Motor Power Consumption

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It should be noted that the motor does not use less energy when connected to 240 volts than it does when connected to 120 volts. Power is measured in watts, and the watts will be the same regardless of the connection. When the motor is connected to operate on 240 volts, it will have half the current draw as it does on a 120-volt connection. Therefore, the amount of power used is the same. For example, assume the motor has a current draw of 5 amps when connected to 240 volts and 10 amps when connected to 120 volts. Watts can be computed from multiplying volts by amps. When the motor is connected to 240 volts, the amount of power used is 240 x 5 = 1,200 watts. When the motor is connected to 120 volts, the power used is 120 x 10 = 1,200 watts.

The 240-volt connection is generally preferred, however, because the lower current draw causes less voltage drop on the line supplying power to the motor. If the motor is located a long distance from the panel, voltage drop of the wire can become very important to the operation of the unit.

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