Extension cords come in very handy when you’re doing a project outside, such as using a chainsaw, or when hooking up holiday lights. They simply provide more distance between the device you want to use and the outlet that will power it. If you are faced with the need for an extension cord for outdoor use, it’s important to find one that’s designed and rated for the outdoors to protect your safety.
You can always ask a St. Louis electrician for assistance. They can also provide whole-home surge protection, battery storage, GFCI outlet installation, and exterior and interior lighting installation. Here’s what to look for when on the hunt for an extension cord.
Check the Packaging
Before buying an extension cord, read the packaging. Look for extension cords marked with a “W”, as these are meant for outdoor use. That’s because the cords have more durable and thicker insulation than average indoor extension cords. This safeguards the cord against extreme temperature changes, exposure to rain, and exposure to direct sunlight.
Plug With Three Prongs
Look for a head with three prongs, as indoor cords only have two. While multi-outlet extension cords, surge suppressors, and power strips for indoor use feature three-pronged plugs, all outdoor extension cords feature three prongs no matter what. The third plug is a ground wire that prevents electrocution.
Use a GFCI Adapter
Using the right outlet is also important. If you don’t have an outdoor outlet that’s protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), you’ll need to get a GFCI adapter. These both act as circuit breakers to prevent the flow of electricity when issues are detected. If you’re going to use a lot of extension cords outside for the long term, it’s smart to invest in a GFCI outlet.
Check Your Extension Cord Before Use
Regularly inspect your outdoor extension cords, especially when they’ve been in storage for a while. Look for cracked or worn insulation, and if you spot these issues, replace the cords. Check your outdoor GFCI adapters and outlets, too, as these will be subjected to more wear and tear than the cords due to their constant outdoor location.
Contact Braco Electrical and Contracting
If you want a GFCI outlet installed on your property, get in touch with our St. Peters electricians for an appointment and to learn more. Just contact us at 636-294-8562 today.