Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley
We’ve all seen these outdoor extension cords. They work great, but are outdoor extension cords safe in rain?
We will take a look at why you should or shouldn’t use an outdoor extension cord in the rain, and, if you do, what precautions you should take when using an extension cord in wet weather.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Protect Your Extension Cord from Wet Weather
- 2 Shielding Your Cord from Rain
- 3 Cling Wrap, Not Just for the Kitchen
- 4 Power Cord Protectors For the Rain
- 5 The Bucket Method
- 6 The Bottle Method
- 7 Extension Cord Cover
- 8 Can Outdoor Extension Cords Get Wet?
- 9 Can Extension Cords be Left Out in Rain for a Long Time?
- 10 Extension Cord Tips
- 11 Summing It Up: Are Outdoor Extension Cords Safe In Rain?
How to Protect Your Extension Cord from Wet Weather
Protecting your outdoor extension cord is important because it helps keep you safe around electrical equipment. If you live near a body of water, there are several simple ways to protect your extension cord from the elements.
1. Use weatherproof covers
Weatherproof covers are a great way to protect your extension cord while keeping it dry. They come in different sizes and shapes, depending on what type of cover you want. You can find them online or at hardware stores. Weatherproof covers are sold separately, so make sure you buy one for each extension cord you use outdoors.
2. Cover the ends
If you don’t have access to weatherproof covers, you can still protect your extension cords by covering the ends. Wrap the end of your extension cord with duct tape or plastic wrap to keep the rain out of the power connections. This method works well for small extension cords, like those used for power tools. However, wrapping large extension cords with duct tape or plastic could cause damage to the insulation inside.
3. Keep it out of the rain
You can also keep your extension cord away from the rain by storing it indoors. Make sure you store it somewhere it won’t get wet, such as under a bed or in a closet. If you do decide to keep it outside, consider installing a rain protector over the cord.
Shielding Your Cord from Rain
The power cord is one of those things you just don’t think about until it breaks. You plug it into something, turn it on, and suddenly there’s smoke coming out of your wall socket. Or maybe it doesn’t work anymore because it got tangled up in some cords. Either way, the power cord needs to go somewhere safe. And where does it usually end up? In the trash.
There are many different types of power cords, each designed for a specific type of device. For example, most computers use a Type B power cord. These cords are thicker and heavier than regular home AC adapters, making them less likely to break. If you want to ensure your power cord stays protected, consider getting a power cord shield.
A power cord shield keeps your power cord safe while providing easy access to the plug. They come in both hard plastic and soft rubber versions, depending on what you prefer. Some shields even include extra padding to keep the cord from being scratched. Choose a shield that fits your particular situation and matches your decor.
If you have multiple devices plugged into your outlet, choose a shield that allows you to easily grab the cable without unplugging everything. This will help prevent tangles.
Make sure the holes are big enough to fit the cord. Most shields come with instructions on how to install them, but here are a few tips to remember:
1. Use tape or glue to secure the shield to the wall.
2. Plug the shield into the wall before plugging anything else into the outlet.
Cling Wrap, Not Just for the Kitchen
Clipwrap is a waterproof cover designed to protect wire connectors from moisture and dirt. It works well around exposed wiring such as those found inside walls or ceilings.
Cling Wrap is strong enough to withstand high winds and heavy rain. It won’t tear easily either. You’ll find it useful for protecting cables from moisture, dust, and debris.
Apply Cling Wrap to the cable you want to be protected. Then wrap the entire length of the cable with cling wrap. Remove the excess cling wrap and let dry overnight.
Power Cord Protectors For the Rain
There are many different ways to protect your electrical cords, including using a power strip cover. But there is one simple solution that I think everyone needs to use—a power cord protector. These little devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all work the same way. They provide protection against static electricity build-up, and moisture damage, and even help prevent fire hazards. And you don’t even have to take it off to plug something into your wall outlet. You just slide it onto the end of the power cord and plug it in.
The best part about these products is that they’re inexpensive, usually less than $10. So, why haven’t we been talking about them much lately? Most people don’t know how to properly wrap an electrical cord. Wrapping too tight can cause damage to the wire itself while wrapping too loosely won’t do anything to protect it. Also, some of us aren’t aware of the dangers associated with static electricity buildup.
The Bucket Method
You need a shovel and two empty plastic containers. First, put one container on the ground; its top should be face down.
Place the connected end of the cord into the bucket.
Next, place the opening of your second bucket on top of the first bucket and then push down to secure the two together.
Make sure that the bucket is securely placed inside the hole so that it doesn’t move when the wind blows. If necessary, use a small weight to prevent the bucket from moving.
The Bottle Method
You can not only protect your extension cords with the bottle method, but this also works with holiday lights.
To perform this technique, you need a soda pop (or similar) container, a box cutter or kitchen knife, scissors, and a sharp edge to cut through the container.
Using this guide, carefully slice through the two-liter plastic bottle so that it cuts into the middle, leaving about ½” inside the bottle.
