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Powermate PM3800 - 3000/3800W Portable Generator

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
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • 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 is powered by a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 3000W as well as a peak wattage of 3800W.

This generator gets running thanks to a simple traditional 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 provides the upcoming 4 AC outlets:

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

Portability

With its dimensions of L23.8 x W18.1 x H19.1 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Powermate PM3800 offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

The PM3800's dry weight of 96 lbs lets you use its power anywhere needed. In addition, it is even easier to grab and move the generator around thanks to 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.

Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.

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

  • As its weight is 96 pounds, the Powermate PM3800 falls in the expected weight range of the devices in the 2500-3500 rated wattage category. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Genmax GM3300i, with a dry weight of only 47.4 lbs.
  • As the PM3800 features an autonomy of up to 21 hours at 25% load, it has a higher run time than an average generator of its power range. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Champion 200914, as it provides 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 rather wasteful, compared to other devices within the aforementioned output range, when it comes to gasoline consumption, as it reaches roughly 0.24 GPH at a 25% load. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Energizer eZV3500P, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.13 GPH, may be the right generator for you.

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
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 homeElectric fry pan15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Rice cooker650650
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2397 W3397 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Toaster oven800800
Blender400850
Total2390 W2980 W
For workGrinder14002500
Reciprocating saw730960
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
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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