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Business Owner
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2,281 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to post a consumer-alert.

I use lots of electrical tape in my business. 3M 88T "Telephone" tape has always been the Cadillac of tapes.

Recently, I purchased a bulk pack of 3M 88T tape. Every single roll is defective!! The adhesive comes off the tape when unrolling it, sticking to the top of the next layer of tape. You can't even turn it around and use it backwards, as the adhesive just comes off the top side too.

I sent an email to 3M customer service, which promises a 2 day response. Its been a week now. Either 3M quality has issues, or counterfeit tape is out there. Either way, very disappointed in 3M's lack of response.

Just A heads-up to be aware of. If you stockpile electrical tape, you might bust out a roll and test it.
 

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reluctant sinner
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16,686 Posts
Way back in the 70's I bought a case of Scotch 90 minute real to real tape. They were mislabeled 60 minute ones. I wrote them a nice letter with lot numbers, date and place of purchase. Nothing. Weeks later wrote them a nasty letter about being ripped off by 50% and how will like the head lines in newspaper Scotch Tape Plugs up the Sewer. Shortly after that I got a new case of Scotch tape in the proper size.
 

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Registered
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237 Posts
Dunno if you can get it in the USA, but Nitto electrical tape for me has always been the best I could find. Not cheap, but great product.
 

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Goat Roper
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1,188 Posts
Dont know where you bought this tape, but some of my AMAZON stuff is questionable. I wonder how they check the quality of everything they sell un der their banner.
As to electrical tape, I have not found any either in last 10 years that seems better than others. Seems none of it sticks like it used to. I have even resorted to tie straps at end poinbt to help hold it on for deuration. Also, some 3m glues and adhesives are definately not meeting my expectations, and this is stuff bought at reputable local places like autozone, grainger, etc.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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33,287 Posts
That would be the first time I have ever heard of a 3M quality problem.

I have always been impressed by their quality (and high prices). :)

3M 5200 marine sealant, electrical tape, respirators have all been superb quality in my experience.

For sure if it sat in a hot car, that's on you. Although I always have a couple rolls of tape melting in my vehicles. Half melted tape is still better than nothing if you need the stuff.
 

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Dog Lives Matter
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6,154 Posts
Dont know where you bought this tape, but some of my AMAZON stuff is questionable. I wonder how they check the quality of everything they sell under their banner.
Amazon does not check the quality of anything sold on their site, except for possible items labeled with their brand AmazonBasics. Almost all products, even those shipped by Amazon, are produced by 3rd parties. Sellers frequently warehouse their inventory at Amazon and Amazon ships their orders.

Both Amazon and eBay are loaded with counterfeit products. A wide range of products have been counterfeited by the Chinese.

I read an article where the author claimed that 80% of all DVDs sold on Amazon were counterfeit. Other articles claimed that special rechargeable batteries sold for camcorders were counterfeit. Nothing is safe from the counterfeiters.
 

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Business Owner
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2,281 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I know about the extended heat issue with some tape, but these were all brand new. I have other rolls of 3m 88T in my work van that are 10 years old and do not have that problem, just this new stuff.

What's most surprising is 3m's lack of response.
 

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Purposeful Prepper
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1,570 Posts
That would be the first time I have ever heard of a 3M quality problem.

I have always been impressed by their quality (and high prices). :)

3M 5200 marine sealant, electrical tape, respirators have all been superb quality in my experience.

For sure if it sat in a hot car, that's on you. Although I always have a couple rolls of tape melting in my vehicles. Half melted tape is still better than nothing if you need the stuff.
Me too. While I do not use their electrical tape I use other products. I have never had a quality problem. Can not say what happened in the OP's situation but I would not quit on them so quickly.
 

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LEGAL citizen
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15,269 Posts
Why would you use electrical tape when you have shrink tubing and/or liquid electrical tape? Hmm....


I stopped using electrical tape when it got too firm. The old stuff would stretch really well and allow you to have a good seal.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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33,287 Posts
Why would you use electrical tape when you have shrink tubing and/or liquid electrical tape? Hmm....


I stopped using electrical tape when it got too firm. The old stuff would stretch really well and allow you to have a good seal.
I have been using the dirt cheap Harbor Freight electrical tape in the last few years. Good stuff. Nice and stretchy and 10 rolls for a couple bucks. And when it melts in a hot car, it's no biggie.

I am of the other opinion. When I have decent electrical tape, why would I use anything else? I solder wires then apply the electrical tape while it is still warm. It wraps and seals very well.

I don't have the boat anymore, so don't really do much in the way of solding wired together anymore. When I had the boat I was alway installing some new electrical equipment, (radios, autopilot, lights, fans, bilge blower, bilge pumps, potable water pump etc.)
 

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Registered
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The only problem I have is when tape gets old. It does as you described. I use 35 for color ID wires. Then the ultimate Super 33 for a good wrap. I dont think it has changed. In more recent years, been buying a lot of the cheap 3M and generic brand bulk rolls. Works great for general use. That is if the rolls havent spent too much time suffering in the heat.

I do remember in years past a lot of the import stuff was just plain junk. But so much better now.
 

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Don't fear the Reaper
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I used to order alot of things from Amazon. Until counterfeit items started arriving. Or items that had been long since discontinued by the original manufacturer. NOS from the OEM. Desirable in items like car parts, but not so much in other items.

Now when you go to Amazon and enter a search, most of what comes up is direct from China. They have gone the way of Ebay.

Might as well call it China-zon now. Most of it extremely low quality crap. I'm now back to having to break my hermitage and go shopping in brick and mortar retailers again. In public, with the hordes.
 

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Premium Member
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10,825 Posts
If not "counterfeit"? (which it may be).

I suspect it got very very hot during transport or storage, which caused it to loose its quality & effectiveness.

I have used various 3M electrical tapes for decades, without issues.

But, we store, treat & transport it like perishable FOOD, clean, dry & COOL.

 
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Si vis pacem, para bellum
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7,139 Posts
Bit of a worry if it cannot stand being hot without the adhesive degrading, as in normal summer ambient hot.
What is normal? In my white work truck cab parked in the sun yesterday it was 145 in the cab. In my black personal SUV partially in the shade the 160 degree utility thermometer tucked in the visor was pegged.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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33,287 Posts
Tape temperature rating guide.

The cheap stuff is good for 176 deg F.

premium stuff for hgher temps up to 220 def F. Scotch Super 33 or 88

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/electrical-construction-maintenance-us/resources/vinyl-selection-guide/

If a counterfeiter sold you some general quality stuff in a premium box, then perhaps that explains your experience.

What exactly they mean by these temperature ratings, I don't know. I think any tape left in a hot vehicle cabin for a hot summer will be a gooey mess when you try to use it.
 

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Registered
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14,891 Posts
Just wanted to post a consumer-alert.

I use lots of electrical tape in my business. 3M 88T "Telephone" tape has always been the Cadillac of tapes.

Recently, I purchased a bulk pack of 3M 88T tape. Every single roll is defective!! The adhesive comes off the tape when unrolling it, sticking to the top of the next layer of tape. You can't even turn it around and use it backwards, as the adhesive just comes off the top side too.

I sent an email to 3M customer service, which promises a 2 day response. Its been a week now. Either 3M quality has issues, or counterfeit tape is out there. Either way, very disappointed in 3M's lack of response.

Just A heads-up to be aware of. If you stockpile electrical tape, you might bust out a roll and test it.
Take it back to where you purchased it. Sounds like a manufacturing defect.
 
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