It’s inevitable that you’ll use an extension cord anytime you’re going to be outside for a lengthy period of time. If the temperature is hot during the summer and the wind is howling, it’s important to keep your extension cord protected from any rain that might fall.
This is especially true if you live in place where raining is a common phenomenon in the summer. Follow these tips on how to protect your outside electrical extension cords from rain.
Some safety tips for outside extension cords
- Always plug in the cord at an outlet that has a ground fault circuit interrupter.
- Before you hang an extension cord outside, check circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure it hasn’t tripped and shut off the power to your entire house.
- Only use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use and are rated for the voltage and amperage needed by your appliance or tool.
- Use one extension cord to extend power from one outlet to another if there’s more than one receptacle in your yard or yard area (for example, a tool shed, gazebo, deck).
- Make sure the outlet you plug the extension cord into is a ground fault circuit interrupter type. These outlets have been designed to make it harder for electricity to escape from the outlet and electrocute someone who might contact it with wet hands.
- Don’t run an extension cord across wet lawns, especially if there’s any chance of rain in the forecast for the day or evening.
- Avoid plugging multiple extension cords into each other and then plugging that collection of cords into a single receptacle outlet or power strip. This will create more voltage loss in your wires, which will cause your lights to dim and any devices plugged into them to function less effectively or not at all.
- Unplug the extension cord from the outlet before you mow or weed-eat, and be sure to keep the cord away from the mower or trimmer line.
- Don’t run an extension cord under your deck, even if it is a waterproof, plastic-coated cord. If it’s going to be wet under there, it’s better to forgo its use and rely on flashlights for illumination instead of an outdoor lamp or light that needs electricity to operate.
Don’t do these with the extension cable
- Don’t extract an extension cord from its socket using sliding cable cutters or pliers. This is not only dangerous to you, it’s also dangerous to anyone who might come into contact with the socket once your hands are no longer attached to it.
- Don’t try to use an extension cord to power a radio all by itself or an appliance where there isn’t enough room inside the house for your home’s main electrical panel or circuit breaker box.
- Don’t use extension cords to power a variety of items like lamps, flashlights, radios, portable heaters and space heaters at one time. These are not intended to support multiple loads at the same time.
- Don’t use extension cords as temporary power cables for things like lawn mowers or leaf blowers. Use a heavy-duty cord that can take the weight of such tools and give you plenty of slack in case something goes wrong with an extension cord while you’re using it.
- Don’t step on an extension cord or place a heavy object on it that will cut off the flow of electricity.
- Don’t coil an extension cord up and leave it under your deck or patio. This is not only dangerous to anyone who might trip over it, but it’s also a fire hazard if the cord becomes exposed to heat underneath there or if someone ever lights some kind of outdoor fire in your yard.
- Don’t use an extension cord to power a power saw or any kind of outdoor power tool that uses a lot of electricity. Such tools typically have their own built-in switch, so you don’t really need to run an extension cord to power them if there’s enough room inside the house for your main electrical panel or circuit breaker box.
- Don’t use an extension cord as a trolley in your garage or shed when you need to move something heavy or take something out. The extra weight of the extension cord and what it’s carrying will often break the circuit, making your overhead light fixtures dim and anything plugged into it less effective.
Does your extension cord need to be protected from rain even in the summer? Yes, of course. Extension cords are most vulnerable to water damage when they are used in places where it rains a lot such as construction sites.
So, they should always be covered by a plastic cover for protection. You can use light fabric like nylon or polyester for this job since water will not damage these materials too much like it would with heavier fabrics like wool or cotton.
Here are some DIY methods to protect extension cord outside from rain
Use Thin and Long Plastic Container
Empty the plastic-lined cardboard box that they come in and cut out an 11″ x 9″ portion of it. Place it on the extension cord to protect it from rain or normal moisture.
Use Rubber Bands and Velvet
Trim 6″ of the rubber band, and stretch it on top of the extension cord. Use a fine fabric like velvet as a cover (optional). Stretch this across the top of the solid extension cord, and tie or tape to secure it with rubber bands or twist-tie style wire ties.
To make protection stronger, you can also wrap both ends with multiple layers of thin fabric such as nylon.
Use Pool Noodle
Use a pool noodle to cover your extension cords. It is a sturdy and protective material that can be used for this job.
Use Plastic Bag and Rubber Bands
Blow up the used plastic bag first, then place the covered solid electrical cord inside it, if you are going to use them outside. Place rubber bands on top of the bag to secure it well and keep out water.
Use Plastic Wrap for Outside Extension Cord Use a plastic wrap to keep your extension cord dry, when you are not using it.
Wrap the extension cord around your sidewalk spout
Just first secure the cords with band of tape or duct tape, and then wind it around the spout. Make sure that you have a way to keep the cord from unspooling during rainstorms if you use this method.
You can bend its plug so that it stays in place or attach something to it with another cord so that you would be able to pull out the plug once there are heavy rains.
Use a gutter cover for your extension cord.
This works just like covers for gutters except they are smaller and made specifically to protect outdoor extension cords from rain damage.
If you live in an area where the weather is very hot during the summer, you can also use a heat resistant cover, like vinyl or PVC covering for extension cord protection.
It has the same function as a plastic wrap and will help keep your extension cord dry all the time. However, you want to be sure that it is not in direct sunlight or heat source and make sure that it’s light weight enough not to break.
A bad lightning strike can bring down your electric meter, or worst case scenario, it could cause fire. Therefore, it is important to prevent this from happening and providing your family with a safe outdoor extension cord is one way to do so.
All these methods that we presented here are easy ways to keep your outdoor extension cord dry and they are designed to help you provide the use of extension cord without fear of lightning strikes damaging it.
I hope now you know how you can protect the outside extension cable from the rain. Thanks for being with Generator Xpert.