Instructables

Does Electrical Tape Have A Use?

Hello, I was wondering if black electrical tape actually had a use? I ask because it doesn't seem to really stick to anything for very long. It eventually becomes un-done from what it was wrapped around and then leaves a sticky residue behind. Am I not using it properly or not using it the way it was intended? Does anybody else have this problem? (I have the same problem with that Saran clear plastic wrap stuff, it doesn't stick to anything but itself. So, it could be user error.) Thanks J

Re-design3 years ago
To get electrical tape to stick longer start the tape on one leg of the splice and let it stick to itself, adhesive to adhesive. Then wrap the splice.  Old electricians use a method that works well but is very hard to explain without photos.

Saran wrap is defective.  Only your mother can make it work.
sdtacoma (author) 5 years ago
NachoMahma has the answer. I was using an inferior product that wasn't super sticky and was $0.99. The Scotch 33+ works much much better but cost a bit more, $4.99.
. As with most things in Life, quality costs extra. ;) The cheap electrical tape you find at Wal-Mart/AutoZone/&c is usually worthless.
. Others have come up with some good suggestions. As PKM says, having a clean surface to stick to helps a lot. And fwjs28 is right about wrapping it tightly - stretch the tape a little as you are wrapping it.
. It helps to know how to use electrical tape properly. Maybe these tips will help.
PKM5 years ago
Make sure the surfaces you are taping onto are clean and free from dust and grease- if you recently soldered the wires they may be coated in flux, so you should clean them with alcohol or a similar solvent. Excessive heat isn't great for the glue on LX tape either, but if it's going to be in a situation where ti will be getting any hotter than "warm" it's not an ideal solution anyway- heat-shrink or a solid insulator would be better.
fwjs285 years ago
if you tightly wrap it, sometimes it sticks better
110100101105 years ago
in electricity it was one of the first ways to isolate wires - from the days where wiring in homes was with twisted pairs of wires with mesh isolation today electrical tape is nearly useless for electricity btw any tape except some types of duct tape are isolator. few layers of standard office scotch can hold 240 V the last time i used electrical tape was to make a harry potter costume
Kiteman5 years ago
It doesn't need to be extremely sticky, since all it is designed to support is its own weight - it's intended use is to replace the plastic insulation around wires, not to hold things together.
sdtacoma (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
I am using it to wrap around two wires that I just soldered together. I would never trust it to hold things together, that's why we have duct tape and zip-ties. :)
guyfrom7up5 years ago
Also, it looks pretty great when you wrap it around something :P
sdtacoma (author) 5 years ago
Thanks for the replies. It's an insulator.... How well could it possible insulate if it doesn't stay stuck to the object? Nacho, thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to pick-up a roll of that tape and give it a try.
lemonie5 years ago
My initial answer is "duh?" Electrical tape is very useful for electrical hacks, as insulation. L
NachoMahma5 years ago
. You're using inferior tape. Try 3M's Scotch 33+.
guyfrom7up5 years ago
well, it's an insulator...