Can you Use Electrical Tape for Cable Management?

Using Electrical tape on wire
You can use electrical tape to bind wires. (Source: Amazon)

The trickiest part of office decor and arrangement is cable management. If you have ever set up an office or desk, you must be familiar with the mess of electrical cables.

They create mess and confusion and are a safety hazard. You can hurt yourself pretty badly if you trip on the cables.

You can use electrical tapes to manage cables. Electrical tapes manage cables by color coding, bundling thin wires, or attaching wires to furniture. They are also insulators that protect from electrical fire and accidental shocking. However, before using electrical cables, check their UL ratings.

electrical tape cable management
You can use electrical tape to manage the cable. (Source: globalsources.com)

However, electrical wires cannot be used for wire mounting on walls or thick cables.

Therefore, continue reading the article to find out where and how you can use electrical tapes for cable management.

Advantages of Using Electrical Tape for Cable Management

Electrical tapes are mostly used as insulators on wires carrying current to prevent short out or electrical fire.

However, they can also be used as temporary and inexpensive fixtures to manage cables.

Here are some of the advantages of using electrical tape for cable management.

  • Electric tapes are an inexpensive choice for tying up cables. They are available for as less as $2-$3.
  • Electric tapes are usually made of durable nylon, which is strong enough to tie bundles or cables without wear and tear.
  • You can use electric tapes for cable management by tying them around the cables, using tapes to separate cables, or holding them in place on the floor or desk.
  • You can get electrical tapes in a wide range of colors. Match the color of your tape to your decor of the floor color for a uniform look.
Electrical tapes come in wide range of colors which enhances the cable management.
Electrical tapes come in a wide range of colors which enhances cable management. (Source: Amazon)
  • Electrical tapes are mostly made of Vinyl, which is an insulating agent. You will not get shocked while handling cables if you wrap them using an electrical wire.
  • Electrical tapes can cover any exposed wire to prevent fire hazards.
  • The electrical tapes attach to surfaces like wood, plastic, Vinyl, etc. So, you can use them to hold cables on the floor, any desk, walls, etc.
  • Electrical tapes are breathable and bind the cables, allowing heat to escape from the bundle. This prevents the cables from overheating. They can handle up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Electrical Tape for Cable Management?

Electrical tapes are great for temporary usage. However, they do not hold down your wires for a long time.

The adhesive on the tape wears out after a month or a few, leaving your cables in a mess again.

Electrical tapes are not best for long-term cable management. They cannot handle the weight, stretch easily, and look messier when used.

Electrical tape over exposed wire
You can use electrical tape over exposed wire.

Here are some more reasons not to use electrical tape for cable management.

1. Unable to Handle Weight: Electrical tape works well for bundling small wires which are lightweight. However, they are only one and a half inches wide, so you cannot use them to bind heavier cables of instruments like large speakers, amplifiers, etc.

2. High Elasticity: The electrical wires are highly elastic, stretching out over time. When run over J hooks, they shag easily due to the weight of the cables.

Other alternatives like gaffers tape are best if you need to cover cables for a long time.

3. Looks Messier: Even if you use the same-colored tape, using tapes all over the floor or desks certainly does not look attractive. It is better to use velcro strips or cable holders to reduce the mess.

4. Unsafe in Case of Leakage: Electrical tapes cannot be used to fix damaged and exposed wires which leak current.

Tips to Use Electrical Tape for Cable Management

  • Use electrical wires to bundle small cables like charging cables. Keep the cables out of the way by using electrical tapes to tape them to your desk.
  • Wrap electrical tapes around single cables to assort them by labeling or assigning colors.
  • While using electric tapes, you should also pay attention to the surrounding temperature. For better adhesion, you need to use a cold-weather type electric tape for colder temperatures.

Can you Use Duct Tape for Cable Management?

People always have duct tape in their offices or home. They surely can fix furniture and minor repairs, but what about managing the cables?

Duct tapes are not meant to be used on electrical wires. They leave residue, remove paints, and are not insulators.

Duct tape on cables
Using duct tape to manage electric cable is not a good idea. (Source: shurtape.com)

Here are some reasons why duct tapes aren’t the best options for cable management.

1. Leaves residue: Duct tapes attach well to the cables and surfaces. But, you will find lots of sticky residues when you peel them off. The strong adhesive is difficult to remove from surfaces, even more so from carpets.

