Power inlet boxes act as gateway between the inside and outside world.
Portable generators must run outside since they emit deadly carbon monoxide gas. The trick is getting the electricity safely inside the house.
Your electrician installs a power inlet box on the side of your house near your main electrical panel. Inside, it is hardwired to your manual transfer switch, which restores power to your main electrical panel.
When the power goes out, you simply connect one end of a power cord to your portable generator outlet. The other end is plugged into the power inlet box.
The whole process is as simple as plugging in outdoor holiday lights.
Before your electrician starts drilling a hole on the side of your house, you should really consider if you even need a power inlet box.
If your main electrical panel is installed in your garage, you really don't need one. You simply need at least a 25-foot power cord and a manual transfer switch with an outlet.
Instead of using a power inlet box, connect the generator directly into the transfer switch through the garage. Just make sure that your generator is far enough away from the house to avoid inhaling any fumes.
The same goes for your basement. If you have a nearby window, you can drop the power cord through the window and connect it directly into the transfer switch.
If you decide to install a power inlet box after all, you have a couple of options. First, make sure the inlet box amperage matches the power cord and transfer switch.
Secondly, get one that can be painted. Naturally, you'll want it to blend in with the exterior of the house.