If you are confused about using extension cords outdoors, there are several reasons for the same. You could have it for your garden lights, for your pool décor, and so many other electrical needs.
Despite what you are using them for, knowing the best way to hide an extension cord outside is crucial. Not only does it make everything look organized, but it also reduces the risks of accidents.
This article will walk you through all the top tricks you need to master when installing an outdoor electrical system using extension cords.
What is the Best Way to Hide Extension Cords Outside?
The best ways to hide extension cords outside are:
- Use duct tape.
- Use plastic bags.
- Use a Tupperware container.
- Leverage the siding.
- Use card cover kits.
- Use a pool noodle.
Why Should you Keep Extension Cords Covered Outside?
Having an extension cord placed outside the house can be multiple reasons. It could be due to your home’s wiring or for other purposes. However, why should you keep them covered?
Unlike indoors, when you have an exposed extension cord, it can lead to risks of short-circuits and damage. Also, keeping it covered extends its longevity, allowing you to use it for some time.
Following are some of the reasons why you need to keep your extension cords covered:
1. For the Aesthetic
Not just outdoors, don’t you hate it when you have multiple wires and electrical boxes lying around in your room? It makes the area look messy, not to mention very confusing.
The same goes for the outdoor settings too. When you have extension cords lying open in the backyard, it makes the yard and the garden look messy.
If you want to spruce up the look of your backyard, keeping the extension cords out of view is important for the presentation.
2. For Safety Purposes
Keeping electrical items out in the open is a risk no one should indulge in. Since extension cords offer multiple inlet points, you can connect direct wires to them. So, points from different electrical sources can be connected to a single extension cord.
The biggest safety issue comes with tripping. When you have the extension cord out in the open, someone or the other will trip on the wires and fall.
Besides this, an open extension cord is also susceptible to the risks of shorting or even catching fire by accident.
3. Shield from Animals
Wires come with a protective covering on the outside but have you seen those little critters and moles in the garden? Their sharp teeth can chew through anything, including the wires.
So, it is always better to keep the extension cord covered when it is kept outside for the protective measure.
4. Protect the Connected Devices
So, you took out your laptop outside on the porch because the weather was cold and gloomy with a slight breeze. However, it starts drizzling and the open wired extension cord shorts due to the water.
Do you realize what will happen next?
Your laptop is at risk of being damaged. This is a very common issue with extension cords outside, especially when you leave them open. You can waterproof the surroundings so it doesn’t come in contact with the water or the electronics items it is connected with.
5. Enhance the Longevity
Lastly, the most important reason is to extend the life of your extension cord. When you take care of the cord and ensure that it is surrounded by weatherproofing and the open wires are secured, it reduces risks of damage to the cord, leading to better usage over a longer period.
How To Cover Extension Cords Outside To Keep Them Dry?
Now that you know why covering the extension cord is necessary, let us look at how. How can you cover the extension when it is outdoors?
Keep in mind that most methods mentioned are DIY and with items easily accessible at home or a hardware store near you.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Use a Duct Tape
Electrical tapes are a blessing, especially in situations like this. However, how do you use the tape to shield the extension cord?
You can tie a thick tape in the junction of the plug and the extension cord. This seals over the plugs, preventing water from seeping into the sockets and causing risks of shorting.
Also, you can use a duct or electrical tape to mark different connected wires into the extension cord. This can effectively solve your problem within a budget.
Applying the tape on the plug and the cord also secures it in place. So, if you have a loose plug that’s not sitting securely, a piece of tape can fix that. Also, once you are using the extension cord, you can take the tape out and repeat the same process.
2. Use Plastic Bags
No, we aren’t talking about the thin grocery bags. For securing the extension cords outside the house, you will need heavy-duty and thicker plastic bags.
You can form a loop and tie the bag around the plugs. If you can’t do that, use electrical tape to secure the plastic bag on top of the extension cord and the wires. This makes the machine waterproof and protects it from the occasional rain splatters,
We’d recommend cross-checking after you tie it around the plugs. Also, keep an eye on them every few hours to ensure that the plastic isn’t melting into the plugs due to overheating.
3. Use a Tupperware
This isn’t the most common DIY hack, but it works effortlessly and is reusable and sustainable. You need a Tupperware big enough to fit the entire extension cord in.
Once you have it, drill a hole and cut a slit down the side so you can take out the cord and plug it into the power source. The remaining wires and the extension cord box can be covered inside the Tupperware, and you can keep the lid closed.
This is hands down the easiest and the most protective way to cover the extension cord outdoors.
4. Leverage the Siding
If you plan to keep the extension cord permanently outdoors, you need to look for long-term coverage ideas. Find areas in the garden or yard with supportive sidings along with the house. You can tuck the cord along with the siding and secure it with pins or tape.
You can even attach the adhesive cable holders along the sidings and secure the cord along with them. It is quite an easy and effective strategy that helps keep the wires out of the ground and in a secure manner.
5. Use Card Cover Kits
As we said, having extension cords outdoors is not a foreign concept. Many homes have electrical requirements that need an extra cord and plug support. If you don’t want to try the DIY methods and want to implement a more substantial fix, we’d recommend using a card cover kit.
They are easily accessible in the hardware stores and help with cable organization outdoors. They are available in different materials like metal, rubber and even the cheaper plastic ones.
6. Use Pool Noodle
Pool noodles can not just keep you afloat while swimming but allow you to organize your wires scattered outside. Since they are waterproof, covering the cords and wires prevents the water from seeping into the plugs or the connected devices.
Also, they are available in different colors, further adding to the appeal of buying one and using it to cover the extension cords outdoors.
The most accessible DIY method to cover the extension cord wires is using electrical tape or plastic bags. You can also use available plastic Tupperware containers in your home.
Yes, you can bury an outdoor extension cord into the ground. However, we’d recommend not doing it for safety purposes. The microorganisms, water and allied environmental factors can be detrimental to the longevity of the cord.
The easiest way to waterproof an extension cord is by storing it in sealed Tupperware or the available cable kits in the market. You can also secure them with a pool noodle for similar results.
Outdoor extension cords can come in handy in several ways. However, their storage and maintenance are very important too. You want to ensure that you secure the connected wires and the cord so that it is away from water, critters and other damaging impacts. We hope this article gives you a thorough rundown of all the important pointers that you should keep in mind when covering an outdoor extension cord.