Experienced Electrician for Salt Lake City & St. George Utah Areas

Understanding Your Electrician: Meanings of Amps, Watts & Volts

Understanding your electrician meanings of amps, watts, & volts
Here at HedgeHog Electric, we never want you to feel like our electricians and technicians are speaking a foreign language to you when discussing your home’s electrical needs. It is important that you understand what is going on with your home so that you can stay in the loop.

Yet, for many of our common electrical services, such as electrical troubleshooting, rewiring projects, circuit breaker installation, and more, these terms are needed for accuracy. So, to help follow along with what our electricians will talk to you about, we wanted to define three common electrical terms—amps, watts, and volts.

Defining Amps, Watts, And Volts

Likely enough, you have run into these terms before. Maybe you bought a space heater that listed how many watts it uses, or you’ve come across a high voltage fence. Well, we chose to define amps, watts, and volts due to how these three electrical measurements interact with each other.

  • Amps – Refers to the measurement of a unit of electricity, specifically, an ampere—singular form of amps—is a single unit measurement of electric current per second. The amps that your electrical system is capable of moving are measured in amps.
  • Watts – This unit of measurement is used to measure electrical, thermal, or mechanical power—think of the watts meter on your stationary bike or rowing machine. This unit is used in two different systems to measure power and is equal to ten ergs per second of horsepower or one joule per second. In the electrical sense, watts refers to the amount of electricity that is produced.
  • Volts – This term is used to measure a unit of electromotive force. The amount of force is what allows ampere to move through your electrical forces, which is why you will often hear electricians refer to amps and volts together.

How Does Amps, Watts, And Volts Interact

Okay, so now that we have defined these terms, let’s talk about how they work together. Say you are looking to have a new standard 120V outlet installed. The wiring ran to the outlet will have a certain amp rating, which will control the amount of electricity that can flow through the new wiring.

The voltage is what gets the electricity to move through the wiring, and the volts are the electrical potential difference between two points. So, the volts are what sends electricity from the connected circuit to the new outlet.

As for the amount of power you can access, you would multiply the amps by volts to equal the watts. If a device requires more watts than can be provided, it will cause an electrical surge, which will trip your circuit breaker to shut off the electrical flow. That’s why it is essential to have professionals to set up your electrical system—from the wiring to component replacement—to ensure that everything works as expected.

Let HedgeHog Electric Upgrade Your Electrical System

Whether you need a new breaker panel installed, outlets installed, or your electrical wiring replaced, HedgeHog Electric is here for you. We take care of residential electrical work of all sizes, and we are always upfront with how much our work will cost before we start, so you never get a surprise bill.

If you are ready to have your electrical system improved to better keep up with your household’s needs, feel free to contact us for a consultation and our job bid!

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