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The Tips and Tricks of Using Shrink Wrap Tubing

The Tips and Tricks of Using Shrink Wrap Tubing


Red shrink wrap tubing is also known as one kind of heat shrink tubing with the color red. Heat shrink tubing is a versatile plastic layer. It is designed to shrink into place and become rigid when heat is applied, providing a durable and protective coating. As the name suggests, it is made to wrap around cabling during repairing and splicing operations.


To use a red shrink wrap tubing, you need to choose the right size tubing with the correct shrink ratio.

The diameter of the tubing is very important. Make sure it is large enough so you can slide it over any wires or connections to guide it into place. So you may need a wire gauge tool. Measure the widest part of the wires or connections you want to apply the tubing to. And then select a tubing that is approximately 20-30% larger than the measurement.

After selecting the diameter of the tubing, you need to know its shrink ratio. The shrink ratio is the relationship between the original size of the tubing and its shrunken form following application. This is usually between 2:1 and 6:1. For example, the tubing with a 3:1 ratio will shrink to one third the full size. Calculate which tubing will shrink to a size smaller than the measurement.

The length of the tubing is also important. The length will decrease normally 5-10% the original size when shrunk. So cut the tubing 1/2in (13mm) longer than the section you want to cover.


At last, a right tubing will be chosen. Now it’s time to heat the shrink wrap to complete the final process.


Slide the tubing onto the part you want to cover and then heat it with a heat gun. If you use a heat gun, don’t stay in one place to get the risk of burning. Move the nozzle of the heat gun back and forth across the tubing. In the meantime, rotate the part you want to cover. Therefore, you can heat the tubing evenly.


But if there is no heat gun, how do you heat a heat shrink?

Use a normal hairdryer to heat the shrink tubing and it will work. Hold the hairdryer as close as possible to heat the tubing and it will take a lot longer than using a heat gun.

If you smoke, then you can use a lighter to heat the shrink tubing. It’s another way for you to heat the tubing.


But if you’re not a smoker, you don’t have a lighter. Then you can go into the kitchen and turn on the gas stove (or the natural gas stove) and set it to the smallest gear to heat the tubing. It’s dangerous and make sure you don’t get hurt.

In a worst-case scenario, when no hairdryer, no lighter and even no gas stove is available, you can heat the tubing with a hot light bulb. Hold the tubing to the bulb and wait for it to melt into place.

At last, if you have another way to heat the heat shrink tubing, please feel free to tell me.

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