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How to Remove Anchor Bolts

By C.L. Rease ; Updated September 21, 2017

Concrete anchors are available in a wide variety of styles. The majority of concrete anchor bolts remove easily and often come with removal instructions. There is one type of concrete anchor bolt that is not meant to be removed, but can be removed with the proper tools. Wedge anchors or expansion bolts lock into the concrete and are difficult, if not impossible to remove. Special concrete anchor extractors have been designed that allow you to removed broken or damaged expansion bolts.

Step 1

Put on your hearing protection and safety glasses.

Step 2

Select a socket from the socket set that matches the size of the hex nut tightened to the expansion bolt and place the socket onto the 3/8-inch ratchet.

Step 3

Place the socket onto the expansion bolt hex nut and turn the ratchet handle counterclockwise to loosen the hex nut.

Step 4

Remove the hex nut from the threads of the expansion bolt.

Step 5

Secure the expansion bolt extractor into the chuck of the hammer drill. Refer to the operating manual for the hammer drill to determine the proper procedure for securing the expansion bolt extractor.

Step 6

Fill the hand-pressurized water tank with water and pump the handle of the water tank to pressurize the water.

Step 7

Slide the expansion bolt extractor over the expansion bolt and press the trigger of the hammer drill to start drilling around the expansion bolt.

Step 8

Spray water onto the expansion bolt extractor as you drill around the concrete anchor.

Step 9

Pull the hammer drill toward you to remove the expansion bolt extractor from the concrete.

Step 10

Remove the loose expansion bolt from the concrete.

Step 11

Wipe the area around the expansion bolt with clean rags to clean the surface of the concrete.


Things You Will Need

  • Hearing protection
  • Safety glasses
  • Socket set
  • 3/8-inch ratchet
  • Expansion bolt extractor
  • Hammer drill
  • Hand-pressurized water tank
  • Clean rags