How to Properly Connect Extension Cords to Your Generator

Generator extension cords

According to the National Weather Service, more than $80 billion is spent in losses due to weather-related power outages that occur in the United States. When a heating system becomes disabled, pipes can freeze and burst as a result. In addition, sump pumps can fail when power outages occur, causing basement flooding and structural damage. There are several things that can negatively impact our daily lives due to power loss. Fortunately, homeowners have a temporary solution to a loss of power by using a portable generator. In fact, many homeowners are beginning to realize the importance of having a portable generator on hand at all times; however, many of these homeowners are not aware of the safety precautions that need to be made when using the portable generators themselves.

Portable generators are simple to use, yet many people make the mistake of purchasing the wrong type of generator extension cord. Although an extension cord can be very useful for transferring power from the generator to the appliance being used, it is extremely important that you choose the correct type of extension cord in order to ensure your own safety and the safety of others.


When you’re ready to buy extension cords, be sure you’re fully informed.

When choosing the correct extension cord, you will not have to worry about damaging the appliance that the generator is providing power to. Be careful when choosing your generator extension cords (choose the right kind and be aware that you can only use it temporarily; don’t try to use it for extended periods of time).

In order to meet the minimum standards of safe use for any weather condition, a generator extension cord (gen-cord) will be suitable. A gen-cord usually splits into three or four 120-volt outlets.

If you want to purchase a more powerful extension cord:

First determine the size of the extension cord needed by locating the largest outlet on the generator (usually 20 to 30-amps). If it requires a 240-volt outlet, a 30-amp generator outlet will be used. If the generator only requires 120 volts, then the 20-amp outlet will be sufficient. Extension cords vary widely in length, therefore, be sure to choose the correct length for your needs.

Once you have been able to successfully choose the correct generator extension cord for your specific type of generator, connect the cord to the outlet prior to starting the generator in order to avoid electrical shock. Always run the generator outdoors and be sure that it is in a well-ventilated area. Run the generator cord into your house through an open window. When it comes to electrical issues, your safety and the safety of others is of the highest importance.

If you use a portable generator in your home, be sure to have the correct extension cord for sufficient power.