For running Christmas lights, you want to make sure that any cord you use is rated for outdoor use. Pick a 16-gauge extension cord for light runs of 25 feet or less and go with a heavier duty 14-gauge cord for runs over 25 feet. Devices that generate heat, such as space heaters, should not be used with extension cords.
Can you use an extension cord with outdoor string lights?
Use Outdoor-Rated Extension Cords
They’re usually light and flexible, so they’re easy to keep out of the way. And they’re definitely not made to stand up to getting wet. Buy and use only outdoor-rated extension cords for any temporary lighting you’re connecting outside your house.
Do I need a special extension cord for outdoors?
Check the packaging, or look on the cord, to be sure the extension cord you’ve selected is appropriate for outdoor electricity use. Or, use this quick checklist to confirm that the cord is designed for outdoor use: Rating Indicator — Look for the letter “W” on the cord or on the packaging.
How many amps should an outdoor extension cord be?
For 100 feet, the 14 gauge cord works for 11-13 Amps, while the 12 gauge cord is best suited for 14-15 amps. If your cord is 150 feet long, the 14 gauge is best suited for 1-7 Amps, whereas the 12 gauge will support 8-10 Amps. This shows that the extension cord’s length also plays a part in the power it helps safely.
How long can an outdoor extension cord be?
In general, extension cords should not exceed 100 feet in length. However, by plugging one extension cord into another, the maximum cord length can be easily exceeded. If the job requires more than a 100-foot distance, a temporary power distribution box is required.
Are outdoor extension cords safe in rain?
Water is a good conductor of electricity; therefore, any contact with rainwater could lead to electric shock or electrocution. It could also damage the cord. It is imperative to shield your extension cord from Rain whenever you are using it outdoors to prevent these hazards.
How do you run power to outdoor string lights?
Quote from Youtube video: Check with your local inspector or electrician for information with the 120 volt installation you can use traditional switches. And photocells to control the lights oh. One more word of caution.
What’s the difference between an indoor and outdoor extension cord?
Insulation is the significant difference between indoor and outdoor extensions cords. Indoor extension cords lack the materials that act as protective insulation to protect against moisture and varying temperatures. Outdoor extension cords are also made durable enough to withstand long periods in the sun.
Which is better 12 or 16 gauge extension cord?
When using 100 feet extension cords, you’ll need a: 16 Gauge for 1-10 Amps. 14 Gauge for 11-13 Amps. 12 Gauge for 14-15 Amps.
Are all orange extension cords for outdoor use?
On the extension cord packaging or on the cord itself, the letter “W” indicates that the cord is designed for use outside. Outdoor extension cords have a heavy-duty appearance and tend to have tough, bright orange covers that are made from rubber, vinyl or plastic.
What gauge of extension cord do I need?
Recommended wire gauge for extension cords
Larger numbers mean smaller wires, which in turn means it can carry less power. A cord measuring 14 AWG is the thinnest we recommend—and at lengths of only 25 feet or shorter—and the much thicker 10 AWG is likely the thickest gauge you’ll find in an extension cord.
What happens if an extension cord is too long?
An improperly sized extension cord can cause a tool or appliance motor to burn out if allowed to run for too long. It can also cause a dangerous situation if it overheats.
Is a shorter extension cord better?
Every extra foot of cord increases the electrical resistance. This decreases the power the cord can deliver to connected devices. For best results, use the shortest extension cord possible. Tip: If you’re replacing an old cord, look for the AWG number printed on the jacket to select a new cord with the same gauge.
How do you protect an extension cord outside?
Keep your extension cord plugs inside it and the container will protect them from the wet and humid weather. It doesn’t need to be an insane air-tight container.
- Take a good quality plastic bag.
- Cover the whole extension power cord and wire together.
- Make a bunch and place them at your choice of place.
Is it OK to use indoor extension cords outside?
Never use indoor extension cords outside, they are not built for such rugged use. Do NOT leave even your outdoor extension cord outside more than a day or two. Left outside over extended periods, cord materials can breakdown, potentially resulting in sparking, fire, and shock.
Can you use an extension cord permanently?
National Electrical Code (NEC) does not allow extension cords in lieu of permanent wiring (NEC 400.8(1) – 2014 Version). General rule– if equipment is powered from an extension cord for more than 30 days, permanent solutions should be installed.
What should not be plugged into an extension cord?
Here are some examples of high-capacity appliances that you should not plug into a power strip:
- Washing machines and dryers.
- Sump pumps.
- Space heaters.
- Portable air conditioners.
- Microwave ovens.
- Coffee makers.
What is the safest extension cord?
Longer cords can’t handle as much current as shorter cords of the same gauge. Choose cords with polarized or three-prong plugs. For use with larger appliances, thick, round, low-gauge extension cords are best. For smaller appliances and electronics, you can use thin or flat cords.
Which is better 10 gauge or 12 gauge extension cord?
Round down = 10 Gauge. Most devices will do fine with 12 gauge extension cords. Power hungry devices such as lawnmowers, heavy machines, require a lower gauge such as 10AWG. Keep in mind, the lower the gauge means the thicker the cord.
What makes an extension cord heavy duty?
Heavy-duty extension cords are suitable for drawing 10 to 15 amps of power. These are always grounded extension cords that include a third wire and plug prong for grounding and have plugs with three slots for accepting grounded appliance cords.