Man applies duct tape to a Hot Water Heater duct
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We Tried The As-Seen-On-TV Water-Proof Flex Tape
As-seen-on-TV products require a balancing act to both grab your attention and assure you of a product’s quality. Flex Tape spokesperson Phil Swift is great at hyping his product (which costs about $15 at Walmart), but let’s see how much of the hype is accurate.
Many products on home center shelves are designed to stick wet things together or plug holes to keep water on one side of a repair, and Flex Tape claims to be strong and waterproof enough to make the others obsolete. While Flex Tape is indeed strong, thanks to its adhesive, we don’t recommend you try cutting your boat in half to test it out.
We recreated the bucket stunt from Swift's original 2017 commercial where he patches a leaky bucket from the inside, underwater. Pressing the tape firmly and going over it with a vinyl roller made our recreation work flawlessly, but it is worth noting that it cost $15 dollars to fix an old, broken bucket that we could have replaced for $5.
Another commercial demonstration showed water flowing from a large PVC pipe under no pressure, so we did one better by devising a test rig with schedule 40 PVC and some water pressure. We created a slit in the pipe, sealed it with Flex Tape, and sent water through the pipe at 1,350-gallons-per-hour, but no water escaped the tape.
While Flex Tape can form creases that are troublesome, and it isn’t an indefinite fix for pressurized pipes, it undoubtedly makes for a great makeshift solution and is overall impressive. For everyday problems like above-ground pools, keeping water out of conduit, or repairing a toy boat, Flex Tape will do the trick.