Home Remodelling

Guide to Tapes Used for Electrical Work

Electrical insulation tape is used to insulate and protect a variety of wires that can conduct electricity. You can also find this as thermal insulation tape. There are so many sizes, colours and lengths of this tape depending on the type of application.

Having different colours of electric tape allows electricians to colour code cables and wires. There are also different brands that produce this tape. Electrical insulation tape is very stretchy and you can easily wrap it tightly around a hose or cable. However, these tapes are not waterproof. If they were waterproof, the sealing properties of the tape will not hold for long if the tape becomes wet.

But it has a certain resistance when it comes to different types of weather and it can withstand water to a certain amount. So it will be just fine with a small amount of moisture. But you can’t use it when the tape is exposed to a large amount of water. And anyway, wiring has to be kept away from water so this is not a big issue. There are waterproof tapes that you can use in non-electrical settings such as plumbing.

If you are looking for alternatives to electrical tape, some of the options you can consider are wire connectors and heat shrink tubing. Wire connectors are made of plastic and you can use them on the ends of a wire that is stripped. But generally, you will have to use electrical tape for these applications especially with it comes in direct contact with the wiring. Other tapes will not have the same insulating properties as electrical tape and they will not be safe to use.

For wires that are in smaller circuits, you can use heat shrinks but this will not be used for home purposes as the wire used in residences are larger and need more protection. Electrical tape is composed of PVC material or a stretchy vinyl that insulated well against electrical current. You need to choose a reliable brand so that there is an assurance the tape will not degrade even in changing environments such as harsh weather conditions, high moisture, the presence of chemicals, extreme temperature changes etc.

There is a misconception that duct tape can be used as an alternative to electrical tape. It is a pressure sensitive tape that gives a good adhesive layer and adheres sufficiently to different materials. It also has a resistance to moisture even though it is not waterproof tape. But while you can use it on exposed wires when there is no other option, you need to keep in mind that duct tape is not an electrically insulating material.

So it is not safe to use when there is live current. And if the duct tape heats up a lot, it can become a fire risk. Most manufacturers ensure that electrical tape can withstand high temperatures so that they don’t catch fire in normal conditions. However, in very hot conditions above 80 degrees, they are susceptible to catching fire.

the authorDarlaJacobson