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How to Install a Ground Anchor

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When securing valuable items using chains and locks you need to attach them to an immovable point. Robust ground anchors provide fixed, immovable anchor points to attach security chains, prevent theft and deter any would-be thieves from having a go.

Embedded or Surface Mount Ground Anchors

There are basically two forms of robust, secure ground anchors to choose from.

Surface mounted or bolt down ground anchors are designed to be bolted to an existing concrete base. They are attached to the ground using hardened steel security anchor bolts. A key benefit of this ground anchor design is that it is quick and relatively easy to install. 

bolt down ground anchor

Embedded or concrete-in ground anchors are set into the concrete base. This requires excavation of any existing concrete to make a hole of the required size and then concreting in the ground anchor. This installation process takes longer than the surface mount ground anchor process, but an embedded ground anchor offers a higher level of security than most surface mount models.

concrete in ground anchor

How to Install a Ground Anchor - Step by Step

Ground anchor installation can be successfully carried out by anyone with basic DIY skills. The steps involved are:

  1. Gather together your tools and equipement
  2. Select the best location for your new ground anchor
  3. Prepare the concrete base and attach your ground anchor
  4. If using a bolt down ground anchor - secure the allen sockets in the bolt heads.

Gather Your Tools and Equipment

The specific tools needed will be governed by the type of ground anchor you are installing. The following list is for guidance.

  • Safety goggles and gloves.
  • Electric hammer drill.
  • Concrete drill bits of required diameter (for surface mount ground anchor securing bolts).
  • Hammer chisel drill and bit to excavate hole if installing an embedded ground anchor. 
  • Appropriate allen keys
  • Pencil
  • Concrete, sand and water (for embedded ground anchor installation).

Select Your Ground Anchor Location

This is probably the most important step in the ground anchor installation process. You need to ensure that you select a ground anchor location that is close enough to the items you need to secure such as your motorcycle, trailer or caravan. But you need to be aware that ground anchors protrude above the ground by around 35mm, which presents a trip hazard, especially in the dark. So ideally you shouldn’t locate your ground anchor where people tend to walk. 

Once you have selected the optimum location, mark this clearly ready for the next stage.

Prepare the Concrete and Attach the Ground Anchor

Make certain you are wearing goggles and gloves throughout the installation procedure.

If you are installing a surface mount ground anchor it’s best to start by drilling the hole for just one mounting bolt and then using the ground anchor as a template, indicating where the remaining mounting holes should be drilled.

Drill one corner hole, to the required depth, clean away any dust and debris, tap the first bolt and plug into this hole and then attach the ground anchor using just this one bolt. Using the ground anchor baseplate as a template, drill pilot holes for the remaining mounting bolts. Then, loosen the first bolt enough to allow the baseplate to be rotated out of the way and redrill each of the mounting holes to the required diameter and depth. Tap the bolts and plugs into each of the mounting holes and unscrew the bolts. Slide the baseplate back into position and bolt down tightly using all of the mounting bolts.

If installing an embedded, concrete-in ground anchor you will firstly need to excavate a hole in the existing concrete of the required diameter and depth. This can be achieved using a good hammer chisel drill with a drill bit of the required length. Once the hole has been excavated remove all of the loose concrete chips and dust from the hole. Make up a 3-2-1 concrete mix and set the ground anchor in the newly formed hole using this.

Remember that while concrete achieves a reasonable state of hardness in about 24 to 48 hours it actually takes around 7 days of curing to reach around 70% hardness. So your new ground anchor will not be fully functional or secure for some time.

Protect Allen Key Bolts

If you are installing a surface mount ground anchor you will be aware that the allen key heads are currently exposed, presenting a security risk. These are protected by hammering appropriately sized ball bearings into the hex drive socket making it impossible to remove the bolts.

A robust, top quality ground anchor, correctly installed, will provide a reliable, immovable anchor point to which you can attach your valuables for many years.

If you have any questions regading ground anchors or any other aspect of security please don`t hesitate to contact Insight Security on 01273 475500. We are always happy to help and our expert advise is provided for FREE!

This message was added on Thursday 27th June 2019

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