How to Tell If Extension Cord is for Outdoor Use? EXPLAINED!!!

Electricity can be used outdoors all year long for a variety of activities, from upkeep to leisure. To avoid potential disasters, you must utilize a secure electrical cord that is made for external use. But, ‘How to Tell if Extension Cord is for Outdoor Use?’

In order to maintain electrical security and avoid house fires, choosing the appropriate cord for the purpose is crucial. The distinctions between the two kinds of electrical wires, as well as how to handle and preserve outdoor electrical wiring, are all covered in this article. You’ll also learn about the readings, labels, capacities, and gauges it.

What Are the Differences Between Indoor vs Outdoor Extension Cords?

An interior cord and an exterior cord are primarily distinguished by their insulation. Exterior extension cords also have a vivid orange, vinyl, and plastic coating that shields them from moisture and bad weather. Interior extension cords that are not shielded from the sun can fray.

Those cords’ current ratings are another difference. Outdoor gadgets frequently require greater amperage than inside appliances do.

Patch cables used outside often have greater amperage ratings. Your outdoor gadgets’ power requirements won’t probably be fulfilled by indoor extensions.

The type of plug used also makes a distinction between extension cables for both indoor and external use.

Grounding wires on extension cords’ third and fourth prongs help to prevent electrical shock and fire. Often, small devices located indoors require a two-prong extension cord.

The majority of extension cords are used indoors to get a two-prong plug, while extended cables used outside get a three-prong connector.

How to Read the Label of an Extension Cord?

  • The extended cord is designated for generic use without even any specific qualities, according to the letter S.
  • The electric cable is suitable for outdoor use if it has the W designation, indicating that it is climate.
  • Whenever it relates to power wires, the letter J often denotes a junior cable. The electrical cord with this letter has insulation rated at 300 volts.
  • When an extended cord is marked with a T, its jacket is composed of vinyl elastomer.
  • The perpendicular wire structure, denoted by the symbol P, is ideal for domestic electrical wires and air conditioning units.
  • In locations where gasoline and fertilizers may come into contact with the wire, oil-resistant jumper wires, denoted by the letter O, may be utilized.
  • The polyester elastomer (TPE) that makes up the coat of the electrical cord well with the symbol E is used.

What is the “Jacket” Material of the Cord and Why Does it Matter?

Whenever you glance at a wire, the “jacket,” or the exterior of the wiring, what you observe is the cable. The most typical jacket material for cables nowadays is polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

PVC wire jackets are a great option for outside cable jackets because they can tolerate heat, sunshine, corrosion, oils, chemicals, and bodily scratches.

Why is it crucial? An outer covering called a cable jacket serves as a connector for the inner cable parts. The inside insulation and components of cables are shielded by jacketing from the abrasive outside conditions. By selecting the proper jacket type, you may cut down on failures, expenses, and delay.

How to Look for a “W” Rating on the Cord?

W stands for Weather as well as Water Resistance. When a portable cord has a W next to it, it has been certified as weather, sunshine, humidity, etc., and moisture and is suitable for use both indoors and outside.

This wire is “wet” or authorized for moist and damp environments, but it can also be used in dry environments.

Outdoor-use cables are identified with the “W” sign. In order to show the expected frequency of usage when the cable was built, some manufacturers also employ additional ratings.

How to Look for a "W" Rating on the Cord

The symbol “W” can be found here on the cord or the box. Cords made for outdoor power use are designated with that symbol.

How to Tell If Extension Cord is for Outdoor Use?

Score Indicator

A “W” indication may be placed on the covering or insulated of an electrical cord if it is intended for external use.


An outside extension cord can also be identified by its insulation.


You may also tell whether such a cord is suitable for outdoor use by looking there at the insulation’s hue. Often, patch cables for outdoor use come in vivid yellow, blue, as well as green colors.

For damp and muddy environments, there are weatherproof extender cords in orange as well as brown colors as well.


As well, by examining the plug on a cable, one can determine whether it is suitable for exterior usage. Three prongs are always present on the plug of an exterior cord.


An advantage of outdoor extender cables over interior ones is that they have higher amp ratings. They can therefore store more power, which makes them ideal for power-hungry gadgets.

How to Check for the Cord’s Capacity and Gauge?

  • Examine the container or package label. There is a very significant probability that the size would be printed upon that extended cord’s package if you recently purchased it.
  • Check the actual extension cord.
  • Printing of letters and figures is required.
  • Regarding the extender cord’s width, take note.
  • The extended cord must be cut open.

Can You Use an Indoor Extension Cord for Outdoor Activities?

While using an external charger cord indoors is acceptable, it is never a good idea to utilize an electrical cord that is rated for interior use outside. This may result in electrocution or pose a fire risk.

If you’re thinking about using an inside electrical cord and pulling lines outside your house, that is definitely not a good idea. Extension cords used indoors are not made to resist the scalding sun, dampness, or temperature variations.

How to Store and Maintain Outdoor Extension Cords?

  • Extension cord maintenance and storage techniques have been outlined.
  • The coil goes over and under. Won’t harm the chord and keeps it in a usable state for future usage.
  • Wrapped Velcro cords. It would be convenient to wrap over long, custom-cut rolls.
  • A chain-link fence. No need to purchase; the cord is ready to use.
  • Reels for mounting cords. The cord is left ready for usage.
  • The arm-circling coil. Simple and quick, no need to purchase.

Patch cables ought to endure for many decades if we take excellent care of them.

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Video Credits – stuntcardriver

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