Are you tired of tripping over tangled messes of extension cords outside your home? Do you find yourself constantly rearranging and hiding cords in an attempt to maintain the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space? Well, it’s time to say goodbye to those unsightly cords and hello to a clean and tidy outdoor oasis! The answer to your problems lies in the art of ‘How to Hide Extension Cords Outside.’ This blog post will dive into the many creative and practical ways to keep your cords under wraps while still having the power to keep your outdoor lights shining bright.
Whether you want to add a touch of sophistication to your patio or keep your garden looking as pristine as a Disney movie set, we’ve got you covered.
So, put on your thinking cap, grab a notebook, and get ready to learn how to become masters of hiding those pesky cords like a pro!
A Comprehensive Guide on How to Hide Extension Cords Outside for a Tidy Outdoor Space
For most people, seeing your outside extension cord lurking is a reason to bring a shiver to their bones. It may not only be a hazard to young kids. At the same time, they play outside but are also an ugly site to look at, especially with guests coming over. This con does not mean you get rid of them as outside extension cords benefit households as most of them run power to your home. There is a range of ways you can take care of the problem. Here are the best and most effective ways to hide your outside extension cords.
1. Bury Them Underground
Burying the extension cords is primarily the safest way of hiding them. It is exceptionally paramount to perform this activity with thick power cords, as the ground can absorb unwanted power, a process known as earthing.
Burying helps protect the extension cords against adverse weather conditions and damage from animals such as squirrels which nibble their way into anything.
However, it can be costly, requiring digging a channel from the house to the power source. Here are the most appropriate steps to follow while burying your extension cords.
- Dig a channel wide enough to fit your cord from the two areas needing connection
- Use a PVC pipe to cover the cord before burying it.
- Secure the cord on the channel and cover it with earth
- Using a spade, knock on the ground to harden it. You can cover the area with a patch of grass.
2. Camouflage the Cords Using Paint
Camouflage is a great way to hide extension cords. You only need two things: paint and a paintbrush. Choose paint that easily matches the surrounding. That’s the whole reason for camouflage. Painting for camouflage helps protect your extension cords from Ultra violet rays and camouflage.
Paint comes off easily, so you should apply it in low-traffic areas. Here is a step-by-step guide to best paint your extension cords without making a mess.
- Safety first! You need to make sure your cord is unplugged from the power source.
- Wear gloves on your hand and a mask to protect yourself from harsh chemicals.
- Using sandpaper, scrub on the cord surface to roughen it up, allowing the paint to get quickly attached
- Using spray paint, spray all over the cord, reaching every nook and cranny.
- Allow the paint to draw
- Use a paint primer for better paint adherence
- Spray one last coat of paint on the cord and allow it to dry for several hours.
3. Use Visually Appealing Cords
Aesthetically appealing cords are a fast way to hide ugly cords. You do not have to do any preparation for your installation as they are readily available as they are.
A great example of visually appealing extension cords is the braided cord type which can be used as an outstanding landscape decorative idea. You can also DIY your cable to make it looks as appealing as possible. Use your imagination and be as creative as you can.
4. Using a Cord Cover
Cord covers for extension cords should be typically flat and look like siding or molding. Most of them are made of plastic and come in various lengths, sizes, and colors. They are easy to find since you can find them in your local hardware store.
As you purchase your cord cover, you can ask for one with a plug or access port on the side. To help have more effortless cable connectivity.
5. Hide Them Using Outdoor Furniture
Ever hidden dirty laundry in your closet for that impromptu guest? Well, this technique is more like it. You need to move outside furniture like tables, chairs, flower vases, and ta-da! All is fixed. Well, at least until someone decides to change the furniture position. The furniture technique is, however, the most economical to perform as it takes less time and no expense.
6. Wrap Them Up With Tape
If your outdoor furniture is not hiding your extension cords, then time for the tape to shine. Not just any tape, however, electrical tape! Electrical tape is the most recommended as it offers more protection against bad weather and animals, unlike duct tape.
Electrical tape is safer and does not degrade as fast as duct tape. And it comes in various colors, enhancing the aesthetic appeal and ability to camouflage easily. Wrap your extension cords with several layers of electrical tape until wholly covered to ensure maximum protection against animals and the elements.
7. Cover the Cords using Plants or Among Grass
Using planter’s pots having large plants can cover the extension cords running along your outside walls. You can also disguise it among low-traffic grass sections. It is paramount that you know that this should only be a temporary measure as it proves a tripping hazard.
This method is also the least recommended since it does not offer protection against rain, storms, or even animals. Covering your extension cords with grass should only be used if all other options have been exhausted.
8. Run Them Along Your Sidings and Walls
Running your extension cords along the sidings and walls protects the cords from rain and snow. Some sidings and baseboards are easy to move, providing the best places to hide your extension cords.
