• Home Electricity
  • Electronics Engineering
  • The Difference Between

What is the difference between amperage and voltage?

Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
Answered 2015-12-17 04:19:40

Amperage, or current, is a measure of the amount of electrons moving in a circuit.

Voltage is a measure of how much force those electrons are under.

In a circuit, say a light and switch in your home when the light is on there there is a voltage across the filament of the bulb that is pushing amperage through the circuit.

When the switch is off there is voltage across the switch but there is no current flowing because it is "blocked" by the switch.

An analogy that normally helps to illustrate the difference between voltage and amperage:

you have a garden hose, the nozzle is closed. You've got pressure but no flow-voltage but no current (amperage). Open the nozzle and the pressure in the hose causes the water to flow - turn on the light and the voltage causes the current to flow (amperage)

Answer (in understandable terms)Voltage is how much electricity there is.

Amperage is how fast that electricity is moving (if at all).

There are other things involved in electricity, electrical currents, etc., but this question is about amperage ("amps") and voltage ("volts").

Here's a good analogy. Imagine you have a bucket and a regular watering hose. The hose is connected to a spigot, or spout(which is the thing where you turn the water on and off by twisting the little handle), but the water is 'turned off' at the moment. And although it is 'off,' it could easily be turned back 'on' by twisting the handle and allowing the water to flow out. Also, the more you twist, the more water comes out.

Don't worry -- this will all tie together. :)

If there was no spigot then water would be flowing out all over the place, all the time (until there was no more water), because there'd be no resistance to block it from flowing. That being said, when you're done using a hose and you go to 'shut the water off' (by tightening the handle on the spigot), what you're actually doing is forcing the water to stop flowing because when the handle gets tighter, on the other end of the handle is a little piece of metal that gets forced into the pathway of the water-flow, which in turn restricts how much water can come out; if you tighten the handle all the way, the little metal thing will be completely blocking any water from flowing out -- when the water stops coming out, you've officially 'shut the water off.'

Likewise, if you want to fill your bucket up with water, you'll need to turn the water on, which you accomplish by twisting the handle in the other direction. This, in turn, moves the metal thing away from blocking the water, resulting in a flow (of water) into the hose. Now, you can use the hose to point the water so that it flows into the bucket. And, the more you loosen the handle on the spigot, the more water comes out at once.

This is basically the how amperage & voltage work. Like it says above, voltage is how much -- amperage is how fast. And again, if there was no 'spigot-metal-thingy-blocker' to get in the way, water would be flowing out everywhere; and if you shut the water off, using the 'thingy-blocker,' water stops flowing. Either way, regardless of whether the water is on or off, 'how much' water there is sitting on the other side of the spigot doesn't change(unless you forget to pay the water bill). The same is true for voltage -- the number of volts doesn't change.

What does change is the "rate of flow" -- aka "how fast it's flowing." Amperage can be defined as exactly that: the rate of flow (or current). You can have all the water ('voltage') in the world but if it's not flowing (because the spigot is shut off), and therefore the rate of flow ('amperage') is 'zero,' you'll NEVER fill your bucket (Try it! Put a hose in an empty bucket, and don't turn the water on -- I'll bet you'll find that the bucket stays pretty dry). :)

Ultimately, to sum up, you can think of it like this:

  • Voltage is useless without amperage. If it's just 'sitting there' then it's probably not doing much of anything that would benefit you.
  • Amperage 'doesn't exist' if there's no voltage. How can there be any rate of flow if there's nothing flowing in the first place?

Now (if you haven't fallen asleep already), maybe (hopefully) you can figure out / understand why & how it is that a smoke detector uses a 9-volt battery, while a car uses a 12-volt battery (not much difference), and-- well, you get the point.

Answerthink of it this way...

There is a water source like a lake, the lake flows into a river, and there is a dam at some portion of the river and then there is at the end of the line the ocean.

The lake is the source or (Service Connection 120/240) The river is the current (amperage) the dam is the (switch), and the boulders, ravines, and sandbars are restrictions of the flow of water which is (Ohms -Resistance)the ocean is then the end of the line.

another answer for the mechanically minded

this is not exactly a true representation and can be construed as the wrong forces in motion but for a releationship diagram it depicts the hierarchy and extent each principal has on each other.

in a internal combustion engined car

voltage is like horsepower in a car this is all the energy available to do work

amperage is the accelerator... how much power that can flow at a given moment

gearbox is like a transformer.

User Avatar

Your Answer


Still have questions?

Related Questions

What is the relation between amperage and capacitance?

The relation between amperage and capacitance is that amperage is equals to capacitance times the rate of voltage change over time. This voltage refers to instantaneous voltage.

What is the difference between voltage and amperage?

