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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. (source: Powermate (opens in a new tab))

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).

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 4 AC outlets:

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

Portability

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.

Features

Panel of the Powermate PM3800

The PM3800's control panel

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.

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).

  • 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. 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.
  • 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. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Champion 200954, boasting with 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 somewhat less fuel efficient than devices of comparable output: its estimated fuel consumption reaches 0.24 GPH at a 25% load. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Energizer eZV3200P. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.13 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

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 sizing 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.

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