The sticky mess is difficult to clean, and the adhesive also collects dust and grime. Geffers tape is better for the purpose as they do not leave a residue.

2. Remove Paints: The strong adhesive used in duct tapes can peel off paints on your desk or walls. So, if you do not want a patchy wall or furniture, avoid using duct tapes for cables.

3. No Insulation: Duct tapes are not insulators. So, in case of a current leak, you can shock yourself. Duct tape contains cloth fibers, which can cause a fire hazard, and does not tightly wrap wires. When exposed to significant heat, duct tape becomes flammable.

4. Not Durable: Compared to most specialized electrical tapes, duct tape is not as strong and will degrade relatively quickly in harsh conditions.

Watch the video for more information,

Tips to Use Duct Tape to Manage Cables

However, there is a way to tie cables using duct tape for temporary measures without the sticky adhesive mess. Here is how you can do it.

  • Cut a strip of duct tape and tear it from the middle on both edges. Tear about 1 inch on each side.
  • Fold the cut side of the flap back on the inside.
  • Now, fold the whole tape in half with only sticky flaps remaining on the edge.
  • Wrap the tape around the cord by only touching the cable with a non-sticky side.
  • Use the sticky side to seal the edges of the wrap.

Alternatives to Electric Tapes for Cable Management

There are certainly better alternatives when it comes to cable management. One’s that are less messy and more functional than electric tapes.

  • You can use zip ties to tie your cables together. You can get a wide variety of zip ties in the market.
  • Gaffers tape is the best option if you use tape for the cables. They do not shag over time by the cables’ weight and do not leave a residue when removed.
  • Twist ties are also a temporary solution to your messy cables. However, you can only use them for smaller cables.
  • Velcro strips offer the best mess-free alternative. They feature a strong adhesive and hook cables together nicely.
  • Cables ties are specifically made for cables, so they are strong and durable to hold your cables in place.
  • Shrink wraps are adhesive-lined polyolefin tape, heat-sealed for bundling cables together and securing them for a long time.

Watch more,

Best Electrical Tapes for Cable Management

Read the table below for some of the best tapes to use for cable management.

Tapes for Cable ManagementFeaturesProduct Image
Non-Reflective Gaffers TapeDesigned to be used on floors and other delicate interior surfaces.

No damage or residue on removal.

Coated cotton cloth provides flexibility and strength.
CANOPUS Double Sided TapeSimple peel, no screwing, no wall damage.

High bond tape made with HQ and long-lasting acrylic material
Scotch Electrical TapeProvides primary electrical insulation for all wire and cable splices rated up to 600 volts.

Protective jacketing for high-voltage cable splices and repairs.
Wapodeai Electrical Tape Ideal for all wiring projects and repairs including spliced wires, wire bundling, cable insulation.

Good quality durability and excellent flexibility.
10 Pack Colored Electrical TapesGreat for color coding.

High heat resistivity, Long-lasting and persistent insulation

Frequently Asked Questions About Electrical Tapes 

Can you Use Scotch Tape to Manage Cables?

Scotch tapes are not as strong as electrical or velcro tapes. So, they can easily snap over time or when the weight of the cable is heavier.

It can leave a sticky residue which is pretty hard to remove. Besides, they do not have insulating properties, so electricity leakage is always risky.

Also, they can catch fire in case of an electrical leak and sparks. So, using scotch tapes to manage cables is not a great idea.

Can I Use Electrical Tape Inside my Laptop and Computer?

Electrical tapes are insulating, so they are safe to use inside laptops and computers.

They can handle up to 600 volts and high temperatures, which is ideal if you want to use tape inside electrical equipment. Moreover, they are safe to use on nonexposed wires.

Does Electrical Tape Prevents Spark?

Electrical tape can certainly spark through; it does not prevent sparks. However, it also depends on the electrical tape used.

If you use Scotch Electrical tape, it can withstand 10,000 volts. Anything above it will let the spark through.

If the sparks are let through, the tape can catch fire.

Using Electrical tape on wire
You can use electrical tape to bind wires. (Source: Amazon)

The Bottom Line

You can use electrical tapes for cable management; however, choose strong and durable tape. There are also other alternatives to tape to manage your cables like velcros, cable trays, cable holders, etc.

No matter which tape or accessories you use to manage your cables, you must ensure that the cables are properly bound for your safety.

Finally, make sure to fix any shagging or exposed cables by checking on them timely.

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