Voltage is the "pressure" of electricity, whereas amperage (current) is the "flow" of electricity. Voltage can be present without amperage (at a switch in the off position), but amperage can not exist without voltage. Once you flip the switch and the light turns on, you now have amperage. Voltage is measure in volts (E). Current is measured in amperes (I). Related terms would be Power and Resistance. Power (P) is measured in watts. Resistance is measured in ohms (R). P = I x E E = I x R

What is amperage and voltage?

Amperage is the measure of electrical current, which is the measure of the electron flow through something (like a wire). The more electrons that flow through the wire, the higher the amperage. Current is understood as moving from higher voltage to lower voltage but since electrons are negatively charged, they actually flow in the opposite direction.Voltage is a measure of electrical potential between two items. The electrical potential can be looked at as the difference in the electrical charge between two items. The item with more negatively charged electrons has a lower voltage.

When a circuit is inductive the current has what voltage?

This doesn't make sense, "current" is "amperage" so the higher the voltage the lower the amperage, and the lower the voltage the higher the amperage.

Voltage vs amperage?

voltage is pressure amperage is number of elections per sec/

What is difference between voltage and voltage drop?

voltage drop means the voltage difference.

What is voltage difference?

There is no such thing as a 'voltage difference'. Voltageis another term for potential difference, so 'voltage difference' would mean 'potential difference difference', which doesn't make sense!So, there is 'potential', and there is 'potential difference' (i.e. 'voltage'), but there is no 'voltage difference'! Both potential and potential difference are measured in volts.Incidentally, strictly speaking, 'voltage' is rather like 'amperage' -both are loose, but widely-used, expressions for 'potential difference' and 'current'.

How do you figure out what the primary amperage is if all you know is the primary and secondary voltage and secondary amperage?

Primary amperage is secondary amperage times secondary voltage divided by primary voltage. This ratio is the same as turns ratio.

What is the Difference between supply voltage and input voltage?

no difference...

What is the difference between 2amp 4amp 6amp battery chargers?

The difference between a 2amp, a 4amp and a 6amp battery charger is the speed at which the battery will be charged. The numbers represent the maximum amperage output at a specific voltage at which the battery will be charged.

What is the difference between potential difference and voltage?

There is no difference. By definition, 'voltage' is synonymous with 'potential difference'.

What is the difference between the working voltage and test proof voltage for dielectric footwear?

Working Voltage is the voltage at which the boot is safe at. Test Proof voltage is what the boot was tested up to before it failed. However you must keep in mind that if you are in wet conditions that can significantly lower the rating of the boot. Also voltage does not kill you it is the amperage.

What is the difference between a current transformer and a voltage transformer?

A current transformer step downs the current in a power circuit to a lower amperage. A voltage transformer steps down the voltage in a power circuit, typically to 110 volts AC for residential and business use.

What are the difference between high voltage and low voltage?

The difference between high voltage and low voltage is that it affects the current passing through a given conductor.

1 What is the correct mathematic formula to convert watts to amps if voltage is 120v?

Divide the voltage into the wattage and your answer will be the amperage Wattage/divided by voltage= Amperage

Difference between voltage and potential difference?

potential difference is the algebraic difference of potentials between the two nodes of a circuit whereas voltage is the unit to denote potential difference.Answer'Voltage' is simply another word for 'potential difference'. The volt is the unit, not 'voltage'.

How much voltage can kill a man?

Voltage does not kill, amperage kills. Voltage is a measure of potential energy, while amperage is a measure of moving electrons. In general, the more voltage that is present, the more amperage there will be. But this is not always the case. A stun gun has a high voltage but little available amperage. So, the correct question is "How much amperage can kill a man?". The answer varies, but should be around .1A to stop a heart.

When voltage increase then current will be?

it depends on what type of load. Motor amperage will drop off as voltage rises. loads such as lights will increase amperage with voltage rise.

What is the differnece between volts and amperes?

Voltage is power Amperage is current. you can have voltage but nothing runs without a closed circuit and then current flows.

Will a motorized wheelchair battery power an electric bicycle?

Depends on the voltage and amperage of the battery vs. the voltage and amperage required of the bicycle.

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a voltage regulator?

the difference between a voltage converter to a voltage regulator,is that a voltage converter,converts or changing the desired voltage to be used while the voltage regulator,regulates the input of the voltage amount not to excess to its inputs.

What is the difference between high voltage and low voltage?


What does volts times amperage equal?

Voltage is equal to amperage time resistance. V=IR Therefore, I'd say voltage times amperage is equal to amperage squared times resistance. VI=IIR Really there's no point in multiplying the two. However, if you were to divide voltage by amperage, you would have the resistance of the circuit. V/I=R

How do you measure voltage using a ammeter?

An ammeter measures amperage not voltage.

How do you measure electricity and with what measurement?

With kitchen tongs. A mild tingling indicates low voltage/low amperage. Muscular spasms indicate high voltage/low amperage. Unconsciousness sans death indicates low voltage/moderate amperage. Death indicates high amperage. Good luck.