literally from waking up from bed to going to bed, you are driven by the electrical energy. This revolution never would be possible without the proper insulation system of electricity. In the term of insulation, the thing that comes to your mind most is the Electrical Tape.
In this article, different types of Electrical tape, their features, and works are explained. Some of the best electrical tapes are described with their pros and cons. Later safety issues, the standard procedure of insulation and some FAQ and their answers are given.
Best Electrical Tape Buying Guide
Before buying an Electrical tape, you need to consider some facts to get the best one. These factors indicate how good and how long the tape will do good in insulation to protect others.
Electrical Insulation Properties is the most important thing first of all. To be a best Electrical Tape, it must have a range of 600 V or more Electrical insulation quality.
Temperature Tolerance is another important fact that indicates the maximum temperature that the tape can tolerate and keep the good condition of the joint. In the most of the cases, it should work well up to 176 F and so on. There is some specially made Electrical tape for the high temperature that can bear even up to 3000 F.
Flexibility and Stretch
Stretch is important for the long-lasting performance of the taping. More stretch ensures the flexibility and durability of the taping in any case.
You also need to see the width and how thin the tape is before buying. It should be decided on the basis of your need. Every type has its own pros and cons that are described later.
You also need to check the color code of the tape and which you want. Because a different type of wire needs different color Electrical tape for the insulation. It is according to the international standard.
If liquid then the container quality must be good because if there is any leak than the full liquid will be hard.
Required time to Hard
Again, after using liquid need to be hard faster. All kind of taping must be in good condition in any weather. It needs to be Resistant to liquids such as oil, acid, and fame as well.
Our Recommended Best Electrical Tapes
There are many kinds of tape having various features for different kinds of works. Here are their features, pros, and cons are described:
1. Duck Brand 299006 Vinyl Electrical Tape
Duck Brand 299006 3/4-Inch by 60 Feet is a vinyl made electrical tape. It is 7-mile meter thin that made enough resistance to ensure the proper insulation of a connection.
This tape is the flame resistant as well as weather. That means it will work well at any kind of weather. It has an excellent stretch that makes the connection flexible after taping. It will also provide adhesion and comfortability.
It can insulate a connection from up to 600 Volt. That means the tape will survive if the connection has a voltage of 600 volts or less than it. You can use this tape from 14 to 176 degree Fahrenheit. This tape is stretch that will make the tapping strong enough but also easy to cut even without a scissor.
Its glue is made of a standard material that it can serve for a long time. You can also use this to attach any two parts as well as to patch small leaks. Though it is good enough, this type of tape can not fully airtight the connection. So that the connection will not be totally waterproof.
Another thing is you may find trouble to isolate a long wire or my connection because it will make a round hole at the end. Again it is hard to tape an unshaped or irregular surface with this tape.
2. 3M Scotch Electrical Tape
3M Scotch #35 Electrical Tape provides proper insulation to electrical wires or other products those allows to conduct electricity. For mechanical protection, color identification or to provide the mechanical support these tapes are used in our day to day life.
This tape is fade resistant that means the fabric is treated to last longer than a normal or standard fabric. 3M Scotch #35 Electrical tape has high-temperature sensibility. It has flame retardant. The breaking strength of this tape is not last long. Sometimes wire can fall apart.
Besides this, it is not full sized rolls. They are a little narrower than a normal roll too. This tape is really thin and skinny. But you can use it as color coding identification because there is a multiple color collection of this tape. And this tape has strong adhesion.
For joining two electrical wire this tape will give you more support than other ones. For mechanical support of many products, you can use this tape and it sticks well. As they will play out so be extra careful with the ends while you are decorating something with this tape. While taping with this tape be gentle or the tape can peel apart.
3. TradeGear Electrical Tape
TradeGear Electrical Tape is a high voltage and temperature rated waterproof, Flame retardant, strong rubber-based adhesive tape which is used for all kind of electrical wiring system. This tape has a multicolored collection as well.
This tape is resistant to oil, UV, Acid, Alkali, moisture etc. It has maximum 600 Volt operating voltage, and 80 °C (176 °F) operating temperature. It is PVC tape which is different from another normal electrical tape. But the adhesive is a little bit weaker, if you pull it off then you can not reapply it in the next time.
This tape can not hold significant weight but It doesn’t seem to peel up. It may not stick well sometimes. As it has a multicolored collection(10 different colors)so you can use it for mark electrical cords or anything.
The breaking strength of this tape is not so good and it never stays stuck for more than a week. As the tape is waterproof so the wire will be safe even in the touch of water. But This tape has some chemical smell which is really bad.
