Providing Exceptional Service Since 1983
Extension cords hung up in a garage

Is There a Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Extension Cords?

When you need power up devices with shorter cords that won’t reach electrical outlets, most likely you’ll use an extension cord. Whether using an extension cord indoors or outside, it’s essential to understand that not just any extension cord will do. Many people don’t realize that using an indoor electrical cord outdoors can be a safety hazard and vice versa.

Here’s what you need to know about extension cords to keep you safe at home.

Difference in Materials

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.

Larger Gauge

Outdoor extension cords have larger gauges, thus allowing more current to flow through. Indoor extension cords typically are not made to accommodate more than 25 feet when outdoor extension cords may be available in lengths of 150 feet or longer. 

Type of Plug

Indoor extension cords can come in two-prong or three-prong plugs. The third prong on an extension cord is the grounding wire that prevents electrical fires or shocks. Be careful not to combine a three-prong plug extension cord with a two-prong plug extension cord. This can pose a safety hazard. 

Power Amperage

Some appliance requires more amperage than others. An indoor extension cord will typically have a lower amperage than an outdoor extension cord. For example, an indoor lamp would require less amperage than an electric hedge trimmer. 

When purchasing extension cord, check the tag to ensure it is UL (Underwriter Laboratory listed Extension cords should be UL (underwriters laboratories) listed. A UL-listed extension cord is certified to have undergone extensive safety inspections. 

If you are concerned about electrical safety in your home, we can help! Whether you need an electrical upgrade or repair, our highly qualified and trained electricians are fully equipped to handle the job!  Call or schedule an appointment online with AAA Service today! 

Categories