It happens to many of us – we get called away in the middle of weekend yard chores, and the next thing you know, a sudden rain shower calls a halt to your landscaping. If you use electrical yard tools you may be worried and wondering can extension cords get wet?
Are they safe to use after a downpour? Should you replace it?
Electrical Extension Cord Types
When you purchased your extension cord, you probably faced a wall of models in various colors and thicknesses. The answer to your question is which type you bought.
Indoor extension cords
These cords are light-duty and intended for dry, indoor use only.
Outdoor extension cords
These models are heavily insulated to resist water, oil, and heat and are intended for use outdoors with lawn equipment and power tools.
What If My Indoor Extension Cord Gets Wet?
Extension cords are insulated and have no electrical parts to damage with water. However, if water drenches the metal prongs or enters the plug outlet, it could cause a short, a fire, or electrocution for the person who touches it.
Never use an indoor extension cord outdoors. If you spill water on an indoor extension cord while it is in use, and the plug end at the outlet get wet, turn off the main breaker to prevent accidental electrocution.
Ensure your hands are completely dry, then carefully turn off anything plugged into the extension cord. Touching ONLY the insulated plastic or rubber parts, unplug the extension cord from the wall outlet.
At this point, restore the main power to the breaker if you turned it off. Allow the extension cord to dry completely in an uncoiled position for several days.
If your extension cord wasn’t in use, start with that final step – allow it to dry out for several days.
Outdoor Extension Cords
Outdoor extension cords can often get wet from rain and snow. While it isn’t an ideal situation, it’s not dangerous or damaging.
While water won’t hurt the cord, you should avoid touching the plug to remove it while wet.
If you leave an outdoor extension cord out in the rain, allow it to dry in place before unplugging it and storing it. While it will remain safe in place until it dries, over time exposure to the elements can deteriorate that heavy insulation that makes it safe to use outdoors.
Place it Safe
If your home is full of extension cords and power strips, maybe it’s time to have your home rewired to meet your connected lifestyle. Overloaded outlets are a serious risk for home fires, and an expanded electrical panel and additional outlets may be the thing you need to keep you powered up and safe at the same time.Make an appointment today with the team at Mr. Sparky of Pleasantville for an estimate. They can install new outlets so you can avoid dangerous extension cords in the future.