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Powermate PM3800 Spec Review

The Powermate PM3800 is a compact open frame generator with a rated wattage of 3000 W and a starting wattage of 3800 W.

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Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800
Even though the official video and some of the pictures show "Neutral bonded to frame", Generac confirmed to us that the P0081100 has a floating neutral.
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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 summary, the Powermate PM3800 is a compact portable generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Amateur DIY lovers
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

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 3000W and reaches a peak wattage of 3800W.

Its starting mechanism is based on a conventional pull-start mechanism. It features Powermate's PowerDial™, an easy-to-use dial with three operation settings.

Thanks to a fuel capacity of 5 gallons, the PM3800 can operate 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 generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

The PM3800 can be taken anywhere with you, thanks to its weight of 96 lbs. Moreover, grabbing and moving this product is made even easier by its open frame design.

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.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

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, which makes it suitable 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).

  • 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.

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 watts3000 W
Starting watts3800 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
EmissionsEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil
Warranty3 years
Other model numbersP0081100

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.

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