The best waterproof outdoor extension lead

An essential for pressure washers, compressors and corded vacuum cleaners.

A person using an extension cord for an angle grinder

by Ryan Gilmore |

It's annoying when your cord doesn't quite reach where you need it to. You can pull and jig as much as you want, but the only outcome will be the loosening of the plug from its socket. And it seems that no matter how long the cable is for whatever you're using, it's precisely 10cm short of what you need it to be. This is especially true when it comes to cleaning your car.

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Pressure washers and vacuum cleaners are a perfect way of cleaning your car, but unless you're prepared to risk a cordless, battery-operated example for your cleaning duties you'll be bound to the operating radius offered by the manufacturer. There's little point risking it with a normal extension lead (especially in the case of the pressure washer), because of how temperamental British weather can be. What you need for your pressure washer and vacuum cleaner is a proper, IP certified waterproof extension lead.

The best waterproof extension leads

Masterplug CT1510P/IPS-MP Weatherproof Outdoor Single Inline Socket Extension Lead

The best waterproof extension lead
Masterplug CT1510PIPS-MP Weatherproof Outdoor Single Inline Socket Extension Lead
Amazon

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With an IP54 rating and 15-metre cord length, this waterproof extension lead from Masterplug is our top choice. While it may only offer a single plug, it features a waterproof cover that can withstand large water splashes and comes with a handy cable tidy to ensure easy storage when not in use. While it's designed primarily for gardening work, the Masterplug can easily be used for car cleaning, so long as you're careful with your pressure washer aim.

2G 2 Gang IP66 Weatherproof Outdoor Extension Lead

The best waterproof extension lead for water protection
2G 2 Gang IP66 Weatherproof Outdoor Extension Lead
Amazon

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Slightly more haphazard with your pressure washer aim? Need the ultimate peace of mind you won't fry your electrics every time you wash the car? Then you'll be needing an IP66 rated extension lead that'll provide the ultimate protection from the elements. This dual extension lead features a totally waterproof cover (with a padlock for more permanent use) and offers the ultimate protection possible.

Masterplug Weatherproof Box 4 Socket 8m Extension Lead

The best waterproof extension lead for multiple outlets
Masterplug Weatherproof Box 4 Socket 8m Extension Lead
Amazon

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Need several things plugged in at once? This at first glance may only be an extension cable in a box, but it's a waterproof box which makes it our choice if you need a lot of power sockets. It's IP54 rated and can easily be wall-mounted for a more permanent waterproof water socket.

Masterplug 2 Socket 15 Metre Waterproof Case Reel

The best waterproof extension lead for gardening
Masterplug 2 Socket 15 Metre Waterproof Case Reel
Amazon

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Stepping beyond car care for a moment, your gardening tools will more than likely need electricity in order to work and this reel of cable from Masterplug is the perfect way of ensuring (rain) water and electricity do not mix. It features two plugs with waterproof covers and a 15-metre cable in an ergonomic case that will come in handy once it comes time to cut the grass.

What is IP?

IP stands for ingress protection and is a way of measuring how protected an electrical item is from solids (the first number) and liquids (the second number), so it's important to understand what to look for when you're after a waterproof extension lead.

As a rule of thumb, we say look for an IP54 rating for a domestic waterproof extension cord which means it's protected against dust that could damage other electronics and is watertight against any water splashes. In short, as long as you don't shoot it with the nozzle of your pressure water you'll be fine. Anything rated higher is better still, but will cost a bit more.

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