Vinyl tape is something that every electrician needs in his or her toolbox. It can be used for many purposes including wrapping damaged wires and preventing pipes from freezing water. However, there are times when electricians cannot use vinyl tapes at all. Knowing when it is the right time to use vinyl tape can make the job of an electrician easier. Below are some of the tips on how electricians can best use vinyl tape.
Use the Tape Only for Minor Wire Damages
Electricians often use 33+ rated vinyl electrical taps to bind cracked and damaged cables. However, it is not suitable for openings that expose wire cables with power supply. You can use the tape as a protective cover if the insulating material is not worn out. You should never cover a vinyl electrical tape with flammable materials such as cloth or rug.
Avoid Covering the Tape with Insulation
Electricians can use vinyl tape as insulators when fixing cables in the winter. However, you should never use insulating materials to cover the tape. It is critical especially when the vinyl tape is used to protect electricians from extreme heat when fixing hot water pipes. These tapes often get extremely hot, and can easily cause fire accidents if flammable materials are used to cover them.
Spray the Tape with Clear Coat Enamel
It is important to spray the taped area with a dielectric spray such as coat enamel when using vinyl tape on sensitive connections. That helps provide more insulation and protect the tape from wearing out. Make sure the wire or cable has no power supply before applying the spray. You can restore the power once the spray dries up.
Buy Vinyl Tape at a Reliable Store
Think twice before buying a tape at surplus stores. Even the best brands of vinyl tape can only last for about five years. Surplus stores often do not reveal to their customers how long the tape will hold up for use. Old tape can be too dangerous for use. The best place to purchase tapes is at regular hardware or home improvement stores. Such stores ship new tapes frequently, so their tapes can be considered safer to use.
Avoid Using the Tape as a Wire Nuts Replacement
You cannot use electrical tape as a permanent connection insulator when repairing cables with power supply. The electrical current that passes through bare cable produces extreme heat that can cause tape degradation. While there are a couple of tapes that can tolerate extreme heat, wire nuts are much affordable.
Stretch the Tape
Stretching the tape as you wrap it on an object ensures it conforms to the object it is being used to bind. Therefore, it is critical to stretch the tape as you bind it to a piece of wire or cord. That way, it will provide more insulation to your object than when it is loosely tied. It is critical for electricians to understand how to apply vinyl tape. As such, they do not make faulty connections that can cause electrocution.