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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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Price History
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Price history for the Powermate PM3800
Latest updates:
  • $339.00 - May 18, 2023
  • $439.00 - December 23, 2022
Data source: ebay.com
Since: December 23, 2022
  • Highest Price: $439.00 - December 23, 2022
  • Lowest Price: $339.00 - May 18, 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 looking for even more independence
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • DIYers who wish to improve their efficiency with tools
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout

In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including 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 3,000W and reaches a peak wattage of 3,800W.

The 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 following 4 AC outlets:

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

Portability

The design of the Powermate PM3800 is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L23.8 x W18.1 x H19.1 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. This type of design is ideal for tough environments and heavy outdoor use.

With a dry weight of 96 lbs, the PM3800 can easily follow you wherever your power needs are. Additionally, the generator’s mobility is also improved by its open frame design, as it can be easily grabbed and shifted.

Features

Panel of the Powermate PM3800

The PM3800's control panel

The control panel of the PM3800 includes a digital data center, which assists you in monitoring its status and activity, as it provides information on the lifetime run hours.

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

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 and therefore, can be used 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).

  • At a weight of 96 pounds, the Powermate PM3800 places in the expected weight range of the generators in the 2500-3500 rated wattage range. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the Pulsar PGD40iSCO, standing at just 46 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. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the DuroStar DS4000S, boasting with up to 26 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. Compared to its peers, this generator is not exactly fuel efficient, compared to similarly powerful devices, with an estimated fuel consumption of 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
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Warranty3 years
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
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 size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
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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