Proper Ways To Use Electrical Tape

Published: 09th November 2011
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Electrical tape can be used at home for making minor fixes, but your better option is often getting in contact with a electrician whenever you need help. Unfortunately, it is sometimes used improperly, and that can end with tragic results. Knowing when to use electrical tape, as well as when it really should not be used, is one thing every homeowner should know. Below are a few guidelines regarding how to properly use electrical tape around your own home.

Electrical Tape and Wire Nuts Aren't Identical

Using electrical tape instead of wire nuts is a very common mistake made by do-it-yourself electricians. When you're making permanent connections in junction boxes, light switches, or wiring outlets, wire nuts ought to be used as opposed to electrical tape. When the electrical current passes through these connections, heat is naturally produced. Electrical tape can deteriorate over time because of this amount of heat, and this can create an unsafe condition. Although there are several varieties of electrical tape manufactured to resist this sort of heat, it is always a much better idea to work with wire nuts. If you want assistance making these repairs, contacting a electrical contractor is a better option.

Just Use for Minor Wire or Cord Repair

Even though electrical tape is often used to repair wires or cords that are damaged, this sort of usage has certain limitations. Electrical tape can generally be utilized for the repair of small defects that are in the wire's outer sheath, as long as the inner insulation of the wire is intact. However, if the cord or wire is more severely damaged, electrical tape should not be used to do the repair. Do not use electrical tape to fix wire or cord which is in close connection with rugs, fabric, or any other flammable materials.

Always Purchase High Quality Tape

If you are purchasing electrical tape for home repair, be sure that you don't scrimp in the quality. Although it can be tempting to buy inexpensive tape at discount stores, you will be much better off to buy high quality tape from the home improvement or hardware store. The tape will likely be of higher quality as well as newer. Electrical tape degrades over time, therefore it makes hardly any sense to purchase low quality tape that is already showing its age. If you buy tape that's already aged, your repairs are not going to be as durable as they are required to. Always using fresh, high quality tape can help ensure that your electrical repairs are safe ones.

Proper Electrical Tape Application Tips

Many inexperienced do-it-yourselfers make the common mistake to apply the electrical tape too loosely. You have to be sure to stretch the tape while it is applied, because this tape was made to function properly when fitted closely to that article that it is placed on. This will not only enhance the overall adhesion and efficiency of the tape, it will have better insulating properties. It is also vital that you be cautious when you're using electrical tape in close proximity with insulating materials. For instance, if you use electrical tape to help you insulate your water pipes in cold weather, do not ever cover your taped areas with insulation. When trapped between domestic hot water pipes and insulation, electrical tape could become hot enough to cause a fire.

So, if you are going to be using electrical tape, just be sure you apply it correctly. And, should you ever have questions regarding your work, make sure that you call your helpful electrician.


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