9. Use Plastic Bags to Cover Them
Garbage bags and landscape bags are the most recommended plastic bags to cover your outside extension cords. They can protect against rain and snow. Similar to plants and grass to hide the cords, plastic bags are a temporary solution as you find a more permanent one.
Remember to tightly cover the cords with a plastic bag to prevent water or dirt from leaking into the cords.
10. Using a Conduit to Hide Your Extension Cord
Hiding extension cords outside can be challenging, especially when preserving the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. One solution to this issue is to use a conduit and a c-clamp. By running the cord around the outside walls and siding of your house, as well as through garden borders, fences, and other decorations in your garden, you can effectively hide the cord from view.
There are two methods for feeding the cord into the conduit:
Using a metal fish tape puller or a conduit piston and pulling line.
- The fish tape method involves feeding the tape into the conduit, wrapping the wire around the hook of the fish tape, and pulling the tape through the conduit.
- The conduit piston method involves tying the piston to a pulling wire, inserting it into one end of the conduit, and using a vacuum to suck it through to the other end.
While using a conduit to hide extension cords may require a more considerable initial investment, it is a valuable long-term solution as it protects the cord from harmful weather and animal bites. To insert the cord into the conduit, you may need to disassemble one side of the extension cord.
11. Paint Cords to Match the Surroundings
If you’re handy with a paintbrush, you can paint the cords to match the color of your outdoor space. This will help the cords blend in with the environment and become less noticeable. Be sure to use outdoor paint and follow all safety guidelines when working with electrical equipment.
Read More How To Paint Electrical Outlets Safely
Why Should You Hide the Extension Cords in Your Backyard?
Hiding extension cords outside can be challenging, especially if you want to maintain the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.
Extension cords are essential for powering outdoor lights, water fountains, and other electrical devices. However, unsightly cords can detract from the beauty of your garden or patio.
1. Animal Control
Small animals like rodents will likely make their way to your extension cords and nibble them away. Animals are primarily attracted to the cables mainly because of the inner copper wire. Hiding the cords by burying or covering them with furniture helps solve the rodent issue completely. The cords will be pretty hard to reach for these rodents.
Especially if you have kids running around your backyard, you do not want extension cords lying outside. You, your kids, or your guests will likely trip over them and get injured. There is also the cords’ safety factor to consider. The extension cords are protected against bad weather, which improves their life span. That inevitably means fewer expenses for you, and who doesn’t want that?
3. Prevent Tangling
Every electrical professional knows how much of a headache tangled cords can get. When the extension cords get tangled, their lifespan is shortened. Not to talk about the safety hazard they can be. Covering your outside extension cords, especially those running on sidings and walls, with staples and tape help keep them detangled and well-arranged. It will also improve the aesthetic appeal.
4. Enhance Durability
Covering your outside extension cords with electrical tape or burying them dramatically increases their durability. Such is because they are usually left undisturbed and protected against the elements and animals that chew their way into the cords. Durability also means minor repair and maintenance costs which means fewer expenses.
5. Improve Aesthetic appeal
Hiding your extension cords in plain sight can be a great way to improve the aesthetic appeal of your backyard. External extension cables can be pretty ugly looking to note and dims your guests’ opinion of your home.
Hiding the extension cables is not the only way to improve the aesthetics of your outside. Many landscape designers and artists have taken up this challenge and are wowing the art industry with inventive ways to make extension cables part of the aesthetic appeal.
6. Government Guidelines
Some states have a mandatory covering of your extension cords in homes and commercial buildings. Covering these cords is therefore done when the wiring occurs during construction.
Though strict, the guidelines are helpful as fewer home accidents due to uncovered extension cords are reported annually.
Several state governments have made it mandatory to bury your cords underground, while others allow the owners to choose from the listed few. There are also step-by-step guidelines to be followed while proceeding with the covering. Heavy fines of up to forty dollars are in place for those who break this law.
Why Do You Need to Hide Extension Cords in the Patio?
As homeowners, we all want our outdoor spaces to be beautiful and functional extensions of our homes. But when it comes to powering our outdoor lights, appliances, and other devices, the unsightly cords and wires can often detract from our patios’ overall look and feel. This is why hiding extension cords in the patio is crucial to achieving a clean, tidy, and inviting outdoor oasis.
Here are a few key reasons why you should consider hiding extension cords in your patio:
Extension cords can be an eyesore, especially if tangled, poorly placed, or left in visible areas. Hiding the cords can enhance the overall look of your patio, giving it a polished and sophisticated appearance. By hiding the cords, you can keep the focus on the beauty of your outdoor space and avoid distracting from it.
Extension cords that are left exposed or poorly secured can pose a tripping hazard, especially if placed in high-traffic areas. Hiding the cords in a conduit or other protective cover can keep them out of sight and reduce the risk of accidents, ensuring a safe and secure outdoor environment for you and your family.
- Protection from the Elements
Outdoor extension cords are often exposed to the elements, which can cause them to become damaged or deteriorate over time. Hiding the cords in a conduit or other protective cover can protect them from rain, snow, and other elements, ensuring that they remain functional and in good working condition for longer.
