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I'm buying a generator cord soon and I've been getting conflicting info. Some say to just a buy cord with the molded plug ends because they seal out water and moisture better. Others say to just buy some cord and put my own plug ends on because they have better quality over molded plugs, but apparently don't seal out moisture very well. The other difference is people say it's cheaper to build your own cord. But from what I can see, a 50' premade cord vs simple 10/4 cord isn't much difference in price.


And if it matters, I plan to use two 25' cords connected together rather than one long 50'. The weight and hassle of these thicker cords are a pain.
 

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Considering that inclement weather and generators often go together the connection point of the 2 cords is and can be more weather resistant with the molded plugs and simple tape.


Though in my personal experience the ground pins are far better on the build your own plugs than on the molded ones.
 

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Price it out, most often it's cheaper to just buy a molded plug, far more waterproof, plus not having to spend an hour making one up.
 
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I like molded generally but I did have one cord (14AWG) that used with a space heater. I noticed the plug heated up a lot. So I cut it open and sure enough the crimp to the plug blade was flimsy at best, it was no wonder the blade heated up. So I guess I like molded when they are designed properly but I guess you can always hack off the end and put a new one on if they aren't.
 

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If your cord ends are exposed to enough water that it matters, then you really need to be using special water-resistant connectors anyway. Water between the faces of twist-locks (molded or not) causes failures quickly and is dangerous. The "important" parts of the connectors are exposed to water just the same in a molded one as in a non-molded one. The water-tight twist locks are very expensive but really do work and are extremely rugged.

I used to be a commercial construction field superintendent. I handled temp power on large jobsites. I've used a lot of molded and non-molded twist-locks in very rough conditions until they failed. We almost always made our own cords, and only used molded connectors when we happened to end up with a factory cord for some reason. I usually bought mid-to-high grade industrial connectors. The cheap ones are worthless in commercial construction (the plastic breaks or they burn up prematurely), but the best quality ones are not worth the price ($60+) in an environment where they will be used up and worn out quickly anyway. I liked to be able to choose my wire and connectors separately and make whatever length we needed.
 

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The only for sure thing I have noticed about molded plugs is with the triple plugs on some extension cords. They seem to always have trouble making contact. Seems like I remember it is the center plug that usually acts up.
 

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I like molded generally but I did have one cord (14AWG) that used with a space heater. I noticed the plug heated up a lot. So I cut it open and sure enough the crimp to the plug blade was flimsy at best, it was no wonder the blade heated up. So I guess I like molded when they are designed properly but I guess you can always hack off the end and put a new one on if they aren't.
Perhaps you should indicate the Brand of the lead concerned, since that may help others to avoid these products.
 

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I made my own when I bought my generator some years ago. Did not even think about a pre-made cord.
I used SOOW and Hubble male and female twist lock ends.

I saw the pre-made ones later and asked myself why I was so dumb.
I have only used it once as well. To try it out when I bought the generator.
 
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