What you need to split your 240V outlet…
Many generators give you a single 240V outlet, and two or three 120V standard household outlets. Each are wired differently in the generator.
240V outlets use 2 live wires to carry current, and are wired to both windings on most generators.
The 120V outlets will only use 1 live wire, and connect it to only one winding, limiting your power usage.
Why you need a special cord…
Say you have a 7500 watt generator. This means it has two separate 2500 Watt, windings. It has the typical household outlets, and a 240V outlet. (example right)
The home outlets are typically wired to one winding. However, the 240V outlet is wired to both windings on the generator.
The left outlets can only deliver 2500 watts because it is wired to one winding. The right outlet is wired to both.
Splitting this outlet into two regular outlets will yield 2500W to both of them. You are now taking full power from both windings in your generator and using the unit to its full capacity.
What can happen if you don’t use the splitter?
If you only plug into the 120V outlets, you only have access to 2500 watts. Loading this end with too many items won’t stall the generator, but it might trip the breaker on the generator. Worst case scenario is the breaker fails, causing the winding to prematurely wear / fail.
The moral of the story…
Using this splitter will save you the headache of tripping breakers, and not getting the power you need from your generator.
If two outlets are not enough, you can still plug an ordinary triple tap or distribution cord into the splitter. Rest easy knowing now you are spreading that load evenly over both windings in your generator.
Always make sure to check your generator’s owner’s manual to see if all the 120V outlets are attached to only one winding. Some more expensive units may have 120V outlets on both windings, and in that case you will not need to worry about this solution.