Zoom on the Powermate PM3800
In summary, the Powermate PM3800 is a compact portable generator especially useful for:
- RV travellers looking for even more independence
- People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
- Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go
- Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.
Power & Run Time
The Powermate PM3800 houses a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 3000W along with a peak wattage of 3800W.
This generator gets running thanks to a conventional pull-start mechanism. It features Powermate's PowerDial™, an easy-to-use dial with three operation settings.
The fuel capacity of 5 gallons allows the PM3800 to operate for up to 21 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.24 GPH).
The control panel provides the upcoming 4 AC outlets:
The dimensions of the Powermate PM3800, which are L23.8 x W18.1 x H19.1 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.
With a dry weight of 96 lbs, the PM3800 can easily follow you wherever your power needs are. In addition, it is even easier to grab and move the generator around thanks to its open frame design.
A digital data center, one of the features of the PM3800's control panel, gives you information on the lifetime run hours, and thus, is helpful for the monitoring of its activity and status.
The generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.
From a security standpoint, the product offers an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.
Besides the usual set of documentation and owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, Powermate also included some oil in the PM3800's packaging.
The Powermate PM3800 is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.
However, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.
The Powermate PM3800 versus other generators
The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Powermate PM3800 compare to generators of similar power (between 2500 and 3500 W).
- Having a dry weight of 96 lbs, the Powermate PM3800 belongs in the expected weight range for generators which produce 2500 to 3500 rated watts. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the Generac GP3300i, with a dry weight of just 59.5 pounds.
- Since the PM3800 boasts with a run time of up to 21 hours at 25% load, it can be safely judged as a device of a higher run time than most generators of a comparable output. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Champion 200954, with up to 22 hours.
- While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. This generator is not fuel efficient compared to devices of similar output: its estimated fuel consumption stands at 0.24 GPH at a 25% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.13 GPH, the Energizer eZV3500P is a device you should look out for.
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 2500-3500W generators, the Powermate PM3800 is on the cheap side of the price range.
It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.
The bottom line
- High run time
- Decent weight (96 lbs)
- No electric start
- Not CARB-compliant
- Low fuel efficiency
Features and Specifications
|Engine||212 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Voltage||AC: 120V 60 Hz|
|Running watts||3000 W|
|Starting watts||3800 W|
|Running amps||25 amps|
|Peak amps||31.7 amps|
|Run time @50% load||14 h|
|Run time @25% load||21 h|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||No|
|AC outlets||2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)|
|Data center||Lifetime run hours|
|Fuel tank||Steel, 5 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||23.8 x 18.1 x 19.1 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||Unknown|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Other model numbers||P0081100|
Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.
Powermate’s history is somewhat enigmatic, but they claim to have been on the market for over 40 years, selling portable generators and various outdoor power equipment. In 2009, they have signed under what they call “partnership” (more accurately ownership) with the Italian PRAMAC. In 2014, Generac acquired Powermate from PRAMAC.
The Powermate PM3800 is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Powermate generators, please consult Powermate's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-800-445-1805.
Questions & Answers
What can it power?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Microwave (1000 watts)||1500||1500|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||2397 W||3397 W|
|For camping||RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||2390 W||2980 W|
|Electric fence (25 miles)||250||250|
|Total||2380 W||3480 W|
What is the noise rating of the PM3800?
Due to the lack of standardization in noise emission measurement, Powermate (Generac) does not provide their units' noise levels.
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