Chapter 5

Horsepower Stories

What's the last big thing you need to know before you buy an industrial vacuum? Our final lesson is all about horsepower.

As we mentioned in our last section, a solid foundation of knowledge can help you see through exaggerated claims of a vacuum unit’s productivity. If our customers have already tried shop vac units, we typically prefer to explain the ins and outs of horsepower.

For example:

You can easily find vacuums that state their horsepower in large, bold numbers, like 5.0 hp or even 6.0 hp — but they still plug into standard 15-amp electrical outlets. Why does it matter? As it turns out, if you read the fine print, you’ll see something like “10A” on the nameplates.

Here’s a breakdown:

Amps x Voltage = Watts

Watts / 746 = Horsepower (electric)

So, what does that mean?

If you do the math, you’ll see that those little 10A motors, when plugged into a 100V outlet, draw 110 watts. That’s only 1.47 hp — a far cry from what they initially claimed.