View Full Version : Electrical tape with adhesive on the wrong side??

08-07-2005, 01:46 AM
I picked up a box of stuff at a yard sale the other day. One of the items was a roll of electrical tape. It looks completely normal, but the adhesive is on the OUTSIDE of the tape that's still on the roll.

Why would anybody make (or buy) tape like this?

Of course, it picks up all sorts of junk, and I'll probably end up throwing away half the roll to get a clean piece each time I use some. Maybe I should just throw it away now, and be done with it.


08-07-2005, 02:04 AM
Perhaps you have a roll of uncured rubber tape. It is stretched over whatever you are trying to cover and the rubber naturally cures after a while. It tends to be rather sticky. It really works well for waterproofing connections and doesn't come loose. When you apply it you really stretch it as you wrap.

08-07-2005, 02:07 AM
give it to a woman to pull lint of her clothes.

08-07-2005, 02:34 AM
Never seen any like that but it sounds like a good idea. You can roll the roll of tape around something and the sticky side will then be facing the right way (that is, inside, against the object you're taping). With the conventional arrangement, with the sticky on the inside, you have to pull some tape out before you can wrap it around anything - harder to do one-handed.

08-07-2005, 03:38 AM
could it be really old low-quality tape, and the adhesive used to be on the 'right' side and it just transfered over time?

if it says "backwards electric tape" on the label, forget what i just said.


08-07-2005, 06:34 AM
Is that anything likr left handed teflon tape?

You know the stuff that unwinds off the threade when you put a fitting on it.Ive seen it happen often, but I always buy the right stuff.

Your Old Dog
08-07-2005, 06:42 AM
I have a roll of uncured rubber tape. Mine has a thin layer of some kind of plastic that the rubber wont' stick to real well. YOu pull unwind the tape, remove the plastic jacket and then wind it on as Evan describes. It's great for outdoor connections. I use it over regular electrical tape. If you use heat on it, it becomes damn near like putty but you don't need to use heat for it to do it's job. Its a great product.

You sure that some vapor didn't get to the tape you have that is breaking it down?

08-07-2005, 08:40 AM
Does it have a protective peel strip on the sticky surface? If so, I think it's called "splicing compound." The routine is (or was) to wrap the splicing compound around a wire splice to insulate it, then wrap the whole thing with friction tape to protect it. Th splicing compound will fuse together over time.

08-07-2005, 10:07 AM
Could it be good ole fashioned friction tape?

08-07-2005, 10:19 AM
It's not friction tape, and there's no plastic peel strip protecting the adhesive. Just plain old slick black plastic electrician's tape, 'cept it's sticky on the wrong side.

I have no idea how it was stored before I got it.


08-07-2005, 10:22 AM
I found the same thing in my dads rolling cabinet, I dont think he knows what it is either.

08-07-2005, 01:12 PM
When I worked in oceanographic equipment, we had something we called "self-vulcanizing" rubber tape. It was never particularly sticky, and it came with a peel-off plastic on one side. If you stretched the hell out of it (to say, twice its length) when you wrapped something, it would "weld" to itself somehow, and if you let it sit like that for a few minutes, you couldn't get it apart. You'd just tear the rubber, but you couldn't unwrap it.

That stuff never really had a sticky side, you just had to protect it from itself with the peel-off, or it would probably weld to itself.

Sounds like winchman came across an odd case - maybe something went wrong on the production line while the electrical tape was being spooled up one day. I don't think what he has is the "self-vulcanizing" stuff (or whatever it's called.)

[This message has been edited by Wirecutter (edited 08-07-2005).]

Paul Alciatore
08-07-2005, 01:43 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Wirecutter:
Sounds like winchman came across an odd case - maybe something went wrong on the production line while the electrical tape was being spooled up one day. I don't think what he has is the "self-vulcanizing" stuff (or whatever it's called.)

I have to question that explanation. The spooling roller would have to run backwards to put the adhesive on the outside. How could that happen? More likely it was on the correct side and transfered at some time due to improper storage conditions. I have seen tape do that.

Did the first layer on the fresh roll have adhesive on theoutside or did it start at the second layer? How about the last layer at the core?

Paul A.

08-07-2005, 06:03 PM
Winchman may have the right idea! I work with subsea equipment all the time and we use this tape "vulcanizing or self-amalgamating" its called, quite often to waterproof electrical splices (with some liberal application of Skotch-Kote between layers). Its good stuff. Some of it, depending on the brand has the "liner" that needs to be removed on the outside, and other brands dont. If its fairly stretchy & rubbery this might well be what you've got...

08-07-2005, 10:20 PM
It may be for use on some automated equipment.

wrapping splices or something in a production setting.

Think of a fishing reel type of mechanism with the spool orbiting whatever is being wrapped.

You would need the tape reversed from normal.

Last Old Dog
08-07-2005, 10:58 PM
I remember something akin to this tape. In the old days of 'knob and tube' electrical wiring, whilst making up splices etc, after soldering the solid conductor copper, we wrapped this rubber tape very tight, and created as smooth a final surface as we could. Then it was wrapped with friction tape which had no streach like modern electrical tape.

You guys remember the old solid copper wire wrapped with a cotten sheath and saturated with a kind of bituminous material that had to be scraped before making up connections and soldering? And the ceramic knob and tubes, and the insulators with the notches to hold the wire? Of course you do, just don't want to admit it.

08-08-2005, 12:25 AM
your tape may be out of a kit for making stress cones. These were used for terminating high voltage cables, they now come as a premade unit. I have done thousands of the manual ones.

08-08-2005, 03:25 AM
It has the glue on the outside some that you can use it correctly . when you have to tape somthing with a half lap you hold the role so that it unroles aroud the things you are tapeing , with normal tape you cannot pass the tape around the job,

Sound funny just ask a armuture/stator winder that winds large stuff 150hp DC and up

08-08-2005, 05:47 AM
Paul, the tape just had to flip at some process before it was put on the roll.

08-08-2005, 06:54 AM
Somehow could we make this into a Blonde joke? Uncrichie