It’s crucial to understand that the extension cord is meant for temporary use. It’s not for heavy electrical purposes. Instead, the wire acts as a bridge between the primary power source and the adapter.
And what would you do if you would like to get power across the garden or shed? You will most likely use an extension cord to connect it with the main force. But is it safe to keep the extension cord outside for long? That’s the question on everyone’s mind.
A lot of DIYers try to bury the cord underground.
Can I Bury an Extension Cord?
Generally, NO, we wouldn’t advise you to bury an extension cord. For very short amount of time, yes, you can bury an extension cord, but you should know it’s not meant for direct burial. It’s for a temporary purpose and cannot stand long exposure to elements. Even for short intervals, you can put it underground if and only if you have taken the following factors into serious consideration.
Types Of Extension Cords You Can Bury
We would recommend a UF cable if you want to bury the wire underground. Moreover, its safe and doesn’t bear any danger. The materials used to make this cable have strong durability and high-water resistance as well.
Not every extension cord can be buried underground. In fact, most of the extension cords commonly available at big box stores aren’t meant to be buried.
You need to specifically look out for extensions that are built with underground use in mind.
Fortunately, some cables can be used as a permanent outdoor extension cord. You can use UF cables that are great for outdoor purposes. In addition, you can also use it for direct burial that offers safety because of its high-quality material.
Hiding Outdoor Extension Cords
Just having the correct extension cord isn’t enough, cables need to be buried properly too. If you don’t, your garden may have ugly cords showing, and it’ll be difficult to walk around your property as if it’s littered with obstacles!
Here’s how You Can Bury an Extension Cord Safely:
1. Selecting a cord
Choosing the right cord is crucial if you’re planning to bury it. As mentioned earlier, UF cables are excellent for direct burial.
2. Picking a conduit
You can bury an extension cord in conduit. You need to make sure the wire conduit you choose is compatible with the wire. The metal and plastic versions of a conduit require different ways of digging and can be used in different types of terrain.
3. Understanding the Depth
Before placing the cable underground, you need to understand the depth. There is different measurement both for lawns and trench. Note that you don’t need extra protection for UF cables as it’s already strong and has good resistance.
4. Installing GFCI outlet
The final step is to install GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet. It’s a device that protects the wires from overheating or fire. This device avoids an imbalance between an outgoing and incoming current.
Can You Bury an Extension Cord for Outdoor Lights?
We would always recommend you to use UF cables for underground wiring. However, if there is no other option, you can use an extension cord to light outdoor. Note that if you’re planning to bury the extension cord, make sure to use the conduit for protection.
Also, when you try to put the cord underground, make sure that proper wiring is done. And since you’re using an extension, make sure not to overload it. If you overload the power, it might cause possible fire or burning of wires.
Protecting An Extension Cord
I get that DIY projects might be cheaper if you use an existing extension you have lying around, and help you avoid unexpected expenses like high contractor prices.
However, for external use, it would be better to get a suitable extension cord.
It’s necessary to protect even an extension cord that’s marked safe for outdoor use. Although it comes with features to protect itself, it’s not for the long term. It would be better to check often and see if any protection is required
Being concerned about sustainability is great, but if you are being reckless about electrical wiring, you might have to deal with extra costs that would come from power overloads or wire fires.
So, using a proper outdoor cord is crucial. The cables used in outdoor extension cords are made of high quality material, to withstand any unforeseen situation.
Additionally they have a water-resistant features to help it last long.
If you’re using a regular cord for outside lights, there are some things you should do to protect the cable. Some of these are doing insulation of the wire or limited usage of power. You need to do these things if you want to ensure that your cord is safe outside.
Commonly Asked Questions
Is It Safe to Bury Outdoor Extension Cords Under Dirt?
It’s not safe to bury an outdoor extension under the dirt. Outside of that, if the cord is meant for an indoor purpose it won’t be safe either.
If you’re using a regular cable, make sure to put it in a conduit for protection. It will avoid getting the water into the wire and provide other protection as well.
Can You Bury Extension Cord in Pvc Pipe?
You can use a PVC pipe to bury the extension cord. But make sure that the cable is meant for the outside purpose. If you’re using a regular extension cord, then make sure not to overload it. Extension cords are just for a temporary purpose.
Hence, it’s advisable not to overuse it.
Is It Legal to Bury an Extension Cord?
States do things a little differently, which is why it’s important to ask before doing anything. They might also provide helpful information that you’re not aware of, so asking first is safer than waiting to learn the rules and regulations later on.
Can You Bury an Rv Extension Cord?
You cannot bury an RV extension cord. Although an extension cord is required if the RV wire falls short, it’s advisable not to put it underground.
So, if you bury an extension cord, use a conduit to protect the wire from harsh elements. Also, do proper research before you set out with the process. You should know that there’s a lot of risks involved if it’s not carried out correctly.