Generator Power Cord Buyer's Guide

How to Pick the Perfect Power Cord

By  | Generator Product Expert

If you're new to portable generators, working with the electrical equations may look as complicated as calculus.

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 Amps
Portable generators are measured by watts. Generator 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. This allows it to handle a larger wattage.

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 Shape
The 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.

Compare Types of Generator Plugs

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.


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