Readers ask: Can General Use Extension Cords Be Used Outside?

An outdoor extension cord can be used indoors, but you should never use an indoor extension cord for outdoor tasks. Knowing the differences between indoor and outdoor extension cords will help you eliminate safety hazards.

Can you use regular extension cord outside?

Never use indoor extension cords outside, they are not built for such rugged use. Do NOT leave even your outdoor extension cord outside more than a day or two. Left outside over extended periods, cord materials can breakdown, potentially resulting in sparking, fire, and shock.

What kind of extension cords can be used outside?

Three-prong plug extension cords are the most common for outdoor use. The third prong essentially serves as a super ground for carrying high voltage. It greatly reduces the risk of electric fire caused by short circuits. It does need to be plugged into a three-prong outlet to work properly.

How do I know if my extension cord is for outdoor use?

Letter Designation. On the extension cord packaging or on the cord itself, the letter “W” indicates that the cord is designed for use outside. Outdoor extension cords have a heavy-duty appearance and tend to have tough, bright orange covers that are made from rubber, vinyl or plastic.

Is there a difference between extension cords rated for indoor and outdoor use?

Insulation is the significant difference between indoor and outdoor extensions cords. Indoor extension cords lack the materials that act as protective insulation to protect against moisture and varying temperatures. Outdoor extension cords are also made durable enough to withstand long periods in the sun.

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What happens if an outdoor extension cord gets wet?

Thankfully, an extension cord is a pretty basic device with no complicated circuity inside, so you should expect minimal or zero damage if your extension cord got wet, so long as it’s powered off quickly and dried off completely before usage.

How do you use an extension cord outside?

Outdoor Extension Cord Safety

  1. Pick the right cord. Cords are not one-size-fits-all.
  2. Plug your outdoor extension cords into a GFCI outlet.
  3. Make sure your cord is the right length (not too short/long), to prevent tripping hazards.
  4. Unplug the cord and store it indoors when it’s not in use.

Can you use an extension lead in the rain?

A cord that is in a good state can withstand rain. But you should not leave the plug and the contact on wet ground. Use a watertight connector.

How do I protect my outdoor extension cord from rain?

Cover your outdoor extension cords with plastic cord casings to keep them dry. You can also wrap the extension cord in a plastic bag to keep it dry or make a DIY cord casing with a plastic bottle. Wrap your outdoor extension cord with duct tape or electrical tape to temporarily keep it dry.

What is a cold weather extension cord?

Cold weather extension cords are an option worth considering if there is a chance that they will be used in sub-zero temperatures. These cords are designed to hold up in freezing cold weather and prevent against damages to the outer covering of the cord.

What is the difference between indoor and outdoor electrical wire?

While the electrical wire meant for outdoor use can be used indoors, it would be dangerous to use indoor wires outside. Indoor wire is designed for use within the house and is not prepared to handle the external factors found outdoor such as temperature, moisture and even chemicals in some cases.