If you are looking to amp up your outdoor experience, there are a couple of ways to make that happen. One of them is by using extension cords to supply power to your backyard. If you didn’t know, an extension cord, or power extender, is a length of flexible electrical power cable that has a socket on one of its ends and a plug on the other.
Extension cords offer several benefits, like extending power to areas such as front yards, where there are no electric outlets. But that’s not all! They also help reduce the risks of tripping around your home. If you’re considering extending power outside your home, you’ll likely be thinking of using an extension cord to get the job done.
But here’s one of the few questions that most people ask regarding the use of outside extension cords: Can you bury the power extender in your yard?
Extension cords are designed for use as temporary wiring means. If you’re considering burying an outdoor cord permanently, you might have to consider using other suitable cable types, such as direct burial underground feeder (UF) cable. Soil and moisture will end up degrading the extension cord if buried underground.
Although, if you’ve decided to bury an outside extension cord in your yard, there’s a way around it. The first and most essential part is to shop for the best outdoor extension cords.
In this post, I’ll share the step-by-step guide on how to successfully bury an outside extension cord in your yard. Besides, you’ll also get to learn about the best outdoor extension cords.
Can You Bury an Outdoor Extension Cord?
Simply put, it depends. If you’re considering burying the extension cord in your yard temporarily, yes, you may go ahead as most outside extension cords are designed for temporary use. As long as you don’t leave the cable underground for a long time, you don’t have to worry about the potential effects of soil and moisture on it.
Another reason why burying an extension cord in your yard might be considered unsafe is because of its load capacity. Indeed, if what you’re trying to power has a higher load than that of the cord, it can lead to a fire outbreak in your yard. That said, if you are using an outdoor extension box, ensure that it has all the capacity takes to amp up your yard.
Besides, I recommend that you opt for the best extension cords before planning to bury them outside. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about that as I’ll share some of the best products below, the best one being the Underground Feeder cables, an electrical wire designed to be buried.
Although slightly expensive, underground feeder cables are less vulnerable to severe weather. Also, these wires have relatively low transmission losses and require little or no maintenance costs.
Step-By-Step Guide to Bury Outside Extension Cords
Before going ahead with how to bury your outdoor extension cords in your yard, you need to consider a few things. First, you will have to opt for the most suitable and safest material. Apart from that, you also need to check for the best location before starting to dig.
That said, here are a few simple and straightforward steps to implement when burying an outdoor extension cord in your yard.
1- Choose the best cord
First, you must choose the best outdoor extension cord for the job. To do so, you need to understand that power extenders are not designed as one-size-fits-all. What that means is that every outdoor extension cord functions differently, according to its capacities.
That said, ensure you opt for a light-duty extension cord — one that comes with a larger cable and is capable of powering all your outdoor devices.
2- Observe the type of conduit and depth
You then have to find out the type of conduit that you need to get the job done. You can always make use of a rigid galvanized metal conduit for your outdoor extension cord. With this type of pipe, you will only need to dig the yard about 6 inches deep. Although, for this method, ensure that the extension cord you’ll be using is water-resistant.
Apart from rigid galvanized metal, may also consider a Schedule 40 PVC conduit. However, ensure you bury the pipe about 18 inches deep for the safest and best results.
You can also lay an underground feeder cable directly onto the ground to power your outdoor devices. Although, make sure that the wire is at least 24 inches below the ground.
3- Install GFCI outlet
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is a circuit breaker that can shut off power automatically and directly at the outlet when there’s an electrical fault. The electrical device has a built-in sensor, which can help monitor the electricity’s inflow and outflow, thus preventing electrocution.
For safety reasons, ensure that you plug the outdoor extension cord into the GFCI outlet. If you don’t already have such an outlet, make sure to find one and install it rather than plugging your cable into the wrong type of outlet.
In case you didn’t know, a GFCI outlet features two or three-prong plug-in slots. In addition, the device also comes with two unique features: the Test and a Reset button.
Lights brighten our homes and give us some cool vibes during outdoor home parties. String lights are often used for decoration during seasonal celebrations, mostly around Christmas. You may be wondering, can you hardwire patio string lights? Read our article to find out.
Best Outside Extension Cord on Amazon
As mentioned earlier, the first thing to consider if you’re planning on burying an outdoor extension cord in your yard is the type of material. By opting for the best products, you won’t only save maintenance costs, but will also rest assured that the connection is safe.
Here are some of the best-selling outdoor extension cords available out there that you can consider using for your yard.
1- AmazonBasics 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord
Occupying the first spot on this list is the AmazonBasics 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord. I recommend this product because it packs several unique features. For instance, the product is 100 feet long. Besides, the purpose of this offering is “safety,” which will help prevent tripping hazards in your yard.
Another benefit of the AmazonBasics 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord, which makes it ideal for outdoor use, is that it comes with a 16-gauge, 3-prong plug and socket. You can click here to get more information on the product’s offerings, price, and how to order it.
2- UltraPro Black GE Extension Cord
Occupying the second spot on this list is the 25-foot long UltraPro Black GE Extension Cord. This product packs many unique features and is ideal for outdoor lighting and other devices that require extended power to reach.
As far as the capacity of the UltraPro Black GE Extension Cord is concerned, this product packs 13 amps, 125 volts, 1625 watts, and a total power outlet of 3. On Amazon, the product is rated 5/5 for weatherproof, 4.7 for durability, and 4.7 for sturdiness, which means you can rely on it for better results. You can click here to get more information on the product and how to order it.
3- Yard Master 9940010 Outdoor Garden 120-Foot Extension Cord
Sitting in the third position on this list is the Yardmaster 9940010 Outdoor Garden 120-Foot Extension Cord. I recommend this light-duty product because it offers some of the best features. For one, it is ideal for several outdoor devices, including a shop vac, weed wacker, and bush trimmer.
Furthermore, the Yardmaster Outdoor Garden 120-Foot Extension Cord is a 16/2 cord. That means the product comes with a 16-gauge, with each of the plugs having two prongs. In terms of capacity, the cord is weatherproof and has a 10A rating of 125V. You can click here to read more about the product’s offerings and how to make a purchase.
4- TerraBloom Outdoor Extension Cord
Last on the list of the best extension cords for outdoor use is the TerraBloom Outdoor Extension Cord. I recommend this product because it comes with a host of unique features. For instance, the cable is about 100 feet long. With this offering, you can extend the cord to any part of your yard.
Furthermore, the TerraBloom Outdoor Extension Cord, made with 100% Copper Wire inside, has a capacity of 10 amps and an output power of 1250 watts. And that’s not all! The extension cord is also UL listed for indoor and outdoor use, which means it is pretty much safe for your yard.
You can click here to get more information about the 16/3 extension cord’s offerings, its price, and how to place an order.