can I use an indoor extension cord outside

can I use an indoor extension cord outside
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If you are looking for a simple answer can I use an indoor extension cord outside, The sweet and simple answer is No, because the Indoor extension cords are very distinct from outdoor cords, and it is not essential to confuse the two? An outdoor extension cord can also be used indoors, but for outdoor activities, you never ever use an indoor extension cord.

What for Indoor Extension Cord?

To light-duty applications and low voltage, indoor extension cords are designed. They are the kind of thing you might use to control a single strand of Led lights, a box fans, or maybe a coffee maker for a normal kitchen.

What for Outdoor Extension Cord?

Outdoor extension cords and their indoor equivalents are more durable. They are manufactured specifically from thick gauge wire and are covered with a robust rubber, plastic or metallic covering.

There are also a few heavy-duty outdoor extension cords that are rated for special conditions where flammable materials, explosives or high temperatures could be used inside them.

What is the difference an indoor and outdoor extension cord?

There is some main difference between indoor and outdoor extension cords, now we will discuss in details why we are preventing you from using an indoor extension cord as an outdoor extension cord. Now we compare them.


The insulation used in their design is the relevant difference between indoor and outdoor extension cords. As outdoor extension cords do, indoor extension cords do not have the same fabrics and protective insulation. 

To protect against moisture and temperature fluctuations, outdoor cords are built of durable insulation. The insulation used for indoor extension cords may also be broken down by sunlight, but outdoor extension cords use a special material to safeguard against light exposure. To avoid damage from pollutants, such as tar, outdoor extension cords are often constructed.


The size or diameter of the conducting wires inside defines the length of an extension cable. Larger-gauge conducting wire helps more current to pass through the extension cable, which is necessary for various pieces of equipment and at larger distances. 

Indoor extension cords are rarely more than 25 feet in length, whereas outdoor extension cords are up to 150 feet or more in length. To safely power your appliances, you will require the correct combination of gauge and distance requirements.


As outdoor gadgets demand more amps than indoor equipment, indoor extension cords typically have a lower amperage rating than an outdoor extension cord. 

For eg, although a lamp uses basically half an amp, up to 12 amps can be used by a leaf blower. Many indoor extension cords will be unlikely to fulfil the specifications of a leaf blower for amperage. 

Let’s take a look at the useful tips

  • For devices with cables that can not access any nearby electrical outlets, extension cords provide power. It is important to use the correct form of an extension cord to ensure electrical protection and avoid home fires.
  • Often insert extension cords outside into a GFCI socket. These are usually located in the kitchen, bathroom and garage and can be detected by TEST/RESET keys. In the case of the cord being exposed to water, these gadgets shield your families from shock.
  • Never use indoor extension cords as an outdoor extension cord, they are not constructed for such robust use. Do NOT leave more than a day or two with your outdoor extension cord outside. Overextended times, left outdoors, cord materials may break down, possibly leading to sparking, burning, and shock. Still observe electrical precautions for outdoor use.
  • A GFCI-equipped outlet guarantees protection when running electricity outside, which is required by code in all places exposed to moisture, like the outdoors. Be sure to select an outdoor-rated, weatherproof model with built-in, high-sensitivity GFCI when installing an outdoor device.
  • Do not over-extend extension cords when having to concurrently control so many gadgets.
  • Inspect them for gaps in the padding and uncovered wire when getting extension cords out of storage. Do not use the cord if you find any issues.
  • To better store extension cords. When the exterior lights for the year are out, unplug the extension cords, gently roll them back up as they were when the box was opened. Then, hang them safe from the elements somewhere before you need them again.


There are three usage types for extension cords: periodic, regular, and rough. You would need to search the cable packaging or the cord itself for the unique letter designating the expected use to find the one that is right for your project.

It’s important to know how to say whether an extension cord is for outdoor use when you plan to string up the decorations outside this holiday season. To ensure electrical protection and avoid home fires, it is important to use the correct cord for the application.