- Protection from Pests
Rodents, insects, and other pests can damage or chew through extension cords that are left outside, rendering them unusable or posing a safety hazard. Hiding the cords in a conduit or other protective cover can prevent this from happening and keep your outdoor power supply functioning correctly.
How Do You Waterproof Outdoor Extension Cords?
Waterproofing outdoor extension cords ensure their safety and longevity, especially in damp conditions. These cords are often used in outdoor settings, such as patios, gardens, and worksites, where they are exposed to the elements and can be easily damaged by water.
- Use a Waterproof Cord Cover
A waterproof cord cover, such as a flexible conduit, provides a physical barrier between the cord and the environment, protecting it from water and other elements. When choosing a cord cover, look for one made of durable, waterproof material, and properly seal both ends to prevent water from entering.
- Use Waterproof Electrical Tape
Wrapping the ends of the extension cord with waterproof electrical tape can provide additional protection from water damage. Make sure to choose a high-quality tape designed for outdoor use that provides a tight seal.
- Use a Waterproof Plug Cover
A waterproof plug cover can protect the plug of the extension cord from water damage, ensuring that the connection remains secure and functional. Look for a plug cover made of durable, waterproof material and adequately sealed to prevent water from entering.
- Proper Storage
When not in use, store your extension cord in a dry place to prevent water damage. If the cord must be stored outside, use a waterproof cord cover or store it in a waterproof container to protect it from the elements.
It’s essential to keep in mind that waterproofing your extension cords does not guarantee that they are immune to water damage. It’s always best to avoid exposing them to standing water and checking them for any signs of damage regularly.
Tips for a Better Outdoor Extension Cords Management
Outdoor extension cords can be an essential tool for various outdoor tasks, but if not managed properly, they can also be a source of frustration and danger. Here are a few tips to help you manage your outdoor extension cords better:
- Choose the Right Extension Cord
Make sure you choose an extension cord that is rated for outdoor use and capable of handling your specific task’s power requirements. Look for cords with heavy-duty insulation and weather-resistant plugs and connectors.
- Label Your Cords
Label each of your extension cords with its intended use, such as “Lawn Mower,” “String Lights,” etc. This will help you quickly identify the right cord for the job and prevent accidentally using the wrong one.
- Keep Cords Tangle-Free
Use cord reels or winders to store your extension cords when not in use. This will help keep them organized and tangle-free, making them easier to use and reducing the risk of tripping hazards.
- Inspect Cords Regularly
Inspect your extension cords regularly for any signs of damage, such as frayed wiring, worn insulation, or cracked plugs. If you notice any damage, replace the cord immediately to avoid potential safety hazards.
- Use Proper Storage
Store your extension cords in a dry place when not in use. If the cords must be stored outside, use a waterproof cord cover or store them in a waterproof container to protect them from the elements.
- Limit Length
Avoid using extension cords that are longer than necessary. The longer the cord, the greater the risk of power loss and potential safety hazards, such as tripping and electrical shock.
- Use Safety Measures
Always follow proper safety measures when using outdoor extension cords, such as keeping the cords away from standing water, avoiding overloading the cords, and unplugging them when not in use.
How to Know If Your Extension Cord is for Outdoor Use
Determining whether an extension cord is suitable for outdoor use can be critical to avoiding safety hazards and ensuring that the cord functions as intended. Here are a few ways to know if your extension cord is suitable for outdoor use:
- Look for a Weather-Resistant Rating
Extension cords for outdoor use will typically have a weather-resistant rating, such as “weatherproof” or “water-resistant.” This means that the cord and its connectors are designed to withstand exposure to the elements, including rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.
- Check the Jacket Material
Outdoor extension cords should have heavy-duty insulation, such as a rubber or vinyl jacket. These materials resist moisture and provide additional protection against the elements.
- Look for UV Protection
Outdoor extension cords should also have UV protection to prevent damage from prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Check the Plug and Connector
Outdoor extension cords should have weather-resistant plugs and connectors. Look for plugs with covers that protect against moisture and connectors designed to be used outdoors.
- Read the Label
Read the product label carefully to determine if the cord is rated for outdoor use. If the cord is not labeled as suitable for outdoor use, it should not be used outside.
Wrap Up on How to Hide Extension Cords Outside
In conclusion, hiding extension cords outside doesn’t have to be a hassle. You can easily conceal those cords with creativity and innovative strategies and keep your outdoor space neat. Whether you use conduit, blend in with the surroundings, bury the cords, use landscaping, install deck lighting, or use cord covers, the options are endless. The key is finding the best solution for you and your space. So go ahead, get creative, and take the first step in tucking those pesky cords away for good. And remember, a well-hidden extension cord is a sign of a genuinely professional outdoor space.
Are you still trying to figure out which way to hide your outside extension cords? Look no further. Try the methods above for guaranteed coverage for them.