When it comes to protecting precious wires or connections that you cannot afford to have exposed to the elements, there is no safer bet then surrounding them with heat shrink tubing. But how exactly does this tubing work? Is it something you will need the help of a professional to utilize or is it something you can easily place around your wires on your own? Don’t worry, here is everything you need to know about how you can utilize heat shrink tubing for your wire protection needs.
What Will You Need?
To get started, you first will want to make sure you have all necessary items. No matter what kind of electrical work it is that you are insulating with the tubing, EHow explains you will definitely need the following:
- Tape measure
- Heat shrink tubing
- Electrical tape
Once you have all of your materials ready you will need to first measure out the length of tubing needed to cover the area of wire you intend to cover. The trick with the tubing, however, is that you will need to measure out more than you will actually need in the end. This is because the tubing will reduce in size by the end of the process, according to Cable Organizer, and you do not want to wind up having to do it all over again because you did not leave yourself enough slack. To be safe, leave yourself an extra inch on either side of where you are measuring to make up for the reduction in size. Once you have measured it out, you can cut the length you need and slide the tubing over the wires—EHow notes that if you are connecting two wires, you need to twist them together before shrinking the tubing overtop of them.
You will then want to slide the tubing over the joint and plug in your heat gun so you can start warming the tubing and thus the shrinking process. After just a few seconds of heat application, you should start to notice the tubing shrinking. Do not hold the gun too close to the tubing or it will begin to smoke—if you see it begin to do this you will know that the heat source is too close.
To finish it off, make sure that the heat shrink tubing is completely cooled off and then wrap the entirety of the tubing with electrical tape. This is just an additional step to ensure that your wires are completely safe and have a water-tight seal. It really is as simple as that!
Heather B is part of a team of writers who contribute to blogs and business news sites daily.