replace broken closet wire shelf support clips (Rubermaid)

Old 04-25-23, 09:39 AM
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replace broken closet wire shelf support clips (Rubermaid)

One of my closets has a Lee Rowan (since aquired by Rubbermaid) wire shelf mounted in the closet. The back of the shelf has a series of support clips going into the rear drywall - Rubbermaid calls the clips "Fast Set Back Clips".

Two of these clips broke (the bottom hook that holds the shelf in place snapped off) when an object fell from about 2 feet and landed on the shelf directly where these two clips were located. The clips appear to have a flathead screw, but the threading is quite poor - it is not deep. I tried to turn it by hand with a screwdriver and no go. Next I tried my basic Black and Decker drill at 1 torque and still no go.

The replace set of clips I bought comes with nails - which makes more sense. The idea is the nail/screw will expand a plastic anchor.

I am wondering what is the safest way to remove the broken clips? I figure the screw/nail needs to be extracted first or else the anchor is too large to come back out without making the opening larger. The other option is to leave the broken clips in place, and drill new holes for additinal clips - but I want to avoid the poor aesthetic as this property may be up for sale in the near future.

Any suggestions on what to use to grip the screw/nail? Should I try to shave down the plastic around it first for better grip?

I've added photos of:
  • broken clip with screw exposed - note the bottom hook to wrap around the wire is gone
  • properly installed clip - note the bottom hook and there is a piece that flips up to cover the screw
  • bag of replacement clips
  • side view of the clip - showing the bottom hook, the top screw/nail cover, and the anchor
  • nail (thread-less) instead of flathead screw in replacement bag

Broken clip

good existing clip

bag of replacement clips

side view of clip

replacement bag comes with nails (not flathead screws)
Old 04-25-23, 11:05 AM
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My guess is that the fasteners you "think" are screws are really nails with a head that just looks like a screw. Try to pull them out gently with a prybar, and use a scrap of 1x4 or plywood to pry against to spread the force across the studs. Don't pry directly on the drywall or the prybar may break through it.
Old 04-25-23, 11:16 AM
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Generally when replacing wall anchors I remove any flange or edge at the wall surface and punch the insert into the wall cavity so the hole does not enlarge.

You could try to insert a thin blade screwdriver between the screw head and the clip surface and pry the screw out at least enough get a pair of pliers onto it. Then with the screw removed use a chisel or sharp blade to cut off the square part leaving only the circular insert behind it that you can punch through. If there is a stud behind it you may have to drill the insert part out.

Or leave it as is and mount a new clip to one side.
Old 04-25-23, 11:31 AM
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Yeah just reread my post... when I say pull "them" out I mean the nails, not the entire anchor, in case that wasn't clear. Once the nail is out, the anchor will come our easier.
Old 04-25-23, 12:18 PM
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I have a whole bunch of those clips. They use nails not screws. One of these days I'll get around to tossing them out. We use wire shelving in the basement, pantry and closets.. I replace all of the plastic hangers with metal clips and I use screws into studs. The metal clips are available at big box stores. .
Old 04-25-23, 01:24 PM
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I've used those shelf fasteners in the past and they love to break. Instead of replacing them I've gone back with metal bracket to support the shelf or a strip of wood attached horizontally just under the shelf to support it.

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