Thursday, February 2, 2023


Use self-fusing silicone tape for weatherproof connections

By Greg Illes
Standard vinyl electrical tape has been around for a long time – too long, some would say. The problem with this commonly used product is its adhesive. It doesn’t really stick very well and after awhile it starts to peel loose, leaving a gooey mess behind. But there’s a self-fusing silicone rubber tape for weatherproof connections which works great.

A better alternative

Some years ago, a worthy alternative to standard vinyl electrical tape appeared – a silicone rubber tape that was self-fusing. It bonded to itself with enthusiasm and had no adhesive to age or create a mess. Furthermore, it was impervious to many chemicals, ozone and UV, which age and deteriorate lesser products.

Recently, this self-vulcanizing tape has seen a surge in popularity. It’s now sold in many colors and widths, all at affordable prices (although much more expensive than its cheaper brother). Sold by everyone from Ace Hardware to Amazon, a 1″ x 12′ roll runs about $10, and 2″ x 36′ will set you back about $30. Find many options here.

How do you use self-fusing silicone rubber tape?

You apply the tape by peeling off its backing (being careful not to let it touch itself – it bonds instantly). Wrap the tape around the object to be covered and make the first wrap go over itself. Then stretch the tape in the direction you want and continue wrapping. It’s easiest to cut off a piece in advance rather than applying it from the roll. A little experience will show you how much to use, and it takes very little: Two to three inches will weatherproof most electrical joints.

Notice that the tape doesn’t actually stick to anything but itself. This means that it’s easy to remove, but it also means that it can’t be used for any application that requires a sticky seal. The best way to think of this “tool” is as a rubber-molding process. Once the tape is applied and wrapped around the object, it is literally as if the object were cast inside a mold. In fact, I’ve cut open 5-year-old wrappings and they still looked as if they were just one solid piece of rubber.

What can you use it for?

Due to its stretchy nature, the tape is fabulously conforming. It will create a solid rubber sleeve around the most odd-shaped joints and other objects. In addition to electrical, the tape can be used for any purpose where a rubber coating is desired. For example, my flagpole gave up its rattle after I rubber-taped the base. Your imagination is your only limit.

Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications. When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his blog at




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1 month ago

I bought several rolls from a vendor at an RV show. My most recent repair involved a hole in a heavy duty s3 foot stinky slinky used to connect my macerator to the outlet. A rat had found the hose tasty and left a 1/4 inch hole in the hose. Being in the middle of no place as usual I remembered the tape in my tool kit and wrapped a couple up layers around the hose. I intended to replace the hose upon return to places where RV stuff is sold. That was over two years ago and I have seen no sign of leak, for that matter I used black tape on the black hose and cannot even find where the tape is today.

Last edited 1 month ago by xctraveler
1 month ago

While self-fusing silicone tape is very good for sealing out weather from electrical connections, many of the problems with poor quality adhesive on cheap electrical tape are due to the customer choosing a cheap tape. I’m retired from a landline telco and we used 3M Scotch brand #33 to weather seal cable ready access terminals and it was good for years with no problems. 3M Scotch #88 is also good. My amateur radio antenna connections use a soft, putty-like material over the connector plus Scotch 33 tape for a long lasting, waterproof connection. Sometimes I use a dielectric grease inside the connector to assure that there is no room for water inside the connection.

1 month ago
Reply to  JOHN GREEN

And they use to make a nice product called Scotch Kote that you just brushed on.

1 month ago

This stuff travels with me in my RV. Also, in my tool box. Great stuff, but difficult to remove. My experience requires a sharp knife.

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