I recently purchased a generator in the aftermath of the ice storms in the Northeast. I'm quit handy with the electrical wiring in my house and have no issue installing the proper circuit for the 30-amp load. My questions are more about running the cable to the inlet box.

My garage is connected to my basement (where the circuit breaker is), and my ideal inlet location is either right inside the garage door, or just outside. The issue is that, in order for me to run the wires in there, it appears that I'll have to drill through concrete and install conduit (as the prior owner did with the existing garage wiring). Thus brings about the two possibilities:

  1. Do I spend the money, time and noise to rent a drill to bore a 1-inch conduit space through my concrete walls?

  2. Do I install my inlet switch inside and run a longer 30-amp generator extension cord from outside to inside when the generator is running?


I'm reconsidering and thinking about renting a Hilti drill (or similar) from a local tool-rental shop or Lowes/Home Depot. If I do that, I can run straight up from my breaker box to a conduit leading outside (next to the meters). I can then either get a long-enough generator cord to reach from the garage up to the outlet, run conduit closer down to the garage, or move the generator up to the back porch in advance of pending issues.

Further opinions?


  • 2
    You have two options that are both correct, it really boils down to what you want to do.
    – Steven
    Feb 28, 2014 at 18:39
  • Yeah, just do a one-hour or half-day rental on a nice big concrete hammer drill with an appropriate length/diameter bit and you'll be through your wall in a minute or two. Easy. I rented one with an 18 inch bit to get through thick old poured concrete with a brick overlay a while back and it was more or less like slicing butter. It was a big Hilti drill that I rented, as I recall. ;-) Nov 28, 2014 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


Do the right thing not the easy thing. The question here is, how much longer will the feed line be? if its just a few feet then there is no problem. What you want to avoid is a long extension between the generator and the house. Long line = voltage drop. And there is cosmetics. Think how a professional would do the install and act acordingly.

  • Distance would be the same. As for the aesthetic aspects, in an emergency situation, I'm not concerned as much. Also, cost right now is an issue. I can always build/move/extend later Mar 2, 2014 at 1:22
  • see my updated info above...i may have decided on something different. Mar 2, 2014 at 17:20

There might be a third option: run conduit along the outside of your home or bury it and enter your basement somewhere easier.

  • I'd still have to drill... Mar 2, 2014 at 11:58
  • see my updated information above and let me know what you think. Thanks, @Longneck... Mar 2, 2014 at 17:20

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