Can You Bury an Extension Cord Outside?

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: July 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

For a couple of days now, you might have been thinking about how to run power to your shed or any other space in your compound. Now, you might have thought of running an extension cord across your lawn, but who knows what could happen if you leave it like that. Then perhaps it would be better to have the cord run through your lawn or garden to prevent any potential problems in the future.

In general, you can’t bury the outside extension cord. Using a standard extension cord is designed initially only for temporary use. Instead, you can use a more suitable cable type for any permanent outdoor purposes, such as a direct burial UF cable. This provides you an assurance that the materials used are high quality and intended to last. 

Now, if you have already decided that you really want to have it placed and buried on your lawn or garden to make it more presentable and to avoid the possibility of someone tripping on the cord itself, then you might want to read some of the things we will be discussing. Some of them will be revolving around the preparation process and things you need to know before digging around your house.

Extension Cable

Can You Bury an Outside Extension Cord?

A question that some might actually provide you an answer with a simple yes or no. But before we give you our final say on this matter, it would be a good thing to analyze things first. Perhaps it might be best if we consider a few things on how it can be beneficial and things that might not go according to plan. 

The intent or purpose will be one of the determining factors if it’s best to have an extension cord buried in your yard or not. Some would recommend having it as a temporary solution if you try to run power on a space outside your home. The reason being, extension cords are generally for momentary usage. You don’t want any wiring failures to hazard-causing scenarios.

Another thing would be the required load that you will be using it with. This is probably the leading reason why there is a fire breakout in these kinds of situations. So you need to calculate first if the cable or cord you will be using is enough or can take the load of the equipment you will be using. You can also factor in the possibility of adding a couple of things with that main equipment or machinery.

Electrical or extension cords are not one-size-fits-all. You need to be specific in choosing based on what you will be using it with. But if you want to use it as an outdoor extension, you may want to pick a larger wire to support more current safely. There’s also a type of cable called a UF cable which is commonly used for outdoor purposes, especially if you are planning to have it buried on the ground.

Another reminder, just in case you choose to have your extension cord across the lawn or garden, never leave them outside. Even though there are extension cords specifically made for outside use, it would be best to keep them as the materials can break down, resulting in potential shock and fire.

If you’re already set, you already picked the proper cord, calculated the overall power consumption, and any considerations. You might want to check first for electrical or other wiring layouts, pipelines, and any other similar things that can pose a problem while you are digging. You can notify someone or your utility company about this so that they can help you.

How to Bury Outside Extension Cord – Step by Step Guide

Once you have already made up your mind, plan, taking some things into consideration, choosing the proper and safest material you could find, then perhaps it would be the perfect time to start digging and burying those extension cords. Kindly be advised that these are for long-term power solutions. 

1. Choosing Your Cord

As we have already talked about picking the right cord, you would ideally go for larger types or the direct burial UF cables. You can rest assured that you won’t have any issues pertaining to burning the wire itself due to overload and cause major harm to yourself or anyone else with these types of cables. 

2. Pick Your Conduit Type

In placing or burying cords, there are several conduit types that you can choose from. Metal conduits and nonmetallic conduits require a different method of digging. Placements of these conduits also depend on the terrain and soil type. Having concrete for protection would still be ideal on both of these when you’re done with the installation.

3. Know the Depth

There are several depths that you may need to assess before placing the cable. Your best measurement in digging the trench would be at least 18” for paths and roughly around 30” for lawns. Know that when using UF cables, you can have them buried even without any additional protection because of their tough and thick jacket design. 

4. Install a GFCI Outlet

You would not want to miss this out. This is also required by code in all areas where there’s a possible accumulation of moisture, especially outdoors. Just in case an electrical fault occurs, the GFCI will be triggered to shut off the flow of electricity. Just something that will prevent any major issues causing unwanted harm to any of the household members.

Best Outside Extension Cord – Find on

If you’re interested in some of the best available extension cords made for outside use, we will be presenting you with some recommendations for you to choose from. Kindly be advised as some of these items are mainly our own recommendations, and it would still depend on your preference, whichever you choose. 

1. Southwire Outdoor Cord Heavy Duty 3 Prong Extension Cord 100 Feet

The Southwire Outdoor Cord offers a diverse set of uses. Besides the fact that it can be used outside, you can also utilize this for indoor purposes. Having a yellow coat provides a visual indication so that you won’t trip while performing your work. The cord also comes with a lighted end to indicate whether the power is on or is plugged into a power source. 

2. GoGreen Power Outdoor Extension Cord

GoGreen offers a 25-foot extension cord that can be utilized both for indoor or outdoor use. It also comes with a lighted end to indicate it’s plugged into power. This also boasts resistance to moisture, abrasion, and exposure to sunlight. However, we don’t really recommend having to leave the cord outdoor for a long duration. 

3. Woods 50-Foot Agricultural Outdoor Heavy Duty All- Weather Extension Cord

The Woods heavy-duty extension cord is known to be an oil-resistant product with its think vinyl jacket. It also offers a flexible, all-weather structure that wouldn’t become stiff or even crack if exposed to cold weather. The 50-foot cord comes with different packing variations on amazon.