I bought some 3/8" x 3" sleeve anchors for a fence i'm installing. This is very hard concrete from a building ledge; the holes cannot be drilled with a regular hammer drill.

So we drilled 3" holes for these sleeve anchors, and before installing them I double-checked to make sure that the hole depth was correct.

I start hammering it so that it goes in, but after a certain point, it doesn't move anymore. From the sound of the hammering, I know the anchor sleeve won't budge.

Why is this happening and what can I do so that it doesn't happen again?

The problem is that there's no way to remove it.

This is what it looks like. There's about an inch there, and I know for a fact that the hole is 3" deep:

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


How did you check the depth of the hole? You should be able to get out the ones you pounded by putting a nut on them and levering them out. You can also get fancy and make a pipe sleeve, some washers and the nut and screw it out. From the photo it looks like an SDS rotary hammer could be used to drill deeper BUT depending on the concrete, maybe you are trying to get it trough a piece of rebar. I guess a telescopic magnetic pick-up tool could tell.

  • Thanks. What do you mean by "putting a nut on them and levering them out"?
    – rbhat
    Aug 16, 2018 at 1:23
  • I was able to remove one by pulling on the sleeve, but the others are just too hard.
    – rbhat
    Aug 16, 2018 at 1:25
  • 1
    If you were to put a correct thread nut in it it would give you a lip that you could put a crowbar hook under. Surely that would give you enough leverage. Alternately you could put a couple oversized nut over the sleeve, a flat washer and then the correct size nut. Tightening that should pull the anchor up.
    – JerryP
    Aug 18, 2018 at 17:54

possibkle causes.

  • the hole is under diameter

  • there debris in the hole - blow it out with compressed air and probe the hole with a dowel to the required depth

  • the sleeve caught on a ledge in the hole, make sure that the hole is straight and smooth

  • the sleeve is deformed, ensure that the sleeve is regular and not flared before beginning insertion.

The best way to get these out is to grab the sleeve (eg using vise grips) and pull on that. Pulling the shaft may activate them and wedge them in position.

Drill the hole over depth. That way should you ever regret fitting them you can push them into the hole and plaster over it, extracting them after they've been used is very difficult.

  • Thanks. I was able to remove one by pulling on the sleeve, but the others are just too tough.
    – rbhat
    Aug 16, 2018 at 1:24
  • you could try tapping the shaft in and then pulling the sleeve, sometimes that will loosen them.
    – Jasen
    Aug 16, 2018 at 2:15

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