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Indoor Versus Outdoor Extension Cords

christmas lights

Indoor Versus Outdoor Extension Cords

Not all extension cords are created equal. As Christmas approaches, it is important to know the purpose of your extension cords. Not every cord can be used outdoors. The cord will not have protection from snow and rain. So, if you already have 10 extension cords in your garage, how do you know which extension cord is for indoor or outdoor use?

How to Recognize an Outdoor Extension Cord

If you are hanging outdoor lights, you will need an extension cord. The following can help you recognize an outdoor extension cord:

  1. The letter “W” on the packaging or cord.
  2. The primary difference between an indoor and outdoor cord is the insulation. Cords for outdoors also use a bright orange, vinyl, or plastic covering that protects again moisture and weather conditions. Sunlight can break down unprotected indoor extension cords.
  3. Outdoor extension cords have three prong plugs. The third plug serves as a grounding wire to reduce electric shock and an electrical fire.
  4. Outdoor extension cords will have higher amperage ratings.

Even with an outdoor extension cord, avoid exposed outlets with heavy rain or snow. This increases the chance of fire. After you take down your Christmas lights, roll the extension cord into a loop and hang away from weather conditions.

For those of you with lights on a Christmas tree in your home, the indoor extension cord should work properly.

If you cannot recognize the outdoor extension cord, contact Electric Norm in Portland, Oregon. Do not take risks when it comes to your electrical system. In case of an electrical emergency from using the wrong cord, Electric Norm is here to help. Contact our residential electricians in Portland at 503-643-3500.

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