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Electrical Tape (Insulating Tapes)

Google receives an ever increasing number of searches for the word electrical tape from users who are seeking more information about a seemingly simple everyday item. So, here is the ultimate guide to your electrical tape queries. This guide has enough information to satisfy the history buff, the DIY customer or the one who is just looking for some background information on the stuff he/she may buy. Electrical Tape

Electric tapes are more commonly known as insulating tapes in day to day language. It is that sticky, elastic tape that you see fixed on wires that had once been spliced or modified.

The first electrical tapes consisted of cloth, doused with a strong adhesive material known chemically as the Chatterton’s compound. For the chemistry graduates out there, it is manufactured using the polymer called Gutta-percha. Sounds familiar?

Nowadays, the electrical tapes that you see in the market are made up of plastic and Vinyl. However, vinyl electrical tapes are more prevalent as they are elastic and flexible and thus impart a long lasting adhesive strength to the soldering or tube wiring. A certain type of electrical tape is also manufactured using fiberglass cloth.

The most important thing to know about electrical tapes is that there are a lot of varieties of the electrical tape. The main purpose of electrical tapes is insulation. However, electricians have used the colorful varieties of electrical tape to indicate the different voltage levels and phase of the wire, referred to as "phasing tape". The following table will give you an idea about the different purposes a colored tape can be utilized.

Therefore as you can see from the table below, the colors of electrical tape availble are actually intended to designate the voltage and phase of the wire.
Electrical Tape ColorVoltagePhase
Black Low A
Red Low B
Blue Low C
Brown High A
Orange High B
Yellow High C
Green Earth -
Light Low Neutral
Gray High Neutral

As it is easily torn by hand, can be written on, and generally removes from smooth surfaces cleanly, all while remaining extremely durable. In addition electrical tape is useful for a endless number possibilities such as labeling (including color-coding) or protecting pvc from ultra-violet radiation. It is conveniently torn by hand or cut with tools.

Since, electrical tapes can be easily torn off by hand or with the aid of various tools and can be written on easily, it can be used for various other applications as well. These include labeling wires and attaching different objects together for the purpose of arrangement or affixing your Learner sign to the windshield. Yes, even that.

A tape that has undergone safety procedures and testing will carry a safety mark from various agencies like UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Thicknesses of electrical tape were original