Before tackling the job of repairing damaged wiring, it is crucial to know how to use heat shrink tubing on electrical wires. Heat shrink tubing protects and insulate wires, cables, connectors, and other products.
Whether the heat shrink tubing is used as an initial coating for wiring or to replace worn and damaged tubing, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure a successful application.
Select the Right Heat Shrink Tubing According to the Wire Size
It’s important to choose the right heat shrink tubing based on the size of the electrical wires. Use a ruler or measuring tool to determine the diameter of the damaged wire. Once you know the exact size of your wire, you’ll be able to select the correct heat shrink size.
For 2:1 shrink ratio tubing you should choose an original diameter which is a little less than 2 times the diameter of wire or component being covered. For 3:1 or 4:1 shrink ratios select a tubing size a little less than 3 times or 4 times respectively.
Opt for Colored Tubing
Heat shrink tubing is the ideal solution for color-coding wiring and cabling. By using a specific color for the various wiring, you can make the wiring easily identifiable, which improves safety for everyone who handles the wiring. You can also use colored heat shrink to match your company colors, so that you can advertise your business and company logo.
Measure the Damaged Section of Wire
Choose the right length of tubing by measuring the length needed to cover the damaged section of the wiring. Ensure the length is marginally longer than the targeted length because heat shrink tubing shrinks up to 10% shorter once heat is applied.
Cut the Heat Shrink Tubing Slightly Longer Than the Damaged Section of Wire
Once the measurement is calculated, cut the heat shrink tubing at least half an inch longer than the wire section that need to be repaired. The length should completely cover the targeted portion of the wiring. Although the tubing is durable, it can easily be cut with a knife or scissors.
Clean the Wire Jacket to Gets Rid of Grease or Dirt
Before placing the heat shrink tube around the damaged wires, gently wipe away any dirt and grime left by the damaged coating. A clean surface will allow the tubing to form a tighter seal around the wire once the heat is applied.
Slide the Tubing onto the Wire to Cover the Damaged Section
Slide the heat shrink tubing piece on one end and feed the wire through until the targeted area is reached. Ensure the tubing properly covers the required area and the exposed wires on either end. There should be no friction or hesitation when threading the wire through the tube.
Use a Heat Gun or Micro Torch to Shrink the Tubing
Heat shrink tubing requires a specific degree of heat so that the tubing shrinks around the wiring and forms a tight fit. For the best results, use a heat gun or a micro torch to control the temperature and ensure that the heat is evenly distributed. If a heat gun is used to shrink the tubing, use the defector nozzle setting on the heat gun. The required temperature range to shrink the tubing can be found on the heat shrink packaging.
Apply Even Heat on the Tubing
It is important to apply a uniformed amount of heat to the tubing. Move the heating appliance back and forth along the length of the tubing while rotating the wiring. By applying even heat throughout, you will be less likely to create air bubbles. Ensure the temperature remains consistent during the application. Hold the heating device approximately two to six inches away from the tube surface.
The Repaired Wire with Shrink Tube Is Ready to Use
After heating the tubing to acquire a tight fit around the wiring, allow the tubing to cool before returning the wiring into original position. The flexibility of the heat shrink tube allows for bending the finished product as needed.
Contact ShrinkShop for the Best-Quality Heat Shrink Tubing
For all of your heat shrink tubing and wiring accessories, contact ShrinkShop for top-quality products. As a leading supplier of Thermafix and ThermaFix® Plus Heat Shrinkable Tubing, we offer service to commercial electrical companies, and those in the telecommunications, automotive, military, and aircraft industries.
Our family-owned business has been offering top customer service to businesses across North America for more than 30 years. Contact us today!