Something everyone knows is that water and electricity do not mix and the results can be shocking, quite literally. That becomes a problem when you're cleaning your car, working in the garden or simply need to introduce electricity in the vicinity of water. A traditional extension lead will leave you frazzled, and despite manufacturers claims, leads are always just too short for what you need.
This leaves you two options for powering your pressure washer, wet and dry vacuum cleaner or lawnmower; go cordless and watch your battery charge meticulously, or buy a waterproof extension cable that'll allow you to work away without the risk of electrocution.
The best waterproof outdoor extension leads
Masterplug CT1510P/IPS-MP Weatherproof Outdoor Single Inline Socket Extension Lead
The best waterproof extension lead
Our top choice for waterproof extension leads is this 15-metre single plug option from Masterplug. With an IP54 rating, it'll be safe for use in the wet thanks to the quality cover while the handy cable tidy will keep everything neat when the charger isn't in use. If you want more than one thing plugged in at once it's not much use, but it's a very good waterproof extension cable otherwise.
Masterplug 2 Socket 15 Metre Waterproof Case Reel
The best waterproof extension lead with two plugs
Like the above option, this cable offers an IP54 rating, features a 15-metre hose and comes with a neat cable tidy for easy storage. The main difference is that this lead offers two waterproof plug sockets. It costs a little more but it's still a great choice.
2G 2 Gang IP66 Weatherproof Outdoor Extension Lead
The best waterproof extension lead for the ultimate water protection
If you're particularly worried about water ingress, or you simply want the ultimate peace of mind, then you should be looking at this IP66 rated extension lead. This lead offers two plug sockets and even features a padlock if you want to keep permanently plugged in electronics secure from thieves.
Masterplug WBX IP54 8M Weatherproof Box
The best waterproof extension lead for multiple sockets
Offering a whopping four plug sockets, this IP54 rated extension lead could quite easily run a sheds' worth of tools with ease. The extension lead is fairly standard but the waterproof box will keep your electrics safe, it can even be wall-mounted if you want.
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.
0 - No protection
1 - Protection against solid objects over 50mm (like your hand)
2 - Protection against solid objects over 12mm (like a finger)
3 - Protection against solid objects over 2.5mm (tools)
4 - Protection against solid objects over 1mm (small tools and wires)
5 - Protection against solid objects and dust protected
6 - Protection against solid objects an totally dust-tight
0 - No protection
1 - Protection against vertically dripping water
2 - Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees off vertical
3 - Protection against direct sprays of water up to 60 degrees off vertical
4 - Protection against direct sprays in all directions
5 - Protected against low pressure blasts of water in all directions
6 - Protected against powerful pressure blasts of water in all directions
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. This means 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 often cost a bit more.