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Powermate PM3800 - 3000/3800W Portable Generator

The Powermate PM3800 is a compact open frame generator with a rated wattage of 3,000 W and a starting wattage of 3,800 W.

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Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800
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Price History
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Price history for the Powermate PM3800
Latest updates:
  • $389.99 - January 31, 2023
  • $439.99 - December 3, 2022
  • $489.99 - August 14, 2022
Data source: tractorsupply.com
Since: August 14, 2022
  • Highest Price: $489.99 - August 14, 2022
  • Lowest Price: $389.99 - January 31, 2023

Description

With 3800 starting watts and 3000 running watts, this generator is powerful enough to run small electrical appliances at any picnic, campground or tailgate and versatile enough to power tools for your next DIY project.

Zoom on the Powermate PM3800

In a nutshell, the Powermate PM3800 is a compact portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • DIYers who wish to improve their efficiency with tools
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures

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's engine, 212 cc OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120V. It provides a running wattage of 3,000W and reaches a peak wattage of 3,800W.

This generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism. It features Powermate's PowerDial™, an easy-to-use dial with three operation settings.

With a fuel capacity of 5 gallons, the PM3800 may run for up to 21 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.24 GPH).

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 4 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R)

Portability

The Powermate PM3800 has the following dimensions: L23.8 x W18.1 x H19.1 in. In combination with its conventional, open frame design, they provide support and allow the generator to be raised above ground level. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.

With a dry weight of 96 lbs, the PM3800 can easily follow you wherever your power needs are. Furthermore, the open frame of the generator further helps when holding and moving it to a different place.

Features

Panel of the Powermate PM3800

The PM3800's control panel

One of the many PM3800's features is the data center, included in its control panel, which conveniently provides information on the lifetime run hours and thus, helps you monitor 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.

As for its security measures, the device features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, letting you 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.

Emissions

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.

Product Video

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).

  • With a dry weight of 96 pounds, the Powermate PM3800 finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 2500 and 3500 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Pulsar PGD40iSCO, with a dry weight of only 46 lbs.
  • Thanks to an impressive running time of up to 21 hours at 25% load, the PM3800 benefits from a higher run time than many generators of a similar output. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Champion 200914, which is able to run for up to 22 hours.
  • The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about 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 wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Energizer eZV3500P, with a fuel consumption of 0.13 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

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

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (96 lbs)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Powermate PM3800 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz
Running watts3,000 W
Starting watts3,800 W
Running amps25 amps
Peak amps31.7 amps
Run time @50% load14 h
Run time @25% load21 h
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo
AC outlets2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerLifetime run hours
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankSteel, 5 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight96 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)23.8 x 18.1 x 19.1 in
Noise (lower limit)Unknown
THDUnknown
ComplianceEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil
Warranty3 years
Other model numbersP0081100
UPC696471080339

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.

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About Powermate

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.

Warranty Information

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?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Hair dryer18001900
Blender400850
Total2392 W3392 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Toaster oven800800
Radio100100
Total2380 W2800 W
For workGrinder14002500
Reciprocating saw730960
Drain cleaner250250
Total2380 W3480 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.

Can this power an air compressor? (Asked June 22, 2022)

It is unfortunately not feasible to answer this question without more specifics. A 1/2 HP air compressor may be powered, but a 1HP compressor may require more than the 3800 starting watts provided by this unit. Wattage requirements also vary depending on brands and models. We recommend reading our guide on how to calculate the running and starting watts of your appliances.

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