Heat shrink tubing can be used as an insulator and protector for wires, cables, and connector joints in the electrical, telecommunication, automotive, or mechanical field.
This alternative to electrical tape and other sealants offers a high level of defense against damage and wear. The durable thermoplastic material shields the delicate wiring components from moisture, extreme temperatures, and other environmental hazards.
While the application of heat shrink tubing entails precise measurement and heat for a secure fit, the removal of the tubing is a totally different process.
Reasons to Remove Heat Shrink Tubing
Although heat shrink tubing is a robust protective covering for wiring and cables, there are times when it might need to be removed. From accidents to repairs, below are a few common reasons for the removal of heat shrink tubing.
- Due to Damages or Cuts
There may be incidents wherein the heat shrink tubing receives significant damage such as a cut, indentation, or another form of abrasion. To ensure the underlying wiring or cabling remains protected, the affected portion of the heat shrink tubing should be replaced to avoid damage to the wiring or cables.
- To Use a New Heat Shrink Tubing
Over time, the existing heat shrink tubing can become loose as repeated movement of the inside wiring can affect the outside protective layer. This can allow liquids or chemicals to seep inside the tubing, causing damage to the wires or cables. A new piece of heat shrink tubing may also be needed if any work on the underlying connectors or wiring is performed.
- To Replace It with Another Management Tool
While heat shrink tubing is one of the top commonly used coverings for wires and cables, there may be a reason to replace it with another protective material. One popular alternative used is electrical tape. This is used to bundle wires together to prevent hazardous loose wires or for aesthetics looks. Other management tools used include dip coating, potting, sealants, liquid molds, and solvent dilated tubing.
- To Change the Color of the Tubing
Heat shrink tubing is often used to identify the function of the wires and the amount of voltage assigned to the wiring. The heat shrink tube color is a common identifier across the board among technicians. If a series of wires does not currently have a color-coded system in place, technicians may wish to replace the current heat shrink with custom-printed heat shrink tubing with various colors to better identify them.
How to Safely Remove Heat Shrink Tubing
Removing heat shrink tubing does require a bit of attention to prevent damage to the underlying wires and cables. Unlike the application of the tubing, the removal involves a simple four-step process. For an effective job, use a tape measure to mark the precise length of tubing to be removed, a sharp blade, and a gripping tool such as a pair of pliers.
Wear Protective Gear: Before beginning, be sure to wear the proper protective gear as live wires may be handled. Protective eyewear, gloves, and rubber shoes are a hallmark among technicians. The safety of the user should be the top priority, regardless of the task size.
Find the Heat Shrink Connection That You Want to Remove: Pinpoint the end of the heat shrink tubing of the section that needs replacement or removal. This is usually found at the connector or joint ends of the wire.
Cut a Slit in the Tubing & Remove with Pliers: Slowly use a blaze or scissors to make a slit in the heat shrink tube. Try to avoid making a deep cut down to the underlying wires. Grab the end of the tubing with the pliers and gently pull away from the connection. The length of the tubing may require a series of small cuts before the tubing can be pulled off.
- Clean off the Remaining Glue: If the tubing is the type with an adhesive lining, wipe away any adhesive residue from the underlying wires before applying a new section of heat shrink tubing. This will help the new tubing attach to the wires, cables, or connectors.
Contact ShrinkShop for the Best-Quality Heat Shrink Tubing
For all of your custom-cut heat shrink tubing needs, see the leading experts at ShrinkShop. We are proud to be the top online distributor of Thermafix® Heat Shrinkable Tubing and adhesive lined Thermafix® Plus Heat Shrinkable Tubing. Our high-quality single and double-wall (adhesive-lined) heat shrink tubing products provide a protective insulating shield for all wires, cables, and connectors.
Choose from our wide selection of heat shrink tubing and wiring accessories available in various colors and package sizes. To learn more about our heat shrink products, contact us today!