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How to Cover Outside Extension Cords

 Posted on: October 13th, 2023

A worker in a manufacturing plant programming a CNC machine to automate a task.

There are endless reasons to use extension cords outside. No matter what you’re powering, you need to be sure you’re using extension cords properly and safely—and that includes keeping them protected from foot and vehicle traffic and the elements. Read on to learn why you should cover outside extension cords, as well as what you should consider as you choose the best cover for your purposes.

Why cover outdoor extension cords?

There are several reasons why you should consider covering your outdoor extension cords. From promoting safety to promoting better aesthetics, here’s why you should always keep your outdoor extension cords covered:

  • Safety: Anything that involves electricity has the potential to be dangerous, and extension cords are no different. There’s risk of shorting, sparks and even fire. Extension cords can also be a tripping hazard, and without covering the cord correctly, you could be setting yourself up for liability. Cover all outside extension cords to eliminate this safety concern so you and others can enjoy your property safely.
  • Protecting electronic devices: The electronic devices you power with an outside extension cord—like tools, lights, appliances and more—can be ruined by a wet extension cord. If water enters the plug and contacts your electronics, it could lead to more expensive repairs in the long run. Cover and waterproof your cords to protect anything you plug into the extension cords.
  • Protecting extension cords: One of the most obvious benefits that come with covering outdoor extension cords is that it protects the cords themselves from damage. When you invest in high-quality extension cord covers, the cords won’t get stepped on, tripped over or driven over. And, with the right waterproofing, they won’t get wet. Keep your cords working longer by keeping them covered whenever possible.
  • Aesthetics: Loose extension cords aren’t just a safety hazard—they also drag down the appearance of your home or business. Whether you’re plugging in lights, decorations or anything else, jumbled extension cords drag down the appearance of your property. Extension cord covers instantly improves the appearance of your property, keeping cords in place for a more refined presentation.
extension cord outside in the snow covered by black and yellow cable guard ramps runs up and over a wall

Considerations for outdoor extension cord covers

Now that you understand why you should cover the extension cords you use outdoors, here are some considerations to keep in mind as you select a suitable cord cover for your needs:

  • Number of channels: Most cord covers are available with grooves that form a snug fit around extension cords and cables, allowing the line to pass through easily. As you search for the right cover for your purposes, you need to consider how many cords you’re covering, not to mention the size of the grooves. Use the cable with the largest diameter measurement and choose a cover that accommodates it.
  • Weight capacity: If you anticipate your cord protector to see traffic, you need to choose a cord protector that’s strong enough to support people, vehicles and equipment that will cross it. Light-duty cable protectors can support pedestrian traffic, while heavy-duty guards for demanding jobsites can support heavy vehicles and equipment.
  • Color: When it comes to cord protectors, color choice is more than a simple aesthetic decision. Color is important for visibility, especially in commercial and industrial situations. You can choose cord covers that color coordinate with specific area markings. ANSI-compliant cables are available with a full range of safety symbols, helping you promote safety at any jobsite.
  • Material: There are several types of cord covers available in a range of materials, but rubber cable guards and polyurethane cable guards are the most common. You’ll also find options made from plastic and foam, but they should only be used for light-duty applications. In general, polyurethane is the superior choice—it not only weights 75% less than rubber, but it also holds up better to regular wear and tear and it has a higher load bearing capacity. Elasco polyurethane cable ramps are a great example of top of the line cord protection.
  • ADA access: If you’re using extension cord covers in a commercial setting, you need to comply with ADA guidelines. Look for ADA-compliant cable ramps—they feature a long, gradual slope that helps people in walkers, wheelchairs and other mobility aids navigate your premises with minimal difficulty.

Looking for the right outdoor extension cord covers for your unique applications? Discount Ramps carries a huge variety of extension cord covers that conceal wires, reduce damage from foot or vehicle traffic and minimize tripping hazards. Reach out to us today to find high-quality extension cord cover solutions that won’t break your budget.