If you need to splice a wire or repair an electrical connection in your home, electrical tape should be on your list. Learn about the different types of electrical tape you should be using and find out which are the most water resistance.
What Is Electric Tape?
Electrical tape, or insulating tape, is pressure-sensitive tape used to insulate electrical wires and other conductive materials. It’s mostly vinyl but can come in various plastic, rubber, and fiberglass cloth for Class H insulation. It’s also known for its elasticity and insulation properties.
Electrical tape was initially made from cloth with a unique adhesive made for insulating solder splices. This original binding was known as friction tape and was double-sided. The modern electrical tape came about in the 1940s and is a vital part of electrical work today.
Color Codes – What You Might Not Know
Many people don’t know that electrical tape is color-coded, indicating its acceptable use in voltage and wire phases. In the United States, low-voltage jobs with phase A wire use the standard black tape. Low-voltage jobs with phase B wiring use red tape, while low-voltage jobs with phase C use blue.
High-voltage jobs using phase A, B, or C wiring use brown, orange and yellow tapes. Lastly, green tape is commonly utilized for ground wires and white or gray tape for neutral wires with low and high voltage.
3 Kinds of Waterproof Electric Tape
Electrical tape comes in many forms and can be made from many different materials. Three of the most common are rubber, vinyl, and mastic tape. Vinyl tape is mostly seen in homes. It’s usually black and has a PVC backing that’s designed to be flexible, long-lasting, and abrasion-resistant. Its high insulation properties protect against moisture; however, it’s recommended that this tape only be used to repair cuts and nicks in wires. It’s not waterproof to the point where it could be submerged, but it is water-resistant.
Rubber electrical tape is unusual in that it generally has no adhesive backing. It only sticks to itself when stretched or tightly wrapped and is used for splicing wires, cables, or terminating connections rated to 69 KV. It can also be used to insulate connections from moisture, but it isn’t 100% waterproof.
Mastic tape has a spongy center, sometimes with a vinyl or rubber backing. Professionals commonly use this versatile tape due to its easy manipulation in tight spaces or around unusual shapes. It has strong insulation properties and offers a complete moisture seal while also being resistant to UV rays. Mastic tape is the best when it comes to complete waterproof protection.
How to Use Electric Tape
Electrical tape should be stretched taut and tightly wound around a connection for fully protected coverage. The tighter it is stretched and wrapped, the more complete the seal.
While all-electric tape provides strong insulation, you should never assume it’s completely waterproof unless it says so on the packaging.
Have a job that requires more than tape? Contact Sin City Electrical today to learn more!