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#187829 - 07/10/09 10:19 PM Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires??
GDKNY Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/01/08
Posts: 3
Loc: NYC
Hey guys

I have about 500' of 3/0, and 500' of 350 MCM i need to mark red, white and blue. Thats a LOT of tape. I have not installed the wires yet so I attempted to use spray paint. We tested out a can of Krylon Flat white, and it looked okay, but did not work so well. Took about two cans to do 80 feet. Can I get any special type of spray paint designed to work with electrical wires?

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#187830 - 07/10/09 10:28 PM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: GDKNY]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
On wire bigger than #6 you only need to identify the ends near the terminations. Be sure you do it before you pull in the wire so you are sure you get the same wire on each end.
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#187831 - 07/10/09 10:46 PM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: gfretwell]
Lostazhell Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
I've used a black sharpie to re-identify a white switch leg in a pinch before..., but I've yet to re-identify 500' of anything. I'm just curious GDKNY why you would need to color the entire run? I know NYC has a lot of their own oddities when it comes to code amendments.

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#187832 - 07/10/09 11:30 PM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: gfretwell]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Greg,
Do you guys in the US not have heat-shrink tubing?
It comes in all sorts of pretty colours and thin and thick-walled, the thick walled stuff is adhesive lined too.
Google Raychem.



Edited by Trumpy (07/10/09 11:33 PM)
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#187833 - 07/10/09 11:52 PM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: Trumpy]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Sure we have heat shrink but I don't see it used to reidentify wires. I have heard of being used to repair cracked insulation in ceiling boxes.
I have never been sure how many layers of heat shrink you would need to be "equivalent to that of the conductors" per 110.14(B)
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#187835 - 07/11/09 01:02 AM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: gfretwell]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
We use heatshrink all the time to color-code cable lengths, attach identifying marks, etc. in the entertainment industry.
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#187836 - 07/11/09 01:04 AM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: gfretwell]
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
I'd try inks. Ink marking of wire is an industrial process. See, for example: http://www.taymer.com/html/cable_marking_machines__hot_st.html

So, suitable inks exist. Felt tip spirit based markers might do the trick. Whether you can get white is questionable though.

For application on small quantities of wire, a professional system is not going to be economic. The simplest way might be to build a simple spool to spool manual crank winder and have a helper daub the ink on the wire as it goes past with a brush, an airbrush or a felt tip.
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#187840 - 07/11/09 06:51 AM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: Lostazhell]
GDKNY Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/01/08
Posts: 3
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: gfretwell
On wire bigger than #6 you only need to identify the ends near the terminations. Be sure you do it before you pull in the wire so you are sure you get the same wire on each end.


Not in NYC you can't. Most inspectors do not accept striping of the wires either. (taping it like a candy cane for example).

Originally Posted By: Lostazhell
I've used a black sharpie to re-identify a white switch leg in a pinch before..., but I've yet to re-identify 500' of anything. I'm just curious GDKNY why you would need to color the entire run? I know NYC has a lot of their own oddities when it comes to code amendments.


We're doing a 3 Phase, 1200A service for a strip of businesses. All the wires from the switches, in the troughs and all the enclosures are visible from end to end. And like you said, its NYC.

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#187842 - 07/11/09 09:22 AM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: GDKNY]
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I think that colored wire in the sizes (3/0, 350KCM) you mention are a fairly recent product.

What did the NYC inspectors accept in the past?


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#187844 - 07/11/09 10:02 AM Re: Anyone use PAINT instead of tape to mark wires?? [Re: electure]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I thought NYC was on the NEC now.
If they really want an unblemished color along the entire length of the wire I am not sure exactly what kind of paint will work. The teflon outer jacket on THHN is not going to hold any paint I know of that well. Pulling it will result in black "stripes".
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