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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. (Read full specs)

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Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800Powermate PM3800
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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 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 in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, and the extra features it benefits from.

Power & Run Time

Featuring a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, the Powermate PM3800 operates using gasoline, providing 120V, with a running wattage of 3,000W and a starting wattage of 3,800W.

This generator starts operation using a standard recoil pull-rope starting mechanism. It features Powermate's PowerDial™, an easy-to-use dial with three operation settings.

With a full tank, the PM3800 can operate for up to 21 hours (fuel consumption around 0.24 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 5 gallons.

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 4 AC outlets:

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

Portability

With a size of L23.8 x W18.1 x H19.1 in, the Powermate PM3800 features an open frame design, providing stability and simplified maintenance access to components, enhancing air circulation. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

At 96 lbs, the PM3800 is easily managed, ensuring it can be brought along wherever you need power. Furthermore, the generator's open frame construction allows for easy grabbing and movement.

Features

Panel of the Powermate PM3800

The PM3800's control panel

The PM3800's control panel is equipped with a digital data center, furnishing detailed information on the lifetime run hours for you to easily track its activity and status.

The fuel level of the generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.

Considering security aspects, the generator boasts an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), offering peace of mind throughout operation.

Beyond the regular documentation and the user manual for quick start, Powermate has included accessory] in the packaging of the PM3800.

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).

  • Since the generator weighs in at a dry weight of 96 lbs, the Powermate PM3800 belongs in the expected weight range for devices which can produce between 2500 and 3500 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Pulsar PGD40iSCO with only 46 pounds.
  • At 25% load, the PM3800 boasts a higher run time than most similarly powerful products, reaching up to 21 hours. 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 DuroStar DS4000S, with up to 26 hours.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. When it comes to fuel efficiency among generators with similar wattage, this generator lags behind, with a consumption rate of 0.24 GPH at a 25% load. If gasoline efficiency is at the top of your list, you may want to have a look at the Energizer eZV3500P, which has great fuel efficiency, with a gas consumption of only 0.13 gallons per hour.

Price comparison

As you can see from these interactive charts, 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
  • 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.

Spec Improvement×

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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 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
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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