There are several reasons why you may need to run an extension cord into your home. Things ranging from Christmas lights to power outages can give you a reason to send power from your home to the outside or vice versa.
The best way to run an extension cord into your home is to use a pool noodle or some other type of foam insulation to protect the cord. Running the cord through the pool noodle will prevent the cord from being crushed and help keep your home insulated and protected from pests.
In this article, I’ll show you how to use a pool noodle to create an insulated barrier that an extension cord can pass through. It will help you keep your home insulated and give bugs less space to enter your home. You will also be able to secure your windows better than if you just run the cord through it.
Why You Need to Do This
Many times, when you need to run an extension cord into your home, you have to either jam it into a crack between the door and doorframe or run it through a cracked window.
Neither one of those is a great option. Jamming a cord between a door and doorframe can damage the extension cord. Running it through a partially open window can let cold air in during winter and cool air out during the summer. It also allows bugs like mosquitos to enter your home and can also be a security problem since it gives potential intruders an easy point of entry.
Materials You Will Need
- A Pool Noodle (A round one with a large diameter is best)
- Extension Cord
- Tape Measure
- Sharp Knife
- Drill and Drill Bit
Select Your Pool Noodle
When selecting a pool noodle, try to find one that is round with a large diameter. This will help it have some rigidity and stability when it is placed in your window. Having a larger size will also allow you to run larger extension cords through it.
Measure the Window
After you have your pool noodle, measure the window that you plan on running your extension cord through. To do this, open the window and measure the distance between the tracks that the window slides against. My window is 34 and a half inches wide.
Measure and Cut the Pool Noodle
Now measure this same distance on your pool noodle. Mark it and then use a sharp knife to make the cut. Try to get it as straight up and down as possible. This will help eliminate any air gaps on one side or the other.
Determine Extension Cord Thickness
After you’ve cut the pool noodle to the proper length, determine how thick the cord is that you will be running through the window. This is important since you want the pool noodle to form a seal around the extension cord when you run it into your home.
In my case, the cord that I’ll be using is a large 30-amp cord that connects my generator to multiple large appliances. Using a cord of this size will prevent the cord from becoming overloaded and getting hot.
Related: What is the Best Survival Generator?
Drill a Hole in the Pool Noodle
After examining my extension cord I decided to use a 9/16 spade bit to make my hole. The placement of the hole should be as close to the middle up down as possible. Placement left to right isn’t as big of a deal, but I’m going to place it closer to the left so that the cord will go into the house as straight as possible. (This is based on where I know my generator will be when in use.)
Cut a Slit in the Pool Noodle
After you’ve drilled the hole, use a knife to make a slit going from the bottom of the pool noodle to the bottom of the hole that you drilled. This slit will allow you to slide your extension cord into the pool noodle
Add Slits to Each End
Next, you need to make two vertical slits at each end of your pool noodle. This will allow it to sit better inside of your window frame. Measure the gap in your window frame where the window slides up and down and then make cuts at each end of your pool noodle that are the same distance apart. The slits should be perpendicular to the hole that you drilled earlier.
Run the Extension Cord into Your Home
Now raise up your window and insert the extension cord into your pool noodle. Sit the pool noodle into the window frame one side at a time. Make sure that the slits that you made at each end line up with the tracks in the window. The pool noodle should be straight with very little (if any) bowing. Close the window on top of it.
Security is always a concern when you have to keep a window open. However, there are a few things that you can do to protect your home.
The first thing that you can do is cut a couple of 2×4 scraps so that they wedge between the top of your window and window frame. This will make it more difficult for a potential intruder to raise your window. However, they could still enter by removing the pool noodle, lowering the window, and then lifting it up again.
You can also use magnetic door and window alarms to let your know if someone moves the window you have run your extension cord through. They are battery-operated and usually pretty inexpensive. You can find some by clicking here.
The last, and the most extreme, option is to use something like a self-tapping screw to prevent the window from opening past a certain point. Drill the screw into the window track right above where your window sits when the pool noodle is underneath it. This will prevent someone from being able to enter, but it will also make it harder to use as an emergency exit as well.
Extension Cord Safety
Be sure to not overload your extension cord. Running too much power through an extension cord can cause it to overheat and could start a fire. To prevent this, know how many amps your cord or cords are designed to handle along with how much power the devices that you plan to run require.
Also, do not use any extension cords that are visibly damaged. Even a small amount of current is enough to cause severe injury or death.