2010 NHS Quick Pick – Rescue Tape

Rescue Tape:


During the National Hardware Show this past May, my attention was diverted to a booth that had a very fascinating demonstration.  They were showing a roll of silicone tape that could be wrapped around most any kind of pipe, or tubing including electrical wiring, water lines, even a radiator hose.  It’s called Rescue Tape.  Once wrapped in place, this tape is waterproof and even somewhat fire resistant.  The demonstrations included wrapping a spewing water line, wrapping a pipe under water, and taking a flame to the tape once it’s wrapped around a tube and waiting for several seconds before it even seemed to scorch it.  It will eventually burn, but not quickly.

So, I took a couple of rolls home, so that I could give it a try, and forgot about it.  A couple of months ago, I went out of town for a business trip, and when I came home I found that I had quite a bit of standing water in my kitchen.  The water line to my refrigerator had developed a couple of small pinholes, and water was spewing out of the line and going all over my kitchen, even leaking into my basement.  That’s when I remembered that I had the Rescue Tape and decided to try it out.
The first pass I made wasn’t quite as easy as they had made it look in the demonstration at the booth, but hey, that’s what they do at trade shows all the time.  They have a lot more practice than I do.  I decided not to give up.  I re-read the directions to make sure I was following them correctly and I decided I might not have used enough tape or stretched it out far enough when I was wrapping.   So I cut off another piece and began pulling harder to stretch it out and wrapped more of it around the leak (which was still spewing when I made the repair).   I do have to say that’s it’s kinda hard to stretch it like it needs to be stretched when you are by yourself, trying to hold both ends of the tape and the water line! But I kept trying,  and the second layer was far smoother and better than the first.





I saw significant improvement in the leak after the second wrap, but I still had a drip or two coming out of the ends of the wrap.  It wasn’t bad, mind you, but I wanted it to be stopped completely.  So I called the guys at Rescue Tape.  They returned my call quickly and told me that for leak repairs, I probably needed to do 3 to 5 layers.  I had only done two, so I took her suggestion and wrapped 3 more layers onto the area where the leak was.  And presto!  The leak had stopped.

Now you may ask, “But does it last?”.  Well, so far, so good!  I’ve had Rescue Tape wrapped around the water line for almost two months now, and it has stayed perfectly dry the entire time!  I’m pretty pleased with it and would certainly recommend keeping some on hand for life’s little emergencies.   I just would say it might not be a bad idea to practice.  It tends to get stuck on itself if you’re not careful and it takes a bit of strength to stretch it as far as it needs to stretch to get the proper hold.

The waterproof tape comes in 7 colors, plus clear if you need to be able to see through the tape after you’ve made the repair.  It’s about $8 to $10 a roll, for a single roll, but you can also buy packages of multiple rolls to get the price down.