4. Gardner Bender GTPC-550 Electrical Tape
Gardner Bender GTPC-550 Electrical Tape is a pressure sensitive low lead PVC electrical tape which has high temperature and voltage rating. It is a professional grade adhesive tape and various color for different application and it is a 7 mm thickness electrical tape.
When you will deal with multiple wires then you can use this tape as a mark of each wire because it has multiple colored collections. The max temperature rating is almost 80 °C (176 °F) and max voltage rating is almost 600v. The adhesive is very weak. It peels up over time.
If you want to use it as aesthetic purpose just be aware because it’ll usually shrink some after you put it on because it’s hard to not stretch it and it’ll return to its non-stretched length eventually, leaving a small spread of adhesive at the end as it shrinks. This tape is rather narrow but they wrap and tape well.
This tape provides proper insulation to electrical wires than another electrical tape. But these tapes are quite small so when you will deal with it you have to use a good amount of this tape. If you pull it off after using the first time then you can not fix it for the second time. But it can bear sustainable pressure.
Best Liquid Electrical Tape
5. Gardner Bender LTB-400 Liquid Electrical Tape
Gardner Bender is a liquid adhesive tape and generally used for marking, insulating of wires and electrical connections for various purposes. This tape provides a waterproof coating which will not disentangle like others tape.
This tape can resist damages from different chemicals or from UV rays as well. It remains flexible in extreme temperatures from -34 to 93°C. It doesn’t create a huge bulk on wire harnesses like other tapes do. Even you can use this liquid for repair small electrical cords. But while using it make sure you have a clean surface.
As it is a liquid type tape so you can easily use it for any kind of taping and the drying process of it is really quick. If you keep the bottle for a long time the substance can be clumped together. But without much effort, you can pull it over anytime.
This tape did not adhere well once dry to the PVC of the wires in the cord or the jacket of the cord. While curing the flames of this tape is quite strong, after curing the odor is not strong anymore. And it smells like regular rubber.
6. Star Brite Liquid Electrical Tape
Star Brite Liquid Electrical Tape came with a brush applicator in its cap. This tape has 5 variant color in 4 oz for a different type of uses.
This tape seals the connection fully airtight. The connection will be waterproof and even UV resistant. This die electric coating still is flexible after drying. You can also build additional layer by this liquid tape.
This tape dries faster as well as approximately within 5 minutes. It dries at any kind of surfaces like metal, plastic, vinyl, rubber or any composite surface. It can also tighten the screws and other elements that ensure the protection of them from vibration.
There is no chance to wore away the tape and making any open corner after using this. It also reduces the problem of round shape hole at the end of a connector while tapping. This tape can be applied at any unshaped connection as well as remote areas to insulate the connection.
There are some using this kind of tape. First of all, it takes time to be hard. For this-this is not suitable for the emergency situation. It is hard to di insulate this type of tape than the ordinary tape.
Again if there is any path of air or leak that exposed air, then the whole liquid inside the box will be hard. You will not be able to use this anymore.
Standard Method of Insulation
There are different steps of a standard method to insulate a wire with tape. You need to follow these for the proper insulation and safety as well. First of all, you need to solder the total electrical connection that ensures the proper conductivity through the joint. It doesn’t whether the joint has two or more wire.
After that start taping from one side of the joint keeping a safe area of insulation of the wire. Continue the wounding to the end of the joint to the other wire. If there are more than two wire then start taping again from the middle of the joint and continue through the remaining wire.
If there is another conductive path then tap the both after insulating them individually and tighten them up. If there is any leak in a wire, then follow the same procedure to stop the leak from a safe distance. If the wire is plumed than do double insulation.
What is Electrical Tape Used for
Electrical Tape is basically used for insulating an electrical connection and other materials that conduct electricity but whose are not isolated by the insulation of the wire. It is done for the safety that in case someone does not come to the direct touch of High power electrical energy.
It mainly made of a nonconductive material that acts as a high resistant and stops the flow of current and voltage across it. The liquid Electrical tape is used for some extra features like it can airtight a connection. It can make the connection waterproof, UV resistant and so on that ensure the proper insulation of an electrical connection and totally inhibit the flow of electron through the tape.
As Electrical tape has glue on one side, it can be used for some more purposes besides electrical connection wrapping. Such as tightening two or more wire or particles, to indicates or leveling something. It can be also used to attached some materials.
Different types of Electrical Tapes
Electrical tape can be different type based on the material that is used to make the tape and according to the different uses of the tape. In most cases, we use tape that is made for insulating an electrical connection of two or more wires. They are made of mainly vinyl. Here different types of Electrical tape and their raw materials and working purposes are discussed:
1. PVC Electrical Tape
PVC Electrical Tape is made of a plastic chemical material called Polyvinyl Chloride or also knows as PVC. It utilizes rubber mainly based on adhesive. This tape has also a good temperature tolerance and works well on high voltages.
