Power Inlet Box Buyer's Guide

Power Inlet Box Buyer's Guide

How to Pick the Perfect Power Inlet Box

A generator inlet box, also known as a power inlet box, is like an electrical outlet for your house. It'll allow you to connect your portable generator with the manual transfer switch in your basement quickly and easily.


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What is a Power Inlet Box?

A power inlet box is used when you need to connect a portable generator to a manual transfer switch located in your basement. Although you can run power cords through a basement window, this is not always ideal, depending on the window's location. Instead, your electrician can install a generator inlet box on the side of your house and hardwire it to your transfer switch. Remember, your generator must remain outside and away from windows to avoid carbon monoxide from leaking into your home.

Put another way, when connecting a manual transfer switch to a portable generator, the generator inlet box serves as the link, or gateway, that allows power to flow into your essential circuit and power your house. The diagram below visually depicts where a power inlet box falls in a typical manual transfer switch basement application.

Installing a Power Transfer System in a Basement


Installing a Generator Power Inlet Box

Your electrician installs the 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. It's as simple as plugging in outdoor holiday lights.

When to Install a Power Inlet Box

Power Inlet BoxBefore your electrician starts drilling a hole on the side of your house, make sure you truly need a power inlet box.

If your main electrical panel is installed in your garage, you don't need one. You simply need at least a 25-foot power cord and a manual transfer switch with an outlet. Then, 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, and it's convenient, you can drop the power cord through the window and connect it directly to 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 that of the power cord and transfer switch. Second, get one that can be painted because you'll want it to blend in with the exterior of the house.


Connect Your Power

A generator inlet box is a convenient connection point when you can't run a power cord directly to the transfer switch. If you have questions about choosing a power inlet box, please call us at 800-800-3317.

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Dale, the Power Equipment Expert
Power Equipment Expert
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