contrete that much easier. Get a good set of Bosch masonry bits as well.

I look at it this way: even expensive power tools cost about as much as two hours of a plumber's or electrician's time.

Andy
 
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Old 07-29-04, 08:51 AM
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I have access (my fathers) to a top-of-the-line Milwaukee Hammer Drill with a 1/2" chuck. I think I'm going to try the Tapcons.
 
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Old 07-29-04, 09:19 AM
Tesla
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My experience is different. The bits that are supplied have treated me well. Our problem is losing the bits, not breaking them. So we rob the bits from full kits and end up with kits with no bits. I can use the same bit for several kits before it worn out.

I've used my 12v cordless to drill thousands holes without much problem. On occasion, I'll run into a rock in a poured wall that will slow progress down. Sometimes a nail and a couple whacks with a hammer is all that's needed to break the rock. With block, there aren't any rocks so it should be smooth sailing.

Tapcon is a brand name. Here's a nice page about them -> http://www.confast.com/products/tap_con.asp
 
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Old 07-30-04, 03:53 AM
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Where can I buy them? Does Home Depot or Lowe's stock them?
 
  #9  
Old 07-30-04, 01:13 PM
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My catalog shows Tapacon concrete anchors at HD. I don't see the kits but they may also have them. I would personnaly use the anchors with a glob of epoxy between the box and wall. Cheap insurance policy.
 
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Old 07-30-04, 01:33 PM
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My experience with the Tapcons are they are great at least the Hex head ones I have had trouble though with the Philip head ones breaking off at the neck I don't know if others have run into this but it is something to keep in mind. It is a good idea not to fasten anything in the motar as it does have a tendancy of loosing over time.
 
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