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Does Electrical Tape Have A Use? Answered

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



1 year ago

I have wired factories, a casino and many homes and hundreds of black rolls of electrical tape with no problem sticking.. Even anchoring six stranded #10 gauge wires to a fish-tape through extensive hand lubed conduit runs it got torn and shredded but pulled and pushed through in holding shape...

The only tape that had trouble sticking was the old style cloth tape we were replacing in old buildings but then so was the wire insulation itself.

Some cheap electrical tape is so poor at sticking it is basically useless. Even when you wrap it around itself, you will sit there and watch it unwrap itself 10 seconds later.

It is borderline scam. Nobody's going to be able to use it for anything.

Use a different, recognisable brand.

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.

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.


9 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.


9 years ago

if you tightly wrap it, sometimes it sticks better

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

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.

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. :)

Also, it looks pretty great when you wrap it around something :P

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.

My initial answer is "duh?" Electrical tape is very useful for electrical hacks, as insulation. L

. You're using inferior tape. Try 3M's Scotch 33+.

well, it's an insulator...