What Are Anchor Bolts

What Are Anchor Bolts

Installing a light pole requires planning and preparation, and we want to make sure you start your project off on the right foot. Poles typically come in two options. Direct burial, where the pole is buried directly into the ground or anchor-based, where the pole has a base that can be secured by anchor bolts. In this article, we will focus on the anchor base poles and the anchor bolts used to secure them.

What Is an Anchor Bolt?

An anchor bolt is a fastener typically made from galvanized steel and has a bend or a J hook at the end. Anchor bolts come in various sizes, but the 3 sizes you’ll most likely see are 3/4x30x3, 1x36x4, and 3/4x17x3, with the final size being the most common. Even though these are the most common sizes, they’re not the only sizes. Anchor bolts come in a wide range of sizes to meet the demands of any project.

What Are the Advantages of an Anchor Base Pole?

One of the main benefits of using an anchor base pole is that the foundation of the pole can be raised. Have you noticed that some parking lots have poles attached to short concrete pillars? That’s for a reason. If a vehicle accidentally hits the pole, it’s safer for the rest of the parking lot if the vehicle hits the concrete rather than the pole. Now let’s imagine that the vehicle hit a direct burial pole. To replace the pole, you need to dig up the entire pole and the concrete around. If the anchor bolts are intact with an anchor base pole, you can easily swap the damaged pole for a new one.

How to Install Anchor Bolts

How Do I Install Anchor Bolts?

Installing anchor bolts into concrete foundations can be time-consuming and labor-intensive but well worth the effort for the resulting safety. Once you’re ready to pour the concrete, you can follow these steps. Always make sure that the template you are using matches the bolt circle of the pole.

  • Layout and drill your bolt pattern on plywood
  • Place the bolts on the plywood according to the pattern
  • Place the plywood with the bolts hanging below it into the cardboard cone that the concrete will be poured into.
  • Pour the concrete into the cone and let it set
  • Once set, remove the plywood and smooth out the surface.

You will need to check with the local municipality to determine how deep the concrete must be poured. Every township has different standards and requirements.

What If the Anchor Bolts Are Too Short?

It is always important to be aware of the bolt projection. The bolt projection is how far the bolts stick out of the concrete. If there isn’t enough length on the bolts, the pole can’t be bolted down properly. The bolt projection for a given pole should always be provided on the spec sheet. If you ever find that your bolts are not tall enough, don’t worry. You can purchase bolt extenders like our TE175 to finish the project.

How Do I Remove Anchor Bolts?

Well, you don’t. Once anchor bolts are placed in concrete, they are nearly impossible to remove. So what should you do if you have preexisting bolts that don’t match the bolt circle of the pole? You have a couple of options. You can use an anchor bolt adaptor like our ABA175 or AABA to compensate for the incorrect bolt size. Or you can cut down the existing bolts, drill new holes, and use an epoxy adhesive to secure straight bolts into the concrete.

Light Pole Assistance

Hopefully, you’re more prepared to tackle anchor base pole instillations. If you’re considering installing light poles, let LightMart help you. We carry a wide variety of light poles, fixtures, and brackets to suit many of your lighting needs. Talk to one of our experts today at (866) 576-4091 or contact us online.

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