Paralleling Generators: What You Need To Know

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Paralleling inverter generators is combining the power of two, or with the right gear three, machines with the help of a parallel kit (or cables).

Manuals typically specify you only want to do this with two of the exact same inverter generators from the same brand.

However, if you don’t mind the safety and warranty void risks, there are cases of people who successfully parallel different brands.

There are also examples where people can parallel inverter generators of different wattage levels as long as they stay below double the capacity of the smaller model.

By paralleling generators, you can get more power in more portable packages and other benefits like adding some flexibility and backup.

Can you parallel any inverter generator?

No, you can typically not parallel any two inverter generators. Some inverter generators do not have parallel ports which makes the process too hard for the average person.

In theory, you could parallel any inverter generator if you approach the process the right way.

That being said, as you may notice, some inverter generators don’t come with convenient parallel ports.

In turn, paralleling these models would not only require you to open the inner workings of the machine.

You would also need to wire these inverter generators in a specific way. Even if you have a parallel kit available.

So if you want to parallel inverter generators in a convenient way, you want to invest in a model that has built-in ports for this.

Can you parallel non inverter generators?

No, the average person is not able to parallel non-inverter generators.

In theory, you can parallel non-inverter generators too by synchronizing the important parameters.

However, since this requires specialized gear and expertise, the average person will not find this option too relevant.

At least compared to all the good inverter generators out there that are made to make paralleling convenient.

How do you run two inverter generators in parallel?

To run two inverter generators in parallel you take the following steps:

  1. Turn off your two inverter generators and disconnect any devices or electrical cords before plugging in the parallel kit cables.
  2. Make sure the eco mode on your inverter generators is turned off.
  3. Your parallel kit will likely have breakers. Turn these off for now.
  4. Check off the usual safety boxes like running the machines outside, making sure they have enough engine oil, etc.
  5. start the generators.
  6. Turn on the breakers of the parallel kit
  7. Plug in your stronger electrical devices and/or extension cords (still within limits of course).

To run two inverter generators in parallel you need a parallel kit.

This is typically a small box with outlets that connects to each generator with three cords (two cables to put in the parallel ports and one ground cord).

There are also parallel kits where you actually put a plug in the outlet of each generator instead.

And something like the Honda EU2200i only comes with cables (so you use existing outlets but with more power potential).

Keep in mind that you typically want to check your inverter generator and parallel kit manuals to make sure you are approaching the parallel process the right way.

How do you connect two inverter generators in parallel?

You can connect two inverter generators in parallel by using a compatible parallel kit and following the setup and safety guidelines.

Can you parallel two different brand inverter generators?

No, you can typically not parallel two different brands of inverter generators without voiding the warranties.

However, you can technically parallel two inverter generators from different brands if you approach it the right way as the video below demonstrates.

Inverter generator manuals typically note that you only want to parallel two of the exact same models of the exact same brands.

It is typically smart to follow the guidelines in these manuals. Even if it is just to avoid things like voiding your warranties.

Can you parallel two different wattage generators?

No, you can typically not parallel two different wattage generators without voiding the warranties.

You likely want to stick to these guidelines in the manuals for safety and warranty reasons.

On the other hand, the video below does show that you can technically parallel two different wattage generators with the same frequency if you stay below double the watt capacity of the smaller model.

This is because the parallel kit divides the power draw between the inverter generators.

Can you run 3 inverter generators in parallel?

Yes, you can run 3 inverter generators of certain brands in parallel.

There is a GENMAX parallel kit that allows you to parallel 3 inverter generators to combine the power of these devices.

That means connecting 3 inverter generators is a question of getting the right models, wiring, and parallel kit.

Is paralleling inverter generators safe?

Yes, paralleling your inverter generators is generally safe if you follow the guidelines in your manual(s).

At the same time, it is worth mentioning that you still need to pay attention so you follow the right start-up and safety steps.

For example, it can be easy to forget that you want to turn off your inverter generator and unplug everything before plugging in the parallel cables.

Benefits of paralleling inverter generators

Some of the benefits of paralleling inverter generators are:

  • You can try out a smaller inverter generator: Before investing more into a big portable generator you may want to try out whether a smaller model is good enough too.
  • Get more power: After deciding you do need more watts and/or amps, you can simply parallel a second inverter generator.
  • More flexibility: If you only sometimes need more power, you can parallel two inverter generators in some situations and just use one model in others.
  • Easier to carry: People who are not as confident in their strength can invest in two smaller inverter generators to make sure they can lift the machines in and out of the car.
  • Backup factor: If you do happen to encounter any technical issue in one generator, you still have the other for at least some power.
  • Lower noise levels: Bigger inverter generators tend to make more noise. By using two smaller models instead, you should be able to get a quieter experience.

Whether the pros outweigh the cons (for example more setup work) depends on details like your preferences, how you use the machines, budget, etc.

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Author:

Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.