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-   -   Extension cord for generator (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/extension-cord-generator-149056/)

pkucan 07-03-2012 04:46 PM

Extension cord for generator
 
Hopefully I will provide enough information here since I am a newbie on generators and electricity as evidenced by burnt screwdrivers. Here is what I have: A Honda EU6500is generator and a Rigid 5 ft 12/4 120 volt inline multi outlet generator cord with 3 15 amp and 1 20 amp outlet (can't return the $50 cord since I lost the receipt). The rigid cord cannot be plugged into the generator because the generator has a 3 prong (30 A) 120 volt twist lock receptacle and the cord has a 4 prong twist lock plug. Can I make a short cord or long cord with a NEMA L5-20P on one end with a NEMA L14-20R on the other so I can use the Rigid cord? Is 12 gauge 3 wire OK? I am assuming the NEMA L14-20R takes 4 wires? How do I go about making this cord if it is possible? I will probably get a transfer switch when I get the current 48 year old push a matic panel replaced. Thanks

AllanJ 07-03-2012 05:01 PM

You may not connect the Rigid cord with multiple receptacles to the 30 amp generator receptacle unless the box with the multiple receptacles at the other end of the cord has 15 and/or 20 amp breakers protecting each receptacle.

You may not create or use a cord with male plugs at both ends.

For 30 amps you would need #10 gauge wiring. This includes the wiring inside the Rigid cord.

pkucan 07-03-2012 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 957083)
You may not connect the Rigid cord with multiple receptacles to the 30 amp generator receptacle unless the box with the multiple receptacles at the other end of the cord has 15 and/or 20 amp breakers protecting each receptacle.

Not sure I understand this part. I would run extension cords from the Rigid cord to power refrig., lights, TV, etc. individually.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 957083)
You may not create or use a cord with male plugs at both ends.

One end would have a plug and the other end a receptacle.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 957083)
For 30 amps you would need #10 gauge wiring.

This I understand.

AllanJ 07-03-2012 08:10 PM

Regardless of the number of ordinary receptacles in the box at the end of the Rigid cord and the number of extension cords you plug in there, each of them has to be protected to no more than 20 amps that may come up from the generator.

To satisfy this requirement either there must be appropriate breakers in the box with the receptacles or the Rigid cord must be plugged into a receptacle that can supply it with no more than 20 amps without tripping a breaker in the generator.

Evstarr 07-04-2012 03:07 PM

Even if you lost the receipt, you should be able to return it.

mpoulton 07-04-2012 07:11 PM

The cord you have is intended for a 30A 240V generator (4-wires: 2 hots, 1 neutral, and ground). You have 30A at 120V available (1 hot, 1 neutral, and ground). You can make an adapter or replace the plug on your cord with a 3-wire, but you'll only have half the power available. You would need to land both of the hot wires in the cable on the single hot terminal of the 3-wire plug.

pkucan 07-05-2012 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpoulton (Post 958007)
You can make an adapter or replace the plug on your cord with a 3-wire, but you'll only have half the power available. You would need to land both of the hot wires in the cable on the single hot terminal of the 3-wire plug.

Thanks! Please bear with me. So this cord is intended to be plugged into the 120/240 volt 30 Amp receptacle on the generator and then it provides 120 volt to each of the 4 outlets on the cord? The male plug on this cord is a L14-20 which does not fit the generator receptacle. How would I make an adapter so that it would plug into the generator? Your patience is greatly appreciated.

jbfan 07-05-2012 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpoulton (Post 958007)
The cord you have is intended for a 30A 240V generator (4-wires: 2 hots, 1 neutral, and ground). You have 30A at 120V available (1 hot, 1 neutral, and ground). You can make an adapter or replace the plug on your cord with a 3-wire, but you'll only have half the power available. You would need to land both of the hot wires in the cable on the single hot terminal of the 3-wire plug.

He can't do this!
He needs to protect the receptale end of the cable to a max of 20 amps, thefore he can not plug it into a 30 amp receptacle.

M Engineer 07-05-2012 02:32 PM

I am surprised that a 6500 watt Honda generator does not have a 240 plug on it.

pkucan 07-05-2012 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 958568)
He can't do this!
He needs to protect the receptale end of the cable to a max of 20 amps, thefore he can not plug it into a 30 amp receptacle.

I would venture to guess then that Rigid made this cord to be plugged into a generator that had 20 Amp receptacles. Is that correct?

mpoulton 07-05-2012 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 958568)
He can't do this!
He needs to protect the receptale end of the cable to a max of 20 amps, thefore he can not plug it into a 30 amp receptacle.

These premade generator breakout cords have built-in fuses or breakers. They are specifically intended for use with a 30A generator twist-lock. Take a look next time you're at Lowes or Home Depot. Overcurrent protection is a non-issue here.

mpoulton 07-05-2012 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pkucan (Post 958549)
Thanks! Please bear with me. So this cord is intended to be plugged into the 120/240 volt 30 Amp receptacle on the generator and then it provides 120 volt to each of the 4 outlets on the cord? The male plug on this cord is a L14-20 which does not fit the generator receptacle. How would I make an adapter so that it would plug into the generator? Your patience is greatly appreciated.

You can cut the existing plug off and replace it with a 3-wire plug, landing both hot wires (probably red and black) together on the one hot terminal of the 3-wire plug. Alternatively, you could get a plug and receptacle that match the generator and cable respectively, and make an adapter that does the same thing using a short piece of 10/3 cable.

pkucan 07-05-2012 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpoulton (Post 958621)
These premade generator breakout cords have built-in fuses or breakers. They are specifically intended for use with a 30A generator twist-lock. Take a look next time you're at Lowes or Home Depot. Overcurrent protection is a non-issue here.

Thanks! What are my options to use this cord with my generator; make an extension cord for either the 3 prong 120 v 30 Amp or 4 prong 120/240 v 30 Amp generator receptacles. With the current power outage I have just been using the two 120 v 20 Amp receptacles with extension cords. Obviously, to take me out of this equation in the future, I plan on a transfer switch when getting a new panel installed!

AllanJ 07-05-2012 05:07 PM

Does the generator have a breakered 20 amp single or duplex 120 volt receptacle? (The same as an ordinary household wall receptacle?)

You can make up an extension cord that accepts the plug of the Rigid cable assembly and with its own plug to fit the 20 amp receptacle.


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