"Indoor Use Only" Appliances?

I can’t find anything via google, or a search of the forums here, but somebody must have asked this question before. I’m using an electric massager right now, but I’ve seen a bunch of appliances which, affixed on a label at the back which state:


Why? What is it about indoor electricity that’s so much better than outdoor electricity? Fear of surges? Rain? Different amperage/voltage?


If that was the case, why not put “Avoid Rain?” or “Avoid Water?” Do they presume all outdoor use involves rain? :dubious:

I can just seem someone leaving a toaster outside and sure enough it would not get used in the rain, but the next sunny day when the outside of the toaster is dry, but the inside is still nice and moist zap

But I wasn’t raining when I used it…

“Indoor use only” seems to cover all the bases, besides being short and direct to the point. Or would you prefer “Danger! This device is not intended to be used near rain, sleet, snow, ice, dew, dripping high humidity, swimming pools, squirt guns, drunken outdoor parties where liquids might be splashed, dunked, soaked, sprayed, overheating radiators, building downspouts, storm surges, rain barrels, car washes or similar.”

Someone is bound to come along and claim that because something wasn’t specifically addressed in the list, then its use with that unclaimed something is OK.

Fair enough.

So, the general consensus is, should I want to enjoy the sunset and some toast at the same time, I could do so without risk of exploding my appliance, provided I apply some common sense and gauge the weather?

Not on the beach. Sand and buttered toast is that that good tasting. Then there’s that 1,000 foot extension cord, not to mention a power receptacle that also required. Also, you need a small table to sit the toaster on (you want it on the ground, in the sand?)…

If you leave your toaster out on the patio, unplug it after use.
3/4" of water from a T-storm could well be short inducing.

Indoor use only seems to indicate that you can use it while taking a bath.

And it will get ruined.

Don’t leave your toaster out on the patio. Take it outside (assuming it isn’t raining or anything), make toast, and take it back inside when you are done. If you leave it outside, the weather will corrode the inside of the toaster, making it unsafe for use.

It is fairly difficult to make a toaster explode, though if you duct tape the toaster so that it can’t pop up and leave a pop tart in it the results can be surprisingly spectacular. Don’t expect the toaster to survive this.

If you feel like living on the edge you could make the toast inside and then take it outside :eek:

. . .or toast by hand over the fire in your chimnea!

My guess would be that the package warnings are to avoid lawsuits. “Indoors only” would eliminate a majority of nuisance lawsuits.

It is not just nuisance law suits. It is useful information to the consumer. There are many things that reasonable people would like to use outside. Like for instance lamps. Some lamps are made to be used outdoors and some are not.

Great, now I’m going to have that song from Man of La Mancha stuck in my head all day.

The reason some appliances are designated ‘indoor use’ is because of greater moisture possibilities and the fact that you are standing on the ground. The ground is a path that electricity takes to complete the circuit. Most home circuits are properly grounded. Your outside outlet would be grounded also, but if there were an internal short, it would be more possible for you to receive a shock directly as the electricity took the easiest path. If you were in bare feet for example, the path through you would be shortest and least resistive.

Ground fault interrupters can make such appliances quite safe. They are cheap and sold at the hardware store for use with extensions. All the newer hair dryers have them at the plug end. I take old hair dryers and wire the GFCIs to an extension. You can still receive a 5ma shock before it trips, but it’s little more than a tickle.

(I just joined the group so this post in an old topic may not be seen.)