Question about generator cord

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Old 01-14-13, 12:05 PM
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Question about generator cord

I have an 8000 watt generator that Iím going to be connecting to an inlet using a 10 ft. cord. This will be to a 30 amp. circuit running from my garage to my house. Because the distance will be about 60 ft. I figured I would need to use #8 wire. So does my 10 ft cord Iíll be using to connecting my generator to my inlet also have to be #8 wire?
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Old 01-14-13, 12:10 PM
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Why would one section of wire need to be a different size than the rest? Are you considering going with a heavier gauge for the flex section (I know you're not thinking of going smaller)?
 
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Old 01-14-13, 12:24 PM
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Use all #8. You'll be thankful in the long run.
 
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Old 01-14-13, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the replies looks like I'll be using #8 for everything.
 
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Old 01-14-13, 01:35 PM
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Might be a bit tough getting that 8 ga. wire into a L1430 plug....Just my 2 cents.
 
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Old 01-14-13, 02:11 PM
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Unlike water pipes, thinner wires for part of the run will not nullify the advantage of heavier wires for the rest of the run. For voltage drop purposes, the greater the proportion of the run with upsized wire, the better off you are. It does not matter which size of wire comes first (is upstream).

Now you do have to use the minimum size needed to carry the number of amperes, 10 gauge for a generator breakered at 30 amps.

You compute wire size two ways:

1. For the number of amperes as specified in the code (e.g. NEC), ignoring the distance.
2. For the distance, for voltage drop purposes, ignoring the wire size table in the NEC.
Then you use the heavier of the two sizes.

(Note that voltage drop calculations use the intended number of amperes but are not affected by voltage.)
 
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Old 01-15-13, 05:21 AM
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The reason for my initial question was, as pointed out by Jim, the possible difficulty working with an 8 gauge cord. If understand Allenís post I could use 10 gauge wire for my cord provided that at the end of the circuit I end up with an acceptable voltage drop. I believe that would be no more than 3%. I found a voltage drop calculator on the Southwire web site but Iím not sure how to calculate what my voltage drop would be using 2 different size wires on the same circuit. Any suggestions? Thanks
 
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Old 01-16-13, 01:21 PM
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You would need to do the first run by itself....do the calculation and then run again wuth that voltage on the second leg. I have a 50' 10/4 cord on mine as I plug straight into the generator panel(mine is in the front of the garage) and have never had an issue. Used it 14 times so far and have run it as long as 6 days...You can use the 8/3wg to your inlet box if you want but not sure 60' is that much to worry about. Unless, you are running 60 to the inlet and then 20-40' from the generator. That might be a problem. Your generator should have a 30amp receptacle on it and many of these are fused at 25 amps anyway...so you may be fine with 10 guage all around.
 
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