How Do You Use Heat Shrink Tubing?

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Heat shrink tubing is used for isolating or insulating electrical circuits. Activated by heat, these plastic tubes literally shrink around the wires or exposed connections they are meant to protect. The tubing comes in various diameters, from 1/16 inch up to several inches. Lengths can vary, but typically they are sold in 36-inch long, straight pieces. Combining these tubes with a high-quality black plastic electrical tape can safely isolate most electrical installations. Measure the length of the exposed joint to be covered by the tubing. Add 1 inch to either side of the joint for the overall length. If the joint is 1 inch long, then the total length of the needed tubing will be 3 inches. Cut the tubing with the scissors to the desired length. Slide the piece of tubing over one of the wires to be joined. Connect the two wires. These wires can either be twisted together or soldered. If soldering, be sure to have the tubing well away from any heat source. Slide the tubing over the ... more
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