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I'm helping a friend build a cabin and we have a generator. I was wondering if I could wire an outlet on the outside of the cabin and another inside. The outside outlet would be for power in and the one inside for power back out, basically utilizing the two outlets as an "extension cable". Obviously we could just run a cable in the house but that doesn't look nearly as good. I'm also thinking of splitting off the wire and running a single light. Does this sounds plausible?

  • Just to be clear...is the generator the only source of power? It sounds like you don't have power from the electric grid. Can you confirm? – David Hempy Sep 1 at 22:47
  • Yes, its a remote cabin. – FreeSoftwareServers Sep 2 at 7:59
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Yes, and I've done this myself.

But not two outlets. The generator side one is an inlet.

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(These also come in a form-factor that is the same as an outlet).

From the inlet, you use in-the-wall wiring to go to as many outlets and lights as makes sense for a single circuit.

If you want 2 circuits, you can have 2 inlets, and plug each one into a different pole on the generator.

If you want >=2 circuits, you can have 1 inlet that is 20/30A 120/240V such as a NEMA 14-20 or 14-30, and then feed that into a service panel in the house. From there you can branch off as many circuits as you please!

PS. Once you get sick of hauling in fuel and maintaining the generator, look into solar+battery systems, and wire as many loads as possible to be able to work on low voltage DC. Lighting at the very least. LED lighting is your friend.

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    The difference is that you don't want exposed metal pins carrying mains voltage after you unplug it. The side with the power should be the "innie". – user3757614 Aug 27 at 0:18
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    Going with a split-phase 30A plug is definitely nice, it will let you upgrade the generator eventually for very little cost, and the twist-lock connection reduces risks of sparking by preventing the plug from backing out. You should still install a small distribution panel with circuit breakers anyhow. The breakers on the generator should be regarded as protection for the generator, not the circuits in the house. – sleblanc Aug 27 at 13:16
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    @FreeSoftwareServers Abusing an outlet to act as an inlet would require an extension cord with two male ends. These are called "suicide cables" for good reason. – J... Aug 27 at 15:54
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    In addition to a [larger than you think needed] breaker box, wiring in a "transfer switch" or "Source selector" from the start may also be worth considering if you suspect someone may want to add a second input source [such as solar] as it will be less likely to end up with that input socket becoming an exposed live output. – TheLuckless Aug 27 at 16:06
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    @FreeSoftwareServers if you only have 1 light and 1 outlet, then don't waste your money on a 30A/240V (NEMA 14-30) inlet, just use a common 15A/120V inlet (NEMA 5-15). Plug that into one of the generator's 120V sockets with any common extension cord... – Harper Aug 27 at 17:01

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