To wrap or not to wrap an electrical outlet in a metal box, that is question I can’t find a consistent answer to. When I worked for an electrician, the answer was to wrap the receptacle after the wires are secured. But when I was reading up on it for this post, there are quite a number of differing opinions.
Those who do so wrap electrical receptacles after wiring them to prevent movement of wires or the accidental contact with loose conductors or the sidewall of a metal outlet box. It’s considered a “just in case” precaution, or sometimes just habit.
Whether or not you wrap your outlets in electrical tape, Ideal has come up with a new solution that might change your mind: the ArmourBand. This silicone band is quicker to apply than electrical tape, reusable, and it won’t leave sticky residue behind.
Ideal claims the thickness of the ArmourBand is equivalent to “6 wraps of premium electrical tape.” It is also flame-resistant and has a non-slip finish.
The ArmourBand is marked as “UL recognized,” which means that testing is not complete or the performance is restricted to certain materials or applications. It’s not as definitely not as robust a rating as “UL Listed.”
These are available on Amazon, but the pricing seems a little high at $10 for 10 bands. Alternatively, HNS Tools site is selling a bag of 10 for $5, and a jar of 100 for $35.
The above video doesn’t really add anything new, but I included it because you can get a view of the ArmourBand that is hard to capture in static photos.
While more expensive than electrical tape, the band seems like a no-brainer solution. It’s faster, removable, reusable, and doesn’t leave any sticky residue. Who hasn’t pulled an outlet out of a box and had to find the end of the tape, try to get under the edge to peel it off, and then deal with the sticky tape and outlet because the adhesive has partially liquefied.
So the question is: do you wrap outlets as you wire them, or not, and why?