Outlets On A Portable Generator - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-24-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 10
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


I got a portable generator to use when power goes out and I was hoping someone could let me know what a 3 prong circular 120v21a outlet would be used for? The generator also has a dc 12v 8a posts...any ideas what they would be used for? I can post pictures if needed. Thanks!

Advertisement

PennJersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
DIY staff

 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 22,316
Rewards Points: 3,272
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


Post that picture----I think half of our members are off shopping--so be patient---

Advertisement

__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 02:39 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 36
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


Try posting the manufacturer and model number, and a link to a picture of it.

If the 12 volt, 8 amp posts are what I think they are, they are for charging a storage battery. Hard to tell without more information.
Arnold Ziffel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
Idiot Emeritus
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fernley, Nevada (near Reno)
Posts: 1,639
Rewards Points: 1,072
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


20 amp 120 volt twistlocks are very common on large construction sites. Some contractors do not allow straight blade (household) cords.

The 12 volt posts are for charging 12 volt batteries. Be careful, the typical output is usually somewhere between 15 and 18 volts, and the voltage is not regulated. If you're not careful, you can boil a battery dry.
micromind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 10
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


Hope this picture helps I had to take it on my cellphone. Thanks for the replies!

PennJersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 05:26 PM   #6
Household Handyman
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Albany, Ga.
Posts: 2,299
Rewards Points: 1,050
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


By golly the poster was correct, the twist-locks are 21 amp outlets. But note: The third one is a four (4) pole connector with two (2) circuit breakers and the poles are split in a way I have never seen. Interesting.
Thurman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 10
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
By golly the poster was correct, the twist-locks are 21 amp outlets. But note: The third one is a four (4) pole connector with two (2) circuit breakers and the poles are split in a way I have never seen. Interesting.

I know, had to get this generator when Sandy hit, not the one I wanted at all but I guess need to be thankful that I got one.
PennJersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #8
TTW
Member
 
TTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 350
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


The main reason for using a 120v twist lock is to prevent the cord from inadvertently being pulled out of the receptacle.
It also absolutely ensures that the cord is plugged into a 20 amp outlet.
TTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: MA
Posts: 762
Rewards Points: 588
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


There is no such thing as a 21 amp outlet. It might be fused at that but they come in standard 20 and 30 amp ratings.
It looks like an L5-20, 120 volt 3 wire. You could make up an adapter to use it to power an RV.

The third outlet is an L6-20 or 30. The tab at the top is the ground, the ones on each side are the two hot legs, the botton is the "neutral."

It should say on it, somewhere.
AandPDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 07:54 PM   #10
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,376
Rewards Points: 3,546
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


The 12 volt terminals are just that 12 volts DC. Use them to power 12 volt equipment like might be found in an RV or to charge 12 volt batteries.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 2,572
Rewards Points: 2,040
Default

Outlets on a portable generator


The 12V output on generators is often very poorly regulated and is intended only for charging batteries, not directly powering DC loads. If you want to use it for 12V equipment, connect a 12V lead acid battery to it (motorcycle size would be convenient) and run your 12V equipment from that.

Advertisement

__________________
I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer. And who cares anyways? We're here to talk construction. This is DIY advice, not legal advice.
mpoulton is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Portable generator wiring 7474 Electrical 107 08-03-2012 01:10 AM
rewiring a portable generator speedster1 Electrical 29 07-18-2012 07:39 PM
I'm confused about my new portable generator Rickhow Electrical 5 10-23-2011 06:16 PM
wiring portable generator into two house panels Rage Electrical 7 12-21-2010 05:40 PM
portable generator questions--long post daddyrabbit Electrical 19 01-27-2010 08:40 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts