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Old 04-04-2019, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Liquid electrical tape

I don't like electrical tape, it's coarse and rough and gets everywhere... seriously, though, I sometimes have to isolate unused conductors in low-voltage and thought how much nicer it would be to just paint over a clipped wire end (that will likely never conduct anything but having any kind of exposed or unterminated copper is a no-no) than to wrap it up in electrical tape.

What are your thoughts on liquid electrical tape? Anyone know of a good, low volume method of application (like what you use to paint your toenails) that aren't a gigantic, messy brush or can of spray paint.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:28 PM   #2
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:35 PM   #3
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there is an advantage to electrical tape - it is a contiguous barrier of known thickness and therefore known insulating properties. A liquid barrier would vary and potentially provide absolutely no protection.

If you don't like tape, terminate the conductors: liquid gell caps, wirenuts, a terminal strip, whatever.

just my .02
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:53 PM   #4
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there is an advantage to electrical tape - it is a contiguous barrier of known thickness and therefore known insulating properties. A liquid barrier would vary and potentially provide absolutely no protection.

If you don't like tape, terminate the conductors: liquid gell caps, wirenuts, a terminal strip, whatever.

just my .02
Wirenuts or similar for wet locations. You'll already have some with you for the job.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:09 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for responding. I'm aware of scotchkote, but it claims to be for "an outer seal on a vinyl tape splice"... not as an actual replacement for electrical tape.

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there is an advantage to electrical tape - it is a contiguous barrier of known thickness and therefore known insulating properties. A liquid barrier would vary and potentially provide absolutely no protection.
...and I was assuming this is why. However for my purposes I'm not super concerned with any kind of real protection rating, the vast majority of the time I'm just dealing with signal wires which have very thin conductors and insulation, so insulating the end is just as much a way to indicate that they're not connected to anything as it is a means to reduce conducting mediums around electronics.

Aside from any kind of reliable insulation rating, is skotchkote a true "liquid electrical tape", like does it really insulate (compared to say, I dunno, paint?) or is there something better?
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:11 PM   #6
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I use it to keep my pasties on.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Thanks everyone for responding. I'm aware of scotchkote, but it claims to be for "an outer seal on a vinyl tape splice"... not as an actual replacement for electrical tape.



...and I was assuming this is why. However for my purposes I'm not super concerned with any kind of real protection rating, the vast majority of the time I'm just dealing with signal wires which have very thin conductors and insulation, so insulating the end is just as much a way to indicate that they're not connected to anything as it is a means to reduce conducting mediums around electronics.

Aside from any kind of reliable insulation rating, is skotchkote a true "liquid electrical tape", like does it really insulate (compared to say, I dunno, paint?) or is there something better?
Like unused ballast/xfmr leads? Heatshrink? This is turning into the perfect fix vs the practical fix. How many of these do you do & how much time do you want to spend? If you go the Scotchkote route(which I don't recommend), you still have to give it time to dry.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:40 PM   #8
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...and I was assuming this is why. However for my purposes I'm not super concerned with any kind of real protection rating, the vast majority of the time I'm just dealing with signal wires which have very thin conductors and insulation, so insulating the end is just as much a way to indicate that they're not connected to anything as it is a means to reduce conducting mediums around electronics.
What gauge are you talking?

If you are i the 26ga range why not just use a UY connector?
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:45 PM   #9
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We use liquid electrical tape from time to time on some crazy things we might need to hook up in our lab. We use 3 coats allowing it to dry between coats. That's the only way to get any thickness out of it. I'd never do that in a box in a permanent installation. Only for temporary connections for a test we're setting up.

Not sure how wimpy the insulation is on the wires you're trying to cap, but there are some pretty (very) small wire nuts made, which would seem more appropriate for use in a box. Buy a box of them and keep them in a corner somewhere so you have them when you need them.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:00 PM   #10
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Appreciate the thoughts and ideas... I use electrical tape for temporary stuff, for permanent installations I use heatshrink so I guess I was hoping for a middle ground that doesn't require a heat gun. I guess I could get connectors, but there's often a lot of these unused wires in any given cable and not a lot of space. I was thinking I could replace the electrical tape in my bag with something like this and use one solution to take care of both temporary and permanent stuff at the same time.

Just wondering if scotchkote is the best you can get or if there's something better. If not, I'm going to try to find a smaller bottle of it.

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Like unused ballast/xfmr leads? Heatshrink? This is turning into the perfect fix vs the practical fix. How many of these do you do & how much time do you want to spend? If you go the Scotchkote route(which I don't recommend), you still have to give it time to dry.
Good point about waiting for it to dry, I didn't consider that.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:45 PM   #11
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I use this stuff to coat the tips of my boots when they get holes in them ....3 coats and i re-apply every few months
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:39 PM   #12
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I use the tiny gray wire nuts and the little blue ones. If you look some wire nuts are listed for a single wire.

There's also Liquid Tape from Plasti-Dip, which is apparently a replacement for tape, not something to put on top of tape.

https://plastidip.com/our-products/liquid-tape/
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:25 PM   #13
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I use this stuff to coat the tips of my boots when they get holes in them ....3 coats and i re-apply every few months
I always got a can of the stuff in my garage. It doesn't ever get used on jobs, I use it for boat stuff and car battery terminals.
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:28 PM   #14
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Permatex liquid electrical tape

Though i think u might like self adhesive lined heat shrink better, without heating it of course
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:27 PM   #15
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I'd do heat shrink long before I'd try using a liquid in a box.
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:30 AM   #16
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Liquid plastic is great for when you spot cracked insulation but cannot reach it or don't want to attempt to reach it- old condo panels with the feeders coming up out of a 2" and the insulation is falling away. Dump a bottle down the hole. Do it with the feeder's breaker off though in case it is a conductor while liquid which is probably exactly what it is.......... Then you can hope the hell they hurry up and knock the stupid building down pretty soon.

I hate service calls to old buildings. One school I know has kindergarten and first grade classrooms stuck in the old wing of the school. The wiring in that section is knob and tube and it is falling away. But they say they cannot afford to rewire the wing.............................. I've poured some that plastic in a bottle into a few conduits in that school.
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I'd do heat shrink long before I'd try using a liquid in a box.
Personally I think the gel filled connectors are the fastest method to use but no way in hell would I contemplate liquid goo.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:39 PM   #18
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Personally I think the gel filled connectors are the fastest method to use but no way in hell would I contemplate liquid goo.
B connectors are cheap. A whole jar for really cheap. Crimp them with your Klein's and away you go. You can get gel filled or just regular ones. I only stock the gel filled.

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Old 04-09-2019, 06:27 PM   #19
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B connectors are cheap. A whole jar for really cheap. Crimp them with your Klein's and away you go. You can get gel filled or just regular ones. I only stock the gel filled.

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What’s the advantage of gel filled? Just additional conductivity?


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Old 04-09-2019, 06:35 PM   #20
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What’s the advantage of gel filled? Just additional conductivity?


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Keeps moisture and water out. Mainly used outside. I think it's similar to petroleum jelly in them.

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