People buy electrical tape because it has insulation properties. You can use it to efficiently shied and protect electrical conductors. But how does it respond to water? Can you trust it to keep moisture away? It depends on the amount of water and the type of electrical tape.
Is Electrical Tape Waterproof?
While the tape provides a degree of resistance to humidity, it is not waterproof. This applies to most electrical tape.
If you look at the packaging, manufacturers always use terms like ‘Water-Resistant’ to describe the tape’s properties. Don’t assume that electrical tape is waterproof unless the label explicitly says so.
What Kind of Tape Is Waterproof?
Waterproof tape is a product that keeps the surfaces underneath it dry. It protects objects from water and moisture damage.
This matters because water is a decent conductor. And if an exposed wire is allowed to touch water, it may electrocute an innocent bystander. It may also destroy your equipment. This is why many homeowners use electrical tape to cover exposed wires.
However, electrical tape is available in various types, and these types do not offer the same protection against water. Some have greater water resistance than others. Consider the following:
1). Polyvinyl Chloride Tape
PVC electrical tape is normally used in the same situations that require vinyl tape. It is designed to resist corrosion and abrasion caused by adverse conditions. This allows the tape to mount a decent amount of resistance against water. But it isn’t waterproof.
2). Polytetrafluoroethylene Tape
PTFE tape, also called Teflon tape, has incredible chemical resistance. It may survive for a while in wet conditions. But you cannot trust it to protect your wires from water for long periods.
3). Rubber Tape
The term ‘Rubber Tape’ refers to a variety of electrical tape types. Perfect for rugged settings and typically used in low voltage applications, rubber tape can be used to add water resistance to electrical connections. It has greater water resistance than many other types of electrical tape. But it isn’t waterproof.
4). Mastic Tape
If you have a job that requires a high degree of resistance to moisture, I recommend Mastic tape. The sticky mass is malleable. It has a rubberized back. You can trust it to combat moisture that is associated with humidity, steam, or cold weather. Among conventional types of electrical tape, it is easily one of the best.
5). Vinyl Tape
This is the most common type of electrical tape on the market. It is popular because it offers resistance to everything from temperature and chemicals to abrasion and even moisture. It is perfect for people that want a water-resistant tape that can survive in rugged environments.
6). Polyester Tape
This is another versatile type of electrical tape that offers resistance to moisture along with chemicals and solvents. It is also flame retardent, to an extent.
7). Self Amalgamating Tape
It doesn’t have adhesive. Rather, the tape fuses to itself when you wrap it tightly around an object. You can trust it to provide a decent amount of protection from moisture. People already use it to moisture-seal joints.
But again, none of these are waterproof. If you want truly waterproof tape, I recommend Gorilla Duct Tape. It is not only waterproof but airtight. You can use it for indoor and outdoor purposes.
However, that isn’t an excuse to use ordinary duct tape in place of electrical tape. Ordinary duct tape cannot offer the insulation that electrical applications require. It is also far more flammable than electrical tape.
How Waterproof Is Electrical Tape?
1). Certain materials are more water-resistant than others.
For instance, tape with a cloth backing is convenient because it is easy to tear. However, it doesn’t offer much in the way of water resistance.
On the other hand, Bobvilla has a lot of confidence in electrical tapes that use plastic. Elements like polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride are used to give certain types of electrical tape a waterproof backing.
Rubber (Butyl and Silicone) has similar benefits. You can use rubber to make waterproof tapes. Tape with rubber or plastic backing offers more water protection than electrical tape that uses cloth.
2). Monomeric and Polymeric Structures
Some forms of electrical tape are monomeric. That is to say, they feature short-chain plasticizers. While these types are light-duty and affordable, they are lower grade.
Polymeric tape, on the other hand, features long-chain plasticizers. Not only is it more durable but it forms strong seals. If you want electrical tapes that can defend against moisture, polymeric types are your best option.
Can Electrical Tape Withstand Water?
Because most electrical tapes are water-resistant rather than waterproof, they cannot survive in marine environments.
- First of all, it won’t stick to a wet surface.
- Secondly, if you expose electrical tapes to water for long periods after they have been applied to a surface, the adhesive will eventually peel away and the tape will fall off.
Best Waterproof Electrical Tape
The strength of an electrical tape’s water resistance will depend largely on the quality of the tape you have decided to buy. Some of the best items in this category including:
1). Euro All Purpose Adhesive Tape
This tape has a very strong adhesive. You can use it to package heavy boxes. Made from a cloth with reinforced threads, the tape is resistant to dust and moisture.
It is easy to use because you can tear it with your bare hands. Scissors are not necessary. And yet, it is strong enough to cover the joints of leaking water pipes.
2). Gorilla Crystal Clear Tape
Despite the friendly price tag, this is a high-quality item that was made from an ethylene copolymer. The heavy-duty tape is airtight and weatherproof. It is convenient because you can tear it by hand.
The tape has a variety of uses. You can apply it to rough as well as uneven surfaces. It is temperature-resistant. You can use it outdoors. It will survive the elements.
3). MAVAR 8 Meter PVC Insulation Tape
This tape uses a polyvinyl chloride backing. The rubber-based adhesive is sensitive to pressure. Suitable for 600-volt applications, you can use the product to insulate wires and cable joints. It can survive temperatures of 80 degrees C. The tape is not only waterproof but resistant to fire, voltage, and cold.
4). T Rex Strong Tape
The primary attraction of this tape is its high tensile construction. You will also appreciate the premium adhesive. The item, which can be used indoors and outdoors, is made from a heavy-duty cloth. It is not only durable but waterproof.
You can use it in applications that involve extreme temperatures. It can survive difficult weather conditions. It retains all these attributes even when you apply it to rough surfaces like concrete and brick.
Is Black Electrical Tape Waterproof?
The color doesn’t mean anything where water resistance is concerned. You can find electrical tape in various colors, including pink, blue, green, and black is the standard color for vinyl tape.
Many electricians use black tape for insulation. But unless it is a special type that has been described as waterproof, most of the black vinyl tape on the market is simply water-resistant.
Is Liquid Electrical Tape Waterproof?
Liquid electrical tape is an airtight and waterproof product. Even though it is designed to last a long time when it is applied, it is easy to remove.
Is PVC Electrical Tape Waterproof?
Because PVC tape is a type of plastic tape, it has a certain amount of water resistance. But it isn’t waterproof.
Is 3M Electrical Tape Waterproof?
3M is a brand of electrical tape. They make various types of electrical tape, and some of them are water-resistant. They also make rubber tapes that repel moisture very efficiently. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that 3M electrical tape is waterproof. Though, that doesn’t mean that all the tape 3M makes is waterproof.
One example that has been highlighted by Electrician Apprentice Headquarters is the 3M Super 33+ Tape which people use for 600-volt applications.
Is Duct Tape or Electrical Tape More Waterproof?
Duct tape is good for its waterproof backing. It was used to protect ammunition from water damage in WWII. Duct tape does a better job of repelling water than electrical tape. This is the reason why people use it to repair drainage pipes during emergencies. They trust duct tape to prevent water from leaking.
Can You Use Electrical Tape Outdoors?
You can use electrical tape outdoors. Tape with a polymeric backing is the best choice because it is strong enough to survive the elements.
However, from what Engineering 360 has said, it looks like tape with a monomeric backing can also work outside.