The Main Differences Between Watts & Volts

September 12, 2022

When you buy a new appliance or some other electrical device, you may look at the details about it and see that it says 1,000 watts or that it uses 120 volts. These are both common terms when it comes to discussing electrical devices, but what is the difference between watts and volts, and why do you need to know how these terms affect your appliances?

What Are Volts?

Volts are units of potential when discussing electrical currents. Rather than being an actual unit of electrical energy, it may be easier to think of it as being similar to the pressure of power going through any given device. In the United States, many devices run at 120 volts, but in Europe, it's not uncommon to see 220 volts. This is why if you have a device with a higher voltage, you may need to use a specialized adaptor.

What Are Watts?

While voltage represents the potential of energy creation, watts represent an individual power unit. The wattage you see on the schematics of any device is a representative number of how much power the device consumes electricity, whether it's a 60-watt lightbulb or a 1,000-watt microwave.

How Are Watts and Volts Connected?

When looking at the main differences between watts and volts, it’s easy to think of it as a countable unit versus the power that moves it. The connection between watts and volts means that you can't really have one without the other. If you buy a device that does not list the wattage, you can discover it for yourself by multiplying the voltage and the amps of your appliance. For example, if a device uses 120v and three amps, 120 x 3 = 360 gives you a good idea of how many watts your device uses.

When you’re unsure about how volts and watts may affect your household and devices, consider looking for a residential electrician here in San Diego. The friendly specialists at Anson Electric have the information you need for all of your electrical concerns. Visit our site and find about all of our services from circuit breaker replacement to EV charging station installation.

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