Do you remember the last time it rained and your extension cord was left outside to get wet? You had a hard time trying to dry it out and plugging it in again.
It is not only difficult but also dangerous because if someone accidentally trips over the cord and falls down.
Outdoor extension cords are very important as without them you won’t be able to power all the appliances you are planning to use on a sunny summer day. That includes, but is not limited to, a small cooler, speakers, and TV if you are a sports lover.
If you want to protect your extension cord from the rain and humidity this summer, you are at the right place. We would share with you all the tips to protect outdoor extension cords on peak summer days.
What you Must do?
People are afraid to use extension cords outdoors. However, If you take proper caution, there is nothing to worry about.
Just follow these precautionary steps to keep your family and pets safe.
- The first thing you can do is purchase an outdoor power strip or surge protector that plugs into a wall outlet. This will allow you to plug in multiple cords at once without having an issue of tripping over one too many cords when they are all plugged in together.
- Don’t leave your extension cord outside. Just like you take all important appliances inside, take your extension cords inside as well, especially during storms.
- Don’t run your cord across the lawn like a clothesline wire; it’s an invitation for animals to chew on and explore in damp weather.
- If you can hear any buzzing sound coming from your outdoor extension cord, be sure to replace it as soon as possible.
- Do cover your outdoor extension cord with these options: Option One: Use Tape or Electrical Tape To Make Your Extension Cord Water Resistant. Option Two: Spray/Coat Your Extension Cord With A Polyurethane Coating. Option Three: Wrap The Extension Cord In Plastic.
- Always check your extension cord before using them, particularly when you are taking them inside.
- Make sure the cord is tightly connected to the wall outlet before you attach anything to it.
What Should You Avoid?
Now that we have gone through all the safety precautions that must be exercised before using an outdoor extension cord, let us look into the things you must not do before using an extension cord outside.
- Don’t attach the cord to the wall or floor using staples and nails or anything that could pierce the cable.
- Don’t run the extension cord through water or cover it with wet soil.
- Don’t just turn them off at the wall, take the plug out of the outlet.
- Avoid using extension cords for long distances, especially if you are living in a place where thunderstorms often happen during the summer season.
- Avoid passing the cord through doorways or windows, or places that are susceptible to firing and tripping hazards.
- Be careful not to allow the cord to be run over by furniture, gardening equipment, or any other moving objects.
- Don’t use extension cords as a replacement for permanent wiring for appliances.
- Avoid stretching the cable, and if the cable is too short, try to borrow a longer one, or move your appliances near to the extension cord.
- Don’t use extension cords to power more than one appliance at the same time, unless they are only using 15 amp plugs or less.
DIY Methods For Protecting Your Outdoor Extension Cords From The Rain & Thunderstorm
There are three ways to protect outdoor extension cables from rain and humidity. Some of these ways are better than others, but they all work when you need them to.
Here are two tips before we get started:
- Never perform any DIY on a live extension wire.
- To be on the safe side, remove the plug from the outlet.
- There is a special kind of tape that you should use when working with wires, called electrical tape. You should never use metal tape.
Now, let’s get started.
First Method: Plastic Containers
This DIY hack uses a plastic container, a knife, and a drill. You have to protect both the extension outlets and the extension cable.
Protecting outdoor power strip:
Drill holes in your container that correspond to the power strip. Insert the power strip into the container and screw-on lid with screws sticking through the openings.
This will help protect it from water, sun, or any other elements that may break the electronics inside of it.
Plastic is resilient and less likely to corrode than metal outside in wet conditions for long periods of time.
This solution also has room for an on-off switch at the bottom so you can unplug a circuit outlet if necessary without running back indoors during emergencies.
Protecting the extension cord:
Find a plastic container that can fit the extension cable inside. A long and thin container will do fine.
Use the drill to make two holes on either side of the container. The cable needs to fit in these holes, so do not make them too wide.
You can use the knife to cut out the holes if they are not the right size. Put the cord inside the box. Thread it through the holes, and cover the holes with electrical tape.
The extension cord is now ready to be moved around along with the container protecting the power strip.
Using Pool Noodles to protect extension cord:
Placing the pool noodles around your extension cord is another effective way. The foam will protect it from being exposed to rain and humidity.
- Buy enough pool noodles to cover your extension cord.
- Slice them open and fit the cord inside.
- Seal them again using electrical tape.
- All done, you are good to go.
The pool noodle method works best if you have the power strip protected inside a water-resistant container.
Once inside the pool noodle, the cord is quite difficult to move around. It is the perfect method to use the extension cord outside in cold chilly winter rather than hot sunny summer.
You can use PVC pipe or vinyl tubing as your extension cord guard (though this will need to be replaced every season)
You can use plastic bags as a temporary solution:
Use this method in an emergency. But remember, this is just a temporary solution.
Remember: never try anything on a live extension cord.
Step 1: Find some thick, strong plastic bags. These should be just the right size for your extension cable.
Step 2: Tape one bag at either end of the cable, leaving small holes for the cable to go through. Be careful when sealing each connection point to make sure they are airtight and waterproof.
Step 3: Thread the cable through the bags. Then use electrical tape to seal it off and stop any water from getting in.
This isn’t the easiest or best way to do it, but sometimes there aren’t any other options. However, This method is better than doing nothing at all.