5 Things To Consider Before Getting Power Cord For Generator

When you’re connecting your RV or other appliances to a generator, you can’t use any cord you find to connect to your appliances. The wrong cord can be a serious hazard. It is crucial that you think about safety and get a specific power cord for generator and for other appliances.

Different generators need different cords for efficiency and safety. Choosing the right cord is all about matching your generator, and equally important. Want to ensure you’re getting the right cord, and not wasting any electricity? Read on to discover vital considerations for safety and efficiency.

1. Generator Cord Amps

Generator power cords are rated and measured in amps rather than watts. A higher amp rating basically means that it can handle more wattage from the generator, carrying it to your appliances. 

A 50-amp rating is higher than a 30-amp rating. So, you can connect more electronic devices and the cord will not let you down.

To make it easy to choose, the generator’s outputs will show you the number of amps that they can handle. You simply have to find a cord to match. To do this, choose your most powerful generator output and buy a cord that is rated for this output. For example, a 15-amp power output needs a 15-amp power cord.

What if you don’t get the right power rating? You could be wasting power as a result, or worse, you could damage the devices that are connected. Don’t risk breaking your phone because you have the wrong generator cord.

Some generator cords have split ends so that you can connect more devices. Remember that this doesn’t increase the amp rating. Don’t overload the generator.

2. Getting the Right Generator Cord Shape

The connections have a specific shape. This prevents you from connecting wires that aren’t compatible which can be hazardous. 

It’s important that you get the connections that are suitable for your generator. Some generators have multiple options for the female to male connectors.

Some plugs come in 3-prong and 4-prong connectors. 4-prong models can carry a higher voltage, often 240V. More RVs and household appliances are starting to use this type of outlet.

Some power cords also have twist-locks that can help to fit securely into the power inlet. As with the other aspects of choosing a suitable power cord, the main thing is matching up the cord to your own generator outlet.

2. Cord Length. How Long of an Extension Cord Can I Use With My Generator?

This is all about how far from the device the generator can be, right? Wrong. A longer cord means that you need to have the right resistance level. The cord will have a certain gauge, measured as an AWG number. There is a maximum recommended cord length depending on the gauge. 

The lower the AWG number, the thicker the wire inside the cord. As an example, a 12 gauge cord with a 10 amp and 2400 watt rating could safely be up to 150 feet long.

Luckily, when you buy a cord from a trusted manufacturer such as Firman, you will see what the cord can handle. Both the wattage and amp ratings will be in the product description, along with the length.

If you’re using the generator for camping or in an RV, consider how far away the generator will be from your devices. You should ensure the cord is long enough, and the correct gauge to safely carry the power.

You should not use a regular extension cord with your generator in any scenario. This can be dangerous, causing overheating. This means a potential fire risk.

3. Is the Cord Suitable for Outdoor Use?

You probably need a cable that can be used safely outdoors. Generators usually run in locations that are outside. You will at least want the option to run a cord outside to power an appliance, so that you can use the generator camping or as an outdoor power supply.

If you buy a cord specifically for a generator it probably works outdoors. Look out for a “W” on the packaging or the cord which shows that it is safe for the great outdoors, even in the rain.

It is still a good idea to keep your cord protected as much as possible. You don’t want to totally submerge it in the rain, but you must get a cord that is suitable for outdoor use for your generator.

4. Bundling and Storage

Your generator might only be used a fraction of the time. You might keep it as an emergency backup. So what are you going to do with a cable that is 50 feet long the rest of the time?

Consider whether you can bundle the cable. A lot of the best generator extension leads and power cords can be bundled and kept neatly and safely. A velcro strap around the cord can be a great way to keep everything held together without getting kinks or becoming damaged.

Safety Tips - Check the Cord for Safety Before Use

Before you use the power cord, a quick visual safety check is a good idea. You can look for whether there are any frayed areas in the wiring. If the coating around the outside has been chipped, or there are any exposed internal wires, you shouldn’t use the cord. Signs that the material or coatings have melted around the cord are also a reason to avoid using it. Safety is paramount.

You should also start your generator first before you connect any cords. This helps your generator to stay in good condition for longer. Pay attention to any signs of overheating and stop the generator if the cord gets hot to touch.

Conclusion

You need to make sure you’re safe at all times when using a generator, and the power cord for generator is a big part of that. Match up the amp rating to the generator. A 15A power outlet needs something like the Firman Medium Duty 5-15P to 5-15R to handle the wattage and amp rating of your appliances. 

You can’t take any chances where electrics are concerned. Make sure you opt for a high-quality cord that is safe for outdoor use and perfectly matches the output of your generator. This can ensure safe and hassle-free power when you most need it.