Although challenging in its make-up and manufacture, vinyl electrical tape is relatively straightforward in its use. Nevertheless, to ensure the safest, most reliable use, always:
- Apply tape with enough stretch to conform to the objects you’re wrapping. Be sure to let the last couple of inches relax before tabbing it down to prevent unwinding (sometimes called “flagging”).
- Wrap an irregular mechanical connector, such as a split bolt, with rubber or mastic tape to pad sharp edges, before over wrapping it with vinyl electrical tape.
- Wrap cone-shaped (high voltage splices) “uphill” – that is, from the smallest to the largest point. This way you always secure the previous layer.
- Keep fingers close together when tearing tape. The farther apart they are, the more the tape will stretch before it tears.
- Use the right tape for the right conditions. Vinyl tapes are rated for cold-weather application in two classes: 32°F (0°C) and 0°F (-18°C). Tapes formulated for high temperature environments are typically rated 176°F (80°C) or 220°F (105°C).