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How Many Amps is 120 Volts?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

How Many Amps is 120 Volts

Understanding electrical ratings is critical for protecting your household appliances from damage. One of these is knowing how many amps is 120 volts.

However, as with any other circuit, it is necessary to account for the wattage that runs through the circuit to calculate the current rating appropriately.

To obtain a better understanding of this issue, let us go into the specifics below, plus a simple formula.

How