Can Outdoor Extension Cords Get Wet? (Find Out Now!)

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

It can be frightening when it starts to rain and you remember that you have an extension cord outside. Water and electronics don’t mix, so it is rational to worry about your outdoor extension cord. So, can outdoor extension cords get wet?

Outdoor extension cords can get wet because they are generally rated to withstand moisture. An extension cord cannot withstand rain if it is rated for indoor use only in most cases. Cords that are rated for outdoor use have a strong coating that water cannot penetrate.

The average outdoor extension cord can withstand rain and moisture. Consider getting a strong outdoor extension cord if you live in a particularly rainy climate to be extra safe. Follow along as we explore the factors that affect whether or not an outdoor extension cord can get wet.

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Can Outdoor Extension Cords Get Wet?

Outdoor extension cords can get wet as long as it is designed to handle water. Generally, outdoor extension cords are rated to be waterproof. You should still strive to keep outdoor extension cords out of the rain because the coating can eventually wear out over time.

The wires within an extension cord are protected by a coating that can withstand water. Take care of outdoor extension cords to preserve the coating or else it will be susceptible to water. Avoid stepping on outdoor extension cords or pulling them too tight so that they don’t tear and water doesn’t breach the cord.

Can You Leave an Outdoor Extension Cord in the Rain?

You can leave an outdoor extension cord in the rain, but the plug should stay out of the rain. Unplug outdoor extension cords before it rains if possible because it is dangerous if the outlet gets wet. Water can enter the outlet and cause electrical damage or even a fire hazard.

Most outdoor outlets are safe in the rain unless wires are exposed. An outdoor GFCI outlet can keep tripping after rain if the plugs are left exposed to rain. Generally, outdoor outlets have covers that are there to protect against damage and electrical shock.

Can Water in an Extension Cord Cause a Fire?

Yes, water in or around an extension cord can cause a fire. However, it doesn’t happen as often or as quickly as you might think. That’s because the cable must be faulty somehow for the wires inside to become exposed to moisture.

So, most electrical fires involving wet extension cords happen because of an issue at a receptacle or switch. You can even remove the grounding plug, and you’ll still have that problem. So, be careful when using extension lines outside in the rain. And always call for help if you need it, so you don’t have to replace your electrical panel.

How Do You Protect Outdoor Extension Cords from Rain?

You can leave your extension cords out in the rain and still keep them protected from water. It’s easy. Just cover your lines with plastic cord casings from your local hardware store. Then, make sure you’re using outdoor outlets that aren’t broken or faulty in any way.

Also, try wrapping your extension lines with plastic bags to keep them dry or make a DIY covering out of an old plastic water bottle. Either way, understand that all of these solutions are temporary. So, never leave electrical components around water unless the manufacturer says otherwise.

Power Your Home Safely

Safely move power from one side of your property to the other using the correct extension cords. And don’t leave them out in the rain unless you’ve taken the right precautions. Then, double-check the rating, make sure the outlet works and put your cords back in storage after a few days.

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Related Questions

How Long Can You Use an Outdoor Extension Cord?

Outdoor extension cords are good for a long time, especially if you take care of them. Some people can use the same cable for many years without having to replace it. However, connecting extension cords can shorten the lifespan because it overuses the electrical components inside. So, read the instructions and consult the manufacturer if you have specific questions.

Are Outdoor Sockets Waterproof?

Most outdoor power outlets are waterproof or water-resistant. In other words, they work fine in all weather conditions as long as they’re not damaged. So, try to find an IP66 rated socket for good measure. Also, you should install outdoor sockets high enough so that they don’t sit in standing water.

How Do You Tell If You Can Use an Extension Cord Outside?

You can tell whether it’s safe to use an extension cord outside by looking at the label. Some cords might also have tags with warnings and safety information. Remember, there’s a difference between indoor and outdoor extension cords. So, buyer beware.Look for the letter “W” on the label. That means the cable is waterproof or at least rated for outdoor use. Outside lines are also heavy-duty looking and covered in rubber, plastic, or vinyl. However, indoor cords may look less rugged.

Summing It Up

Outdoor extension cords can get wet if they are rated for it, but it is dangerous if they are plugged in. Water can enter the outlet if an outdoor extension cord is plugged in during rain or wet conditions. The coating on outdoor extension cords can protect the wires inside from moisture.

You can protect outdoor extension cords if you wrap them with an extra plastic coating. Never use an indoor extension cord outdoors if it is not rated for outdoor use. Wet extension cords can cause an electrical fire if they aren’t rated for outdoor use.

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Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

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