The 7 Best 30 Amp Inlet Boxes
This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in October of 2018. A quick way to get your portable generator online when the power goes out is by plugging it into an inlet box. This handy device is hardwired to your breaker panel's transfer switch to restore your home's electricity in no time. Here we rank various 30-amp models for weather resistance, price, and ease of use. For safety, they should only be installed by an experienced, licensed electrician. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 17, 2021:
We removed the Westinghouse NEMA L14-30 and Arnberg Industries AI-PB30 due to availability issues, and quickly replaced them with three new offerings, for a net gain that saw our list grow by one item during this round of updates.
Our first new pick was the Rophor 3750. It caught our eye with its handy indicator LED, which isn’t unique in this category – indeed, our second new addition, the RVGuard RGL30AINWH is available with an indicator LED for a reasonable additional cost – but it’s still a nice touch, and even if that light gives out on you sometime in the future, you can still expect the box to last for years, thanks to its durable iron construction.
Our second new pick – the choice from RVGuard that we just mentioned – isn’t recommended for residential installations, but rather intended for use in RVs, boats and similar applications. In addition to an inlet, this option comes with a compatible female plug-end and a weatherproof boot to protect it, which is an add-on I’m sure many users will appreciate, especially given the reasonable price they come at. However, it must be said that it seems a bit peculiar that they’d bundle the inlet with a female plug-end, and not include its male counterpart to plug into your RV generator or campsite supply. So, if you are going to go for this option, remember that it’s not a one-stop solution, and you will still need your second plug-end, plus a length of cable, to get you from your supply to the inlet.
Our last new pick this time around was the Leviton 37830-KIT. We loved how compact this model was, compared to some the chunky device boxes it was up against, and its PVC design is sure to offer good weather resistance, but you need to note that, as this option only offers one entry point, it’s fairly limited in terms of the installation options it accommodates. In fact, if you’re hoping to come through the back of your inlet box to keep messy wires out of sight and out of mind, this probably isn’t the option for you. However, if your situation calls for a pipe job, running a length (or a few lengths) of PVC conduit down an exterior wall, then this model might be just perfect.
It can’t be said enough that – while installing this assembly might not seem much more complicated than rigging up an extension cord from scratch – electrical work is dangerous at the best of times, and we strongly recommend that you enlist the help of a reputable, licensed electrician to get the job done right.
If 30 amps is a little shy of the amount you need to power your essential loads during the event of a power outage, we also maintain a list of Best 50-Amp Inlet Boxes.
February 21, 2019:
In addition to finding a 30 amp inlet box that’s compatible with your generator, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a weatherproof model (since they are usually installed outside) and one that keeps pests like wasps from nesting inside. The Westinghouse NEMA on our list receives top marks for both of these requirements, and it’s from a highly trusted brand, to boot. If you’re worried about standing water, the Reliance Controls Corporation BPN30 might be your best choice, thanks to its cleverly shaped build that ensures water rolls right off. The Arnburg Industries model just might involve the easiest setup process, with several well-placed knockouts and a roomy interior to hold the necessary wires. No matter which selection you choose, have a professional install it who is familiar with electrical wiring and code. In addition to this box, you’ll need a transfer switch that ensures the main power is turned off when the generator is running. This prevents electricity from being sent up the line and into the poles where it could cause electrical shock to anyone who is working to restore power to the area. A knowledgeable electrician will be able to assist with this component, as well.