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Articles Generators Informational Topics

Do I Need A Special Extension Cord For A Generator: Yes Or No?

Extension cords are designed with copper wire in the center, with different thicknesses. AWG (American wire gauge) system can tell the exact thickness. The most common ones are AWG 8, AWG 10, AWG 12, AWG 14, and AWG 16 wires.

The thicker wire has more power; on the other hand, thin wires have higher chances of resistance. Check the appliance and pick the thick wire accordingly. 

Do I Need A Special Extension Cord For A Generator Yes Or No

There are high chances of resistance in long wires. Therefore, you have to provide enough power to operate the generator efficiently. Using a portable generator with extension cords is very easy.

If the resistance is due to the thickness or length of the cord, it is suggested to shorten the cord and try to go for a lower number of AWG.

Do I need a special extension cord for a generator? To get the answer, read below!

Do I Need A Special Extension Cord For A Generator?

An extension cord is important for connecting electronic equipment because it can not be directly plugged into the generator’s outlet.

The generator is heavy equipment used to generate electricity in an emergency. Hence, it is necessary to take a special extension cord that bears vibration and handles more voltages. 

Extension cords are available in different gauges and lengths, and most of them are not compatible with portable generators.

So a question arises here, Do I Need a Special Extension Cord For the Generator? The answer is yes; it is vital to pick one that works efficiently.

Otherwise, the cord, as well as the generator, may be damaged. The special extension cord should be durable, strong, and flexible. It would be better to check the electrical concerns before purchasing any.  

What To Consider Before Buying The Special Extension Cord For Generator:

Before spending money on the special extension cord for the generator, consider some important factors.

1. Plug Types Of Extension Cords: 

It is necessary to pick the right extension cord to stay away from hazards. The first thing is to check the jack of the generator and your home outlet after this decision about the plug type.

This should be a major matter of concern. For tackling various overloads, different shapes of plugs are designed. 

When buying an extension cord, decide whether you need a regular plug or a twist lock. Twist-locking connectors and curved blades are denoted by “L,” while others are non-locking or straight blades.

2. Gauge Measurement Also Matters:

Knowledge of gauge is a must before spending money on the cord for the generator. It refers to the diameter of the internal cord.

The more current is handled easily by the thicker ones. There is a measurement system to know which one is wider and which is not. 

The wire gauge also influences the maximum length you are using. A thicker cord is capable of handling more power.

Hence, you have to pick an extension cord having a lower gauge number, especially for a generator. 

Remember that the gauge having a smaller number means it has a wider diameter. Experts suggest avoiding using 14 and 16-gauge wires. Always try to pick the 12 gauge wire, and ten will be even better. 

3. Check The AMP Rating:

Another factor to check in the extension cord is the amp rating. An extension cord having a 50 am rating will handle the high wattage more efficiently than one having a 20 amp rating. This looks confusing, but in reality, this is not too difficult.

Read the power rating written on the power outlet of the generator. After, then match the amp rating of the cord with the power cord of the generator. A 30 amp outlet requires a 30 amp cord. 

4. Types And Materials Of Extension Cord:

You might notice that the letters SJ, SO, SEOW, and SJT describe the cord for generators. Each has its own set of applications and is made of different materials. 

From these letters, SJ stands for junior severe service, S for Severe service cord, T denotes thermoplastic, E for elastomer, O stands for the oil-resistant outer jacket, and W is for weather and water resistance. 

Your cable might be made of thermoplastic, thermoplastic elastomer, or thermoset. A thermoplastic elastomer cable is considered a medium-duty material good for low-temperature areas.

A thermoset cord consists of a thick rubber jacket, making it durable and long-lasting. Lastly, the thermoplastic cord is used only for a short time.

5. Don’t Forget To Check The Voltage Rating:

Generators are used to give power to light outdoors or can be used for other power tools. Several extension cords for generators work easily with different levels of voltages.

For domestic plugs, a 240 V rating is quite normal. Generally, 110V to 120V outlets are recommended for heavy-duty power tools and appliances. To give people a choice, a 125 to 250V cord can work either to give people a choice. 

6. Multiple Outlets:

The most convenient extension cord is the one that offers you multiple outlets. These are the best as they allow you to connect to more than one device at once.

An extension cord having a single outlet requires multi-plugs for connecting different objects. So, we suggest going for one built with various outlet options. 

7. Are Waterproof Cords Good? 

Water-resistance extension cords are highly recommended. Because sometimes, you put the generator outside the house.

In this scenario, the extension cord plays the role of a bridge between the house and the generator for bringing electricity into the house. 

This looks safe in summer, but what do you think when the rainy and snowy season arrives?

You are well aware that all-electric devices should stay away from the water. And in the rainy and snowy seasons, the chances of water contact go higher.

In this situation, the water might go inside the cord, damaging the cord internally, and the generator will be at risk.

Furthermore, the family and your life are put in danger. Finding a waterproof extension cord for your generator is suggested to avoid these horrible effects. 

These all are some of the necessary considerations that will answer your on Do I Need a Special Extension Cord For a Generator or not? Carefully read them and spend money on the best ones. 

See More:

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About the author

Anthony Miller

Hello Guys! I am Anthony Miller, a high dynamo, communicative author, and editor of the Renewable Cop, always providing amazing, engaging, informative, unique, highly researched, and verified content based on all sorts of generators. Read more.

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