Outdoor extension cord life expectency?

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Old 01-09-20, 10:09 AM
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Outdoor extension cord life expectency?

Has anyone have experience with outdoor sunlight resistance extension cord left outside?

I'm considering running extension cord to my shed (about 40ft) to just power the light as needed. The plug will be left unplugged when not in use, but just don't want to unroll the cord all the way to the shed every time I need a light in there.

I was gonna bury a UF cable or conduit, but that just is too much of work for just powering a light which will be only used occasionally.


I have experience with extension cords in construction sites, but most of them failed due to being run over or dropping something on it and never from the weather. I don't know how long they would last when just left outside..
 
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Old 01-09-20, 11:01 AM
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Most of my extensions are those relatively cheap 16 gauge orange ones.
The UV will harden the exterior sheath.
It depends where you live but you will get at least 5 to 10 years out of them.
Try to keep them out of direct sunlight.
More of a problem is people that do not look when they weed wack or use the lawnmower.
So do not run it where the above can happen.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 11:16 AM
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For under $100 I'd suggest you get a 50' retractable cord on a reel. It would be worth it to me to not have to mess with it every time you mow. Plus rolling it up when it's not in use will make it last longer.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 12:02 PM
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It depends where you live but you will get at least 5 to 10 years out of them.
That seems reasonable.
Was that with regular orange cables?
Yellow ones are sunlight resistant, so I assume it would last longer?

For under $100 I'd suggest you get a 50' retractable cord on a reel.
I have considered that as well, but the reel should be kept out of the rain and I don't have a good place to do that.

I will be routing the extension cord where no weed wacking will take place (where there is no grass) so, my only concern was the sunlight.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 12:36 PM
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I have a black rubber type cord that has been out for 35 years and still looks good.
Just this year I installed a conduit while the sidewalk was torn up. Proper underground install set for next summer.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 01:39 PM
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I have a black rubber type cord that has been out for 35 years and still looks good.
OP said "sunlight". Your sun angle is about like mine, near the horizon.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 02:00 PM
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I don't know where the OP is but mine has been suspended on a cable 7 feet off the ground for 35 years and I see no signs of cracking etc. I know it is not correct but it is scheduled for replacement next summer.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 02:16 PM
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There are several extension cords on the market suited to your use with GFCI safety assurance protection built-in. I suggest using one unless the cord will be plugged in to a GFCI outlet. This is particularly important if you ever use a power tool, heater or fan even though you don't contemplate doing so at present.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 03:43 PM
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All of my exterior receptacles are GFCI protected, so no need for cord with GFCI built it.
The extension cord will not see a strong sunlight, but just some moderate sunlight.

I see there are oil and chemical resistant farm use extension cord, colored black. I wonder if they will last longer.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 04:01 PM
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I've used a 75' cord on a small reel, just covered it with a waterproof trashbag. If you're bringing it inside, just put a cardboard box or decorative gift bag over it to keep from snagging the reel as you walk past.

Since you're only concerned about sunlight, keep an eye out for people getting rid of a garden hose on large trash day. Cut off the screw-on ends. Use a letter opener or hook tip utility knife to 'unzip' the entire length of the hose. Slip the electric cord inside the slit garden hose- Instant sun-shield weedwacker-shield.
 
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