If you're new to portable generators, the electrical equations may look as foreign as high school algebra.
Don't worry. You can put the math books and calculators away.
Selecting a generator power cord is simple if you follow two steps:
1. Select AmpsPortable generators are measured by watts. Power cords are measured in amps.
Basically, the larger the amps, the more electricity the cord can handle.
For example, a 50-amp power cord is a lot thicker than a 20-amp power cord, allowing it to handle larger wattages.
You simply select a power cord that matches the MOST POWERFUL OUTLET on your generator.
If you have a 50-amp outlet, you'll need a 50-amp power cord. If you have a 20-amp outlet, you'll need a 20-amp cord.
2. Select ShapeThe plugs and connectors are purposely designed in different shapes, helping to prevent an electrical overload.
If you have a 30-amp or 50-amp outlet, pay special attention to the shape.
For example, 30-amp plugs come in two varieties: 3-prong and 4-prong. The 3-prong plugs carry 120 volts only.
The 4-prong plugs carry 120/240 volts. These are becoming more popular because more homes are starting to carry 240 volt outlets or appliances.
If you have a 50-amp outlet on your portable generator, you will most likely need a special power cord with two different ends.
The straight-blade male plug will fit into the generator. The twistlock female connector will fit into a transfer switch or power inlet box.