This type of tape is popular than others for its variety, good insulating features, and long-lasting quality. This tape is good enough sticky to serve for a long period of time from spilled away as well as it is cost effective too.
2. Colored Electrical Tape
Colored Electrical Tape is mainly normal PVC Electrical Tape but in different colors. These colors indicate different features of the tape for different works. Mainly the colors vary on the rating of voltage and temperature tolerance. You can also know the phase of the wire by the color of the tape.
Another fact is there are several standards of the color code. They are the U.S.A. Standard, U.K. Standard and International Standard (New). Here in short International Code are Explained:
Black: Mainly for Insulation in Phase B.
Red: Covering 3 phase power supply of 415 Volt.
Blue: Sheath Neutral line and low voltage 3 phase supply.
Brown: Insulation of Low voltage phase A.
Orange: Sheath the garden tools.
Yellow: Insulating 110 V Site wiring.
Green: Insulating earth Ground.
Green with Yellow strips: For earth wire insulation.
White: for Low voltage Neutral.
Gray: For insulating low voltage Phase C.
3. Thin Electrical Tape
Thin Electrical Tape is normally thin than other types of electrical tape but strong enough. This type of tape is mainly made of Polyester chemical. Though these tapes are thin, still it is resistant to the chemical material, temperature, solvent, oil, and obviously too high voltage up to 1000 voltage per millimeter.
This tape is mainly used in bounding and protecting cases as well as insulating electrical connection.
5. Heat Resistant Electrical Tape
Heat resistant Electrical tape is mainly used where a lot of thermal energy is produced and also you need to insulate to prevent conduction of electricity. Normal PVC Tape is resistant to Heat up to 176 Fahrenheit.
But Silica made Electrical tape are highly resistant to high temperature. This type of tape can tolerate from 1800 degree F to up to 3000 degrees F temperature. These Tapes are mainly made using pure Silicon dioxide.
6. Electrical Warning Tape
These types of tape are different from the ordinary ones from its function and features. It is mainly used to aware people of any danger or to give sign rather than insulation. In this tape, there are marking or some warning sentence.
These things alert the worker about the wires mainly in the underground. So they if anyone digging there, they will be aware of the wire and electricity through the wire.
7. Vinyl Electrical Tape
Vinyl tapes are normally strong, flexible and have good insulation properties. They are perfect for household and low voltage uses. These tapes can survive in any weather. They are mainly used in outer layer insulation as this tapping is long lasting and flexible.
These tapes can protect your stuff from acid, alkalis, corrosion, moisture etc. they are flame resistant too.
8. Liquid Electrical Tape
Liquid Electrical Tape is quite different from the other ones. It is a liquid chemical which becomes hard -it comes to the touch of Air. So these type of tape is stored in a container rather than roll.
You just need to brush the liquid in your connection with an applicator. After a while, the liquid will be hard and the connection will be insulated. Most advancing fact is it totally seals the connection area that it becomes airtight and waterproof.
It will make the connection resistant to any kind of liquid or acid and UV resistant as well. So, the connection will be totally secured. But the problem is to di insulate area and the price.
Safety Issues While Working
Works with electricity is always hard and dangerous. While taping an electrical connection you must take proper initiatives to protect yourself. You must check whether the connection is off or not. Before start taping, you must check the naked wire with tester or multimeter.
While working you should be careful about the color of taping. Because there is an international standard of color for a different kind of electrical wire. You also need to check that the connection is totally insulated and there is no gap. You should not insulate two wire with a single piece of tape.
After the work, you must put the wire in safe place and tighten there. Before turning on the connection check again whether all the connection and insulation is okay.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Will it stick in any kind of surface?
Ans: Normally there is stick to any kind of surface except rough concrete and so like this.
Q. Is all Electrical Tape are Waterproof?
Ans: In the most of the cases they are not waterproof. But liquid Electrical Tape is waterproof as well as UV proof.
Q. What is the drying time for a liquid Electrical Tape?
Ans: it varies from one to another. But normally drying time for a normal liquid electrical tape is around 5 minutes.
Q. Can liquid Electrical Tape be different color?
Ans: Yes, there is a different colored model for liquid electrical tape. But normally Red and Black are mainly used.
Q. How hard to come off the liquid tape?
Ans: Liquid Electrical tape is not permanent insulation. So though it is hard, you can pull off it.
It is clear from the discussion that you must buy the best electrical tape for safety issues and proper insulation. Insulation of electrical wire must be top priority task of any electrical work. At the same time, you need to maintain the international standard for further assistance in works in future.
Good insulation largely depends upon the quality of the electrical tape. They must have the proper electricity insulating capability as well as heat resistance and so more.