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Old 02-19-2015, 09:08 AM   #1
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Never knew this existed!

Use self-fusing tape for weatherproof connections
by Greg Illes
Standard vinyl electrical tape has been around for a long time too long, some would say. The problem with this commonly used product is its adhesive. It doesn't really stick very well and after awhile it starts to peel loose, leaving a gooey mess behind.
Some years ago, a worthy alternative appeared a silicone rubber tape that was self-fusing. It bonded to itself with enthusiasm and had no adhesive to age or create a mess. Furthermore, it was impervious to many chemicals, ozone and UV, which age and deteriorate lesser products.
Recently, this self-vulcanizing tape has seen a surge in popularity. It's now sold in many colors and widths, all at affordable prices (although much more expensive than its cheaper brother). Sold by everyone from Ace Hardware to Amazon, a 1" x 12' roll runs about $10, and 2" x 36' will set you back about $30.
You apply the tape by peeling off its backing (being careful not to let it touch itself it bonds instantly). Wrap the tape around the object to be covered and make the first wrap go over itself. Then stretch the tape in the direction you want and continue wrapping. It's easiest to cut off a piece in advance rather than applying it from the roll. A little experience will show you how much to use, and it takes very little: Two to three inches will weatherproof most electrical joints.
Notice that the tape doesn't actually stick to anything but itself. This means that it's easy to remove, but it also means that it can't be used for any application that requires a sticky seal. The best way to think of this "tool" is as a rubber-molding process. Once the tape is applied and wrapped around the object, it is literally as if the object were cast inside a mold. In fact, I've cut open 5-year-old wrappings and they still looked as if they were just one solid piece of rubber.
Due to its stretchy nature, the tape is fabulously conforming. It will create a solid rubber sleeve around the most odd-shaped joints and other objects. In addition to electrical, the tape can be used for any purpose where a rubber coating is desired. For example, my flagpole gave up its rattle after I rubber-taped the base. Your imagination is your only limit.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:34 AM   #2
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Yep, truly wonderful stuff. I baught some at a show and have used it on several occasions. I will always have a roll in my tool box from now on.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:37 AM   #3
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Now that's some pretty cool stuff! I like to use heat shrink tubing but this seems like it'll work in places where the heat shrink is too difficult to use.

Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dawg View Post
Now that's some pretty cool stuff! I like to use heat shrink tubing but this seems like it'll work in places where the heat shrink is too difficult to use.

Thanks!

Tom, that was my thinking too! You can use this on an existing connection without having to cut and redo it!
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:45 AM   #5
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I didn't know there was such a creature as this. For splicing wires and waterproofing them a short piece of the old style fabric backed Ebond also works well. (all I had at the time) Squeezed a small square over the splice a pressed it firmly together. Trimmed it to size with a pair of scissors. Not beautiful, but worked very well.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:48 AM   #6
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I've been using it in my work for years. It is expensive but the most amazing product I have found. Better than "Duct Tape" for emergency repairs! There are places where potholes in the Information Superhighway have been temporarily patched with this stuff.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:14 AM   #7
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Been using that stuff for years. Especially great in automotive, boat and RV applications where exposure to the elements really degrades even the best 3M electrical tape.

Have also used a lot of heat shrink lined with hot glue
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Old Car Nut View Post
Been using that stuff for years. Especially great in automotive, boat and RV applications where exposure to the elements really degrades even the best 3M electrical tape.

Have also used a lot of heat shrink lined with hot glue

Yet another product I didn't know existed! Thanks Jay!
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:05 AM   #9
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I used that stuff when I worked in the "Rocket Factory" (Lockheed Missile & Space Corp) in the '60s. That was also the first place I had ever seen Velcro, we used it to hold the umbilical cable covers on the Poseidon Missile. And bungee cord, that was used to pull the umbilical cables free during simulated nuclear storm testing. Who knew that some day everything would be held together with Velcro and people would be jumping off bridges with bungee cords?? Oh, and we used racks and racks of obsolete chrome McIntosh mono tube amps for testing missile components. Wish I had a rack of those today....
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:11 AM   #10
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What a great tool. Sure beats older tapes. I'm going to have to find me some of this!
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:45 AM   #11
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Have had this in my arsenal for a few years. First found it at the Super Flea Market in Donna, TX.
Just a few days ago I saw it at Ace Hardware in four colours (Had black, red & yellow) so added Green to the collection. No RVer should leave home without it.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:50 AM   #12
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If it only bonds to itself, how does it make a seal with the material it is applied to such as a wire? Just curious.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:09 PM   #13
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If it only bonds to itself, how does it make a seal with the material it is applied to such as a wire? Just curious.
It's Science but it works like Magic.
Once you "tight" wrap this stuff, it is sealed and seemingly lasts forever. I used it on my Battery cables a few years ago and it is as good as the day I installed it.

Sorry for the upside down photo but Apple has their own idea about what is upright compared to the rest of the world.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:24 PM   #14
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Been using this stuff for years. Lost count of the times I've used it with success. It can be purchased online but lacks the quality of the original Rescue Tape.
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