Next, cut two slits into one side of the lid and slide the plugs through the slits. Securely attach them inside the lid, so they don’t fall out.
Extension Cord Cover
Extension cords are essential tools for many people. They allow you to plug devices into power outlets without having to run around looking for one. However, it’s important to keep them dry and protected from the elements. If water gets inside, it could cause a fire or even electrocution. To avoid these problems, you should put up an extension cord cover.
I personally use extension cord covers when I am doing my Holiday/Christmas lights. The covers slip over the plug ends and help protect them from the elements.
Can Outdoor Extension Cords Get Wet?
Outdoor extension cords are great because they allow you to use power tools outside without having to bring them inside. But what happens when it rains? Can those cords survive a downpour? If you don’t know how to waterproof them, you could risk damaging your cord, or worse, electrocuting yourself. Here’s how to keep those cords safe.
If you’re using an outdoor extension cord, you should still try to avoid letting them get wet. However, if they are made to withstand moisture, then you shouldn’t worry too much about keeping them away from the elements.
Wires inside an extension cord are usually coated so they won’t be damaged by moisture. To protect the insulation from moisture, take good care of outdoor extension cords. Try not to step on or drive over extension cords which can damage the cord sheathing. Also, don’t pull the extension cord so tightly that the sheathing tears.
Can Extension Cords be Left Out in Rain for a Long Time?
If you live in an area where it rains often, chances are you know how quickly the ground can become saturated. If you don’t want to deal with wet electrical equipment, consider putting up some type of cover.
If you’re going to leave an outdoor extension cord outside when it’s raining, unplug it first so that water doesn’t get inside the socket. It’s dangerous if the plug becomes wet. Water can enter the socket and cause electric damage or even a house or car accident.
Outdoor GFI receptacles are usually protected by covers, so they don’t get damaged when it rains. However, if the cover is removed, an outdoor GFI receptacle may trip even though it’s covered.
Is it Possible to Protect Outdoor Extension Cords in the Rain?
You can easily protect your extension cords from the elements by simply wrapping them in clear plastic wrap. Simply cut off a piece of plastic wrap large enough to fit around your line, then secure it with tape. Finally, plug your extension into an outlet that’s not damaged or faulty, and enjoy the protection of weatherproofing.
If you’re going to use any kind of solution for keeping your extension cords dry, wrap them up in some sort of waterproof material. But know that they won’t last forever. So, don’t ever put them near anything that could cause damage if they get wet.
Extension Cord Tips
Keep your cords dry
Keep your cables away from puddles and wet areas, and take the steps outlined in the article to prevent electric shock and injury.
Never plug in an electric cord when it’s wet; doing so may cause electric shocks and/or serious injuries. Placing extension cords or power outlets in areas that receive rain often is one of the main causes of electric shock.
If you’re going to be outside during inclement weather, take extra precautions to protect your electrical cord from moisture.
Verify that Outdoor Extension Cords aren’t Damaged
Be careful when using electrical cords because they could cause an electric shock if there are any exposed or fraying wires. Don’t use electrical cords that have frayed or torn covers.
Cords with exposed wire pose a significant danger for both personal and property damage. Avoid using them at all costs.
Make Sure You Use Right Cable for the Job
Make sure to pay careful consideration to the label on your extension cable. You should be able to find the cable’s gauge number right on the jacket.
If you’re looking for a replacement cable, make sure that the one you choose has the same gauge number as the old one. These vital details can often be overlooked by most people, but they are essential to avoid any potential problems.
Know the Length of Cable You Will Need
You should always be careful when extending cords, but if you must, then you should protect them by keeping them out of the rain and avoiding exposing them to moisture.
Make sure there is enough slack in the cords so they don’t get tangled up. Also, if possible, tie them down to prevent them from getting caught on things. Finally, if you’re working with power equipment, keep an eye on where the power outlets are located.
Work close to your power source, so you don’t have to use more cable than needed. The added benefit of taking care not to let the cable get tangled up is that you avoid the possibility of damaging the wire by pulling it too hard.
If you stretch the cords too far, they may break sooner than expected. Extension cords will last longer if you don’t over-stretch them, and that is good for the cord and good for your safety.
Don’t Crush or Run Over the Cord
If you’re using an extension cord outdoors, there’s a greater chance that you could drive over or step on one. Try to avoid running over or stepping on the cords.
Heavy cars and trucks could damage the cord sheathing and expose you to the dangers of exposed or frayed wires. The extra weight of cars or lawn equipment rolling over the cords can damage them.
If you’re working in your yard or garden, be careful not to leave your extension cords lying around. It’s important to both protect yourself and your family.
Summing It Up: Are Outdoor Extension Cords Safe In Rain?
Yes, extension cords are safe in the rain, as long as you follow your cord manufactures specific safety guidelines and protect the extension cord from wetness as much as possible. Also, use an extension cord that is rated for outdoor use. It is also important that you connect the extension cord to a proper GFCI outlet, to protect yourself and the items you are plugging into the extension cord.