Power at home is essential for uninterrupted household chores and other important activities. Electricity has become a necessity, not just at home but anywhere we go. Due to this, more and more people are finding it convenient to provide their homes and offices with generators. There are two kinds of generators: standby and portable. Standby generators are permanently mounted outside and can be a source of backup power during a power outage. They can be plugged into power wirings, and the generator automatically operates within seconds once the power is out. On the other hand, if you need a generator that can be used for locations with low or no power supply, such as camps and construction sites, a portable generator is a better option. If you choose not to have a switch installed, you have to plug the appliances into the outlet panel of your generator, and this is where you will need a generator power cord.
Importance of Selecting the Right Generator Power Cord
Generators usually have a switch wherein power is transferred. The installation of a transfer switch must be supervised or done by a licensed electrician to ensure the safety of your home or the establishment wherein the generator is being set up. But if you choose not to have a switch installed, you have to plug the appliances on the outlet panel of your generator and this is where you will need a generator power cord.
To effectively use a generator, you have to pick the right generator power cord. Once you choose a generator power cord that is not appropriate to the type of generator you have and the wattage of use, you will risk damaging your generator and the appliance you will be using, or worse, it can harm your home. Generators are used to make things convenient for you especially during emergencies. However, if you fail to use it properly, it may lead to an unexpected disaster.
How to Determine the Length and Size of the Appropriate Cord
Not all people are knowledgeable about generators and the correct length and size of generator power cord to use. Worry no more, though, because you will soon learn all the things you need to know so you could efficiently use your generator without the need of reading confusing and highly technical manuals. Basically, small and medium generators have twist-lock outlets. This type of outlet comes with a 20 or 30-amp that commonly has 120/240 volts.
Any appliance or electric tool cannot be plugged directly to the generator outlet so you will need an extension cord. Using an extension cord may also benefit you in such a way that it doubles the use of the generator because it provides 4 or more places where you may plug other appliances.
In selecting a generator power cord, remember this one important detail: the bigger the number of amps, the more power the cord can accommodate. Being so, a generator power cord with 50-amp can handle bigger wattages compared to a generator power cord with 20 or 30-amp, thus, it is thicker. Match the generator power cord and the outlet on your generator. Choose a 20-amp generator power cord for 20-amp outlet and a 50-amp generator power cord for 50-amp outlet.
Generator connectors and plugs are designed to match each other through different shapes. This is done purposely to avoid overloading. Carefully check the shapes before purchasing cords. They may all look the same but when paid thorough attention, you will realize that the shapes are different from one another. 30-amp cords may either be 3-prong or 4-prong. The difference between the two is the number of watts that it can carry.
The 3-prong can handle 120 volts while 4-prong can accommodate up to 240 volts. 50-amp generators require a different kind of generator power cord because it needs one that has two dissimilar ends wherein the twist lock connector is meant for the transfer switch while the other end with straight blade is intended for the generator.
In using a generator power cord outdoors, make sure that the generator power cord is specifically manufactured for outdoor use to avoid accidents. Before using it, check the cord thoroughly and refrain from using ones that have cuts, are flattened or frayed. Any damage on the generator power cord can cause it to malfunction, so to avoid electric shock make sure to use a generator power cord that is in perfect shape and in very good condition. In addition, touch the cord once in a while and observe its temperature. When it gets too hot, immediately unplug the generator power cord or lessen its load.
Generator Power Cord Recommendations
Yellow Jacket 1493 10/4 Heavy-Duty STW 30-Amp/250-Volt Generator Power Cord
This 25-feet long power cord works well with portable generators. One of its best features is its resistance to abrasion which makes it durable and flexible to any temperature. Its manufacturer is known for making the toughest cords for generators so picking this model may be the best decision you’ll ever make. The Yellow Jacket 1493 10/4 Heavy-Duty STW 30-Amp/250-Volt generator power cord is UL listed and is guaranteed to meet the specifications of OSHA. If you are looking for a high quality power cord for your generator then this is one of the best in the market.
Reliance Controls PC3010 10-Feet 30-Amp L14-30 Generator Power Cord
This generator cord has been rated 5-stars by satisfied users and was even recommended for people who are looking for a heavy-duty generator power cord. It is 10 feet long and is equipped with a NEMA L14320 plug. This 30-amp cord can accommodate portable generators and can handle up to 7,500 watts.
Generac 6328 25-Foot 30-Amp Generator Cord
This well-commended generator power cord measures 25 feet in length and may be used up to 7,500 watts. It is highly praised for its durability and flexibility in any kind of weather.
The cord is made from Thermoset weather resistant rubber and is equipped with a 4-wire 10-gauge.This generator power cord comes with a 2-year product warranty as well.
Powertronics Connections NEMA L14-30 10′ cord 10-Feet 30-Amp L14-30 Generator Power Cord for Up to 7,500-watt Generators Powertronics 30 Amp L14-30 Generator Power Cord
Regarded highly by most of its users, this generator power cord can accommodate up to 7,500 watts. Its top features include EPR insulation, CPE jacket, separator, copper conductor and suitable fillers. It is oil resistant and has excellent flexibility, high tensile strength, and superb resistance to abrasions.The Powertronics 30 Amp L14-30 generator power cord may be used with portable generators and can work perfectly with small motors and other portable machineries. Also, it is compatible to home appliances. Another highlight is its price which is amazingly inexpensive compared to other power cords while still performing the same as other highly praised brands and models.
Conntek 20602 50-Foot 10/4 30 Amp 125/250 Volt Generator Cord
The Conntek 20602 can handle up to 7,500 watts and measures 50 feet long. It comes with a one-year warranty upon purchase. Reviews say that this generator power cord works well and can accommodate a large load which may be very beneficial to consumers. Some satisfied users even commend the product for its flexibility in hot and cold weather and it has rarely any problems.
Generator cords come with a price so make sure to purchase one that is worth the price you pay for it. In choosing a generator power cord, read reviews and ask suggestions from people you know have bought one or have experience on them.