Do you have patio lighting powered via an extension, as you haven’t placed an outlet nearby? Then you surely must have wondered, can extension cords get wet. This is a common issue we all face when it comes to the frosty weather of the year. The place where all house members enjoy a quality time in their free time must be saved for the next blossom! Let’s check whether you need to arrange a safe place for your lighting or if it is unnecessary to panic about it.

Extension cords are a lifesaver when we have to get power to an area that does not have an implanted outlet. These are also used widely when several devices are needed to be plugged in at the same time. One end is with a socket to plug in, and it is connected via an electric wire to the hub of sockets. The wire is covered with an insulating material.

Can Extension Cords Get Wet?

Have you seen on commercial grounds that the lights are turned on with the use of an extension when you are out for your Christmas shopping? Then you also must have taken the idea that you can use your extension cord outside when it is raining or snowing. 

The question, extension cords get wet, presents a strict NO as the answer. Extension cords would result in a fire if water entered inside, although they are covered with a thermoplastic coating, thermoset rubber, or thermoplastic elastomer. Even this could result in electrocution if a person interacted with the area. 

But what about the scenario you have seen before?

There are two types of extension cords indoor extensions and outdoor extensions. That makes the difference in the usage within various weather conditions. To clarify further, do have a look at the following explanations.

Can Indoor Extension Cords Get Wet?

As per your knowledge, you know that the wire of the extension cords is covered with insulating material to protect the interior from any natural or artificial damage. But if there are cracks that have been hidden from your eyes, water would contact the electric current passing wires inside it and make a fire danger. Or else if the outlet or the pins of the extension plug is touched with water, an electric shock, fire, and even more harm would occur. 

Can Outdoor Extension Cords Get Wet?

To be used on the outside, the connectors and the plug must be made out of waterproof material. Anyway, you must not keep them outside for a long period of time being exposed to water. The recommended time phase is one or two days. If you keep an extension cord outside exceeding two days, it will be damaged and result in a short or a fire. 

How do you Protect Outdoor Extension Cords from Rain?

Sometimes it will be essential usage in the outdoors. On such occasions, you can use an outdoor waterproof extension with the help of strong pallet wraps. You should cover the connecting ports completely using several layers of plastic wrap to stop the water from reaching the areas. 

You can also use DIY methods to cover the sensitive areas of the cord. Here we have listed out some. Anyway, do not take a risk unless you correctly have taken suitable precautions before using extension cords in the rain. This is a rough list down; you can refer to a tutorial video before you try any of these methods on your own. 

  • Bottle method- Here, a plastic bottle is used as the protection cover. You can use this in simple home decor like Christmas lights.
  • Cling wrap- The essentials of the kitchen can be used as a medium of protection from bad weather in a garden extension. 
  • PVC pipes and end caps- This is also a method that places the connectors and wires inside a PVC aid.
  • Bucket method- Placing the plug ends on one bucket and covering it with another one is the simple trick here.
  • Power cord e protector- Entering the cord into a rubber tube is done here.
  • Plastic bags method – Covering the wires with store-bought plastic bags and securing them with electrical tape is the procedure here. 

Note: You must avoid any kind of metallic nails or staplers in any kind of coverage you follow. Remember to unplug any extension cord when you are not using it. When storing, make sure the cord bundle is not tangled and avoid folding that makes any permanent ruptures. 

Which Kind of Extension Cord Is Safe to Use Outside?

When you are purchasing, it is mentioned in the packaging whether the extension has the ability to perform outdoors or not. In addition, you can follow the below steps for further clarification. 

  • Additional Insulation- The electrical wires inside are protected with two layers of insulation. Therefore, an outdoor extension is thicker than a cord made for only interior use. 
  • Stronger covering- Heavy-duty rubber in the covers in order to perform resistance for various weather conditions is a unique feature of outdoor extensions.
  • Plug type- An outside extension wire cord is always a three-pin plug. That means there is a grounding wire too. 
  • Package sign- The cord is an exterior type if you can see a “W” sign. 
  • Colour – Often comes in bright colours like orange, yellow and blue. Often, we can see orange colour used cords . 
  • Higher flow of electric current- As the outdoor projects may need more power from inside a house, the amperage is high in the outdoor type. 

Can Extension Cords Get Hot?

Overheating is possible in extension cords when the flow of current is overloaded. Another possibility is connecting a higher voltage device than its maximum current supply. When the cord is overheated, it will be damaged, and the risk of fire will prevail. 


Extension cords are of two types, and you must choose the correct one if you are planning an outdoor project with them, even though it is not recommended to keep any extension outside for no more than two days. Do not use any damaged cord outdoors.

If you go through this article, you will find the reasons behind those restrictions and safety precautions you can take when in outdoor use of an extension.  

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