Can I use electrical tape inside a shrinking tube

Discussion in 'Technical Repair' started by Thevenin99, Dec 5, 2018 at 10:45 PM.

  1. Thevenin99

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 23, 2017
    12
    1
    I just wanted to ask if I can use electrical tape to maintain some wires together and then cover the wires and the electrical tape with a shrinking tube.
    I know both, the tape and the shrinking tube are insulators so I am assuming it should be ok.

    I use those wires with some terminal connectors to test an automotive switch. The test machine I use is connected to an outlet and the cables to the automotive switch and to the machine, so I guess I just wanted to make sure what I am doing is ok. The reason I used to tape and tube was to prevent the wires from loosening as it has happened before.
     
  2. Mark Hughes

    Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    295
    28
    @Thevenin99,
    The wires have their own insulation on them, and you're just using the tape to bundle the wires prior to heat-shrinking? Go for it.
    You've taken some bare copper, covered it with electrical tape, and then want to bundle with heat-shrink tubing? Don't go for it. Go get some decent wire.
     
  3. ebp

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    2,221
    775
    I don't understand exactly what you want to do.

    If by "holding wires together" you mean the actual conductors are to be held together to make an electrical connection just by twisting or something, then taping, I would strongly advise against it unless the current is small (perhaps an ampere or two, maximum). Some kind of proper connector (crimp, "wire nut", solder, etc.) should be used.

    If by "outlet" you mean AC mains outlet, then I would also very strongly advise against connecting a switch intended for automotive use. Switches for AC mains use require a higher standard for insulation for safety.
     
  4. Thevenin99

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 23, 2017
    12
    1
    What I meant was that there is a bunch of wires covered with their own wire insulator, and I am just using electrical tape to hold them together, then a shrinking tube to cover them and the electrical tape. I am using the tube because that way they will definitely stay together. Is just that it is the first time I put tape inside a shrinking tube
     
  5. Thevenin99

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 23, 2017
    12
    1
    Yes, the wires have their own insulation, I use the tape to hold them together and then I use a shrinking tube to be completely sure they will stay together. Is just that I never used electrical tape and shrinking tube that way before
     
  6. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    16,383
    4,818
    Also in severe conditions it is normal to use RTV and then heat shrink over the top.
    Max.
     
  7. Thevenin99

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 23, 2017
    12
    1
    what is rtv?
     
  8. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    16,383
    4,818
  9. ebp

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    2,221
    775
    For what you describe, tape and then heat shrink tubing are fine. The most common ("polyolefin") heat shrinkable tubing shrinks at a temperature low enough that there is rarely any problem with any kind of common plastic used for wire insulation or electrical tape. Some tubing materials such as Kynar and Teflon require much higher temperature, so you must be cautious not to melt other things when shrinking the tubing.

    None of the common tubing materials are very flexible, so your wire bundle will be a bit stiff.
     
  10. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    5,795
    3,307
    So then you're just making a 'bundle' of wires? Why not use the commonly available "split wire loom tube"? In automotive use electrical tape will lose it's adhesive if exposed to oil, and that makes a real mess if it needs to be worked on at a later time. The split tube keeps wires together and still allows them to be pulled out later. This is a link to what I mean, but for a short piece going to a car wrecking yard will get it for next to nothing - https://www.cabletiesandmore.com/wireloom.php
     
  11. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    7,435
    1,759
    It'll be fine. Even putting tape over joints, or bare wire, and putting heatshrink over the tape is fine.
     
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