When we do an outdoor activity, whether it’s a barbecue or mowing the grass, we need to use an external extension cable.
However, there are risks to using outdoor extension cords. For instance, bad weather, such as rain and snow, significantly increases the danger when using them.
Because water conducts electricity, any contact with it may result in electrocution, harm the cord and the devices plugged in, or ignite an electrical fire.
In this article, we’ll reveal the best DIY methods to protect your outdoor extension cords from rain. If you’re not into DIY projects, we also compiled a catalog of the best water-resistant extension cords designed for outdoor use.
The Dangers of Not Protecting Extension Cords From Rain
Water conducts electricity, so leaving an extension cable outdoors is extremely risky.
When the water comes into contact with an electrical current, whether by rain falling into the receptacles or putting a wet power plug into the socket, it creates an open path for the electricity to pass through. This results in a hazard zone that will electroshock or harm anything that comes into contact with the electrical outlet.
Regular extension wires are not designed to be used in damp locations, and directly exposing them to the elements damages their insulation and wires. Furthermore, when you leave an extension cord in the rain, water may infiltrate the sockets and outlets, leading to corrosion. Then, when you want to use them again, they’ll either be broken or hazardous.
To ensure the safety of ourselves, our homes, and our electrical devices, we must secure outdoor extension cables from rain. Let’s explain how in the following section.
DIY Ideas to Protect Outdoor Extension Cords From Rain
DIY projects give us a sense of accomplishment in our responsibilities as homeowners. If you appreciate easy and speedy DIY fixes around your house, this section is for you. Here are some simple and effective ways to protect outdoor extension cords from rain.
1. Use a Plastic Bag
Put the extension cord in a big plastic bag and tie the end securely. Just remember that plastic bags are fragile and can easily tear, so if you use this method, ensure there are no holes in the plastic bag that will allow the water to come into contact with the receptacles.
2. Use Duct Tape
Roll the duct tape tightly around the extension cord, making sure there are no passageways where water can get in. If the duct tape is wide enough, you can place one piece of tape on top of the receptacles rather than rolling the entire extension cable. This DIY hack makes it simpler to remove the duct tape the next time you use the extension cable.
3. Use a Cling Wrap
Though it’s commonly used to keep food fresh in storage, you can also use cling wrap to protect your outdoor extension cords from rain. To do so, take your extension cord and firmly wrap it with multiple layers of cling wrap and press it tightly for all the layers of the cling wrap to seal together.
DIY Protection in a Nutshell
These DIYs represent super simple and inexpensive ways to protect an outdoor extension cord from rain. However, they’re only temporary solutions that help when you don’t have time for anything else.
But if you use outdoor extension cords frequently, we recommend investing in waterproof ones specifically designed for outdoor use.
Let’s see which extension cords operate flawlessly under bad weather.
The Best Waterproof Extension Cords & Protective Tools to Buy for Outdoor Use
Investing in high-quality rain-proof electricity protection is essential if you plan to use your electronics outdoors. We’ve compiled a selection of the finest waterproof extension cables as well as rain-proof covers for shielding receptacles from rain.
Top Waterproof Extension Cords
This extension cord has only one receptacle, which is ideal for powering one tool. It has a 60-watt capacity and 50 feet (15 meters) long cable. The single outlet is protected with a waterproof covering that can endure harsh water.
The BN-LINK timer has six grounded plugs, each with its mechanical timer for regulating the power flow to six different devices. It has a 6-foot power cord, allowing you to place the device almost anywhere. It’s ETL-listed, meeting all applicable safety standards. The timer has a 125 volts power capacity, making it suitable for outdoor heavy-duty appliances and lights.
This product is rated for 125 volts of capacity, making it the perfect choice for powering multiple devices from a single source. It features five 3-prong grounded outlets with a safety cover against moisture and dust. In addition, it features a resettable circuit breaker that protects against overloads and a convenient storage hook to keep the device off the ground and out of harm’s way.
The 360 Electrical model has a power capacity of 120 volts and is equipped with five grounded outlets with protective covers to prevent dirt, debris, and moisture from getting inside. Its “Hexacore” design provides six-sided protection to the cord’s internal wiring. It also has a resettable circuit breaker that protects from electrical overload.
Top Waterproof Extension Cord Casings
The product is a water-resistant extension cord box that comes in a pack of three. It features four latches that securely hold the lid in place. The box is made of durable and high-quality plastic designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions like rain, snow, and heat.
Restmo’s cover features a durable and waterproof build made of high-quality plastic. The cover comes in a green color that blends well with outdoor surroundings. An easy-to-use latch securely locks the box, keeping water and debris out. The box has a wide opening that provides ample space for the cords to fit through.
This box is also sturdy and robust, made of hard-wearing and UV-resistant plastic designed to last years. The box features a spacious interior for a wide range of applications. It also has multiple cable entry points that connect cables from different angles and directions. Finally, it comes with a hinged lid that opens and closes easily and a lockable latch that keeps your connections secure and protected from unauthorized access.
Tips to Protect Outdoor Extension Cords From Rain
Protecting your outdoor extension cords from rain is crucial to ensure their safety and longevity. So, to wrap everything up, here are the best tips to keep your extension cords dry and in good condition.
First, when selecting an extension cord you plan to use outside, selecting one designed for outdoor use. These cables have thicker insulation and are made from long-lasting materials that easily endure lousy weather conditions.
Next, purchase waterproof covers that wrap around the cord’s outlets and keep them dry.
Also, keep extension cables elevated by attaching them to a wall or a fence using hooks, nails, or other fasteners.
Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets for outdoor use. GFCI safeguards against electrical shocks by rapidly turning off power to the outlet if it senses an imbalance in the electrical current. This safety feature is essential for outdoor use, as electrical outlets are exposed to moisture from rain, snow, or other sources.
When not in use, keep outdoor extension cords indoors. This step will keep moisture from accumulating and damaging the cable. And lastly, regularly examine your outdoor extension cords. If you notice any damage, replace the extension cord to prevent electric damage.
In conclusion, safeguarding outdoor extension cables from rain is crucial for avoiding electrical dangers. Rain conducts electricity and may corrode the wires, putting people at risk of electric shock.
So, if you’re in a rush and don’t have proper waterproof protection for your outdoor extension cables, but a big rainstorm has struck your region, DIY it and wrap your extension cords in cling wrap, duct tape, or a plastic bag.
However, consider wiring GFCI outlets in your outdoor area for a long-term solution and invest in waterproof extension cords and protective covers.
Always follow safety precautions when using extension cords outdoors, such as never touching wet cords or plugging them into wet outlets. Frequently inspect extension cords for potential damage and keep them indoors when not in use.