Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 Review
Is the Briggs & Stratton P3000 the quietest portable generator in its range?
Well soon find out in the following review.
The P3000 is a camper’s dream. Out of the box, it comes with everything you need to power up standard campsite appliances – lighting, travel refrigerator, cooking appliances, and may be an air conditioner as well.
As I discussed in other generator reviews, an inverter-generator has many other benefits besides generating ‘clean’ power. Unlike conventional generators, inverter generators are noticeably quieter – power output is on-demand rather than constant as with conventional generators. This feature allows the engine to rev up or down as dictated by the load at a particular moment. It makes them very fuel efficient too.
As we’ll see throughout this review, there are many things that the Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 stands out for. It is priced almost twice as much as a comparable Champion Power unit but it’s not hard to see the value that the extra bucks pay for.
The Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 promises to be quieter than its closest competitors while providing you with enough power to charge your appliances.
As I’ve hinted in the previous section, the P3000 is the perfect portable generator for any outdoor adventure. It’s quick to start and gives instant clean power to run typical RV appliances, including an air conditioner, lighting, refrigerator, and electronic devices that need charging.
The P3000 comes from the PowerSmart series and is rated 3000 watts starting – required for some appliances to power up – and 2600 watts running. Claims from the manufacturer give the P3000 a run time of 10 hours at ¼ load.
With a full tank the engine runs 10 hours at 25% load, which works out to 0.15 gallon per hour.
Based on this consumption rate, the P3000 is definitely not a guzzler when compared to the Honda EU3000iS of the same power output.
If you want to boost the power output, the P3000 has a parallel connector port that you can use to connect a second P3000 or a smaller model such as the P2200.
With two P3000s connected, you will get up to 4800 watts of power, ideal if you want to power your home in an emergency.
In terms of noise levels, the manufacturer rating puts the P3000 at 59 decibels from 23 feet. You can do your own measurements and deduce your own rating but 59 decibels is very acceptable for a portable generator. Moreover, this is way lower than a conventional generator. It’s worth noting too that 59 decibels is quieter than a normal conversation.
Regardless, if you’re planning to use the unit at a campsite, ensure that this sound rating is permitted at that particular ground.
The P3000’s engine uses PowerSmart technology to improve fuel efficiency and further reduce noise. When running in PowerSmart mode, the engine automatically revs up or down depending on the current load.
Of course this technology is not unique to Briggs as many other portable generators now include their own versions of fuel saving technology that alters engine running speed depending on load.
If you’re concerned about long term fuel costs for running a generator then this feature is a must-have on any unit you buy.
So far we’ve been focusing on performance and power output but how does the P3000 measure up in terms of usability?
As with all Briggs & Stratton units, it’s clearly evident that a lot of care went into designing the P3000.
The P3000 is built to work for its target user - the avid camper. It’s compact and portable. What’s more, it has luggage-style roll wheels and handles for easy maneuverability. Moving the unit back and forth – which you’re certainly going to be doing at a typical campsite – is a matter of wheeling it.
In terms of usability, one of this unit’s best features is its Statstation LCD display on the control panel. It takes the worry away if you need to constantly monitor the different operating aspects of your generator.
The easy-to-read display shows the current power usage (in percentages) and also acts as a maintenance monitor for oil, air filter, and spark plugs. It’s good to keep an eye on these maintenance monitors but the unit has its own built-in safety features. For instance, it will power itself off if the oil goes below the minimum needed for the engine.
The control panel also includes one 12V DC charger for charging battery-powered tools and devices, four 120V home outlets, and a dedicated 120V/30A RV outlet. I must emphasize that the P3000’s control panel is one of the clearest you’ll find on a portable generator. The outlets are well placed and properly marked.
Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 Maintenance
The P3000 is a reliable portable generator designed to supply power when you need it. However, unlike standby generators, this portable unit requires more regular maintenance and care to ensure that it’s always ready to run and supply power at a moment’s notice.
The following care tips apply to portable generators in general. Along with your owner’s manual, utilize the tips to suit your circumstances.
- Clean the unit after every use. Wipe the debris off with a dry piece of cloth instead of water.
- Empty the tank if you’re going to store it longer than 2 months. Alternatively, fill the unit with gas and add a stabilizer. This helps to prevent the gas from ‘gumming up’ after long periods of inactivity.
- Replace oil after every 50 hours of use and 25 hours if you’re running it for the first time.
- Replace filters too ideally whenever you’re changing oil.
In addition to the stated maintenance chores, you need to follow a few safety rules. They’re absolutely important as any mishap can lead to serious injury.
For instance, never refill the gas tank when the unit is still hot. Any gas spills on the hot generator can cause a fire. In the same regard, avoid filling the tank to the brim.
● The P3000 provides consistent clean and safe power for delicate electronics and home appliances.
● It’s easy to use. Starting the engine requires one pull of the recoil cord.
● With a rated 59 decibels from 23 feet, the Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 is one of the quietest portable generators in the 3000-watt range.
● The P3000 is very fuel efficient. The PowerSmart technology allows the engine to run at lower speed, thus saving fuel.
● Lower fuel consumption also leads to a smaller carbon footprint.
● It is very easy to maneuver. In addition to being compact. this unit has wheels and 2 sets of handles that make it easy to move around.
● The P3000 has an elaborate control panel and StatStation LCD for easy monitoring.
● Like most portable generators, the Briggs needs a ‘cool down’ period before refilling with gas. It’s a safety measure but undeniably an inconvenient one.
One of the main appeals of a Briggs & Stratton portable generator is the stellar reputation of the maker. Briggs & Stratton has been making power tools for more than 100 years. The company has engendered trust through producing high quality power tools.
So when you purchase the Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000, you know right off the bat that you are getting a high quality product.
Now the rest of your requirements should revolve around power output and cost. The P3000 pumps out 2800 watts running, which is the metric you should really focus on in terms of power output. But if you think that’s not enough, you can add a second unit using the parallel kit to get up to 4800 watts of power.
In terms of running costs, the P3000 is fairly manageable. Consumption is about 0.15 gallon per hour while maintenance is also not so harsh on your pockets.
Overall, the P3000 offers a nice balance of quality and cost. It’s a portable generator I’d recommended unreservedly.
|Engine||171cc 4-stroke OHV|
|Gas Tank Capacity||1.5 gal.|
|Oil Capacity||0.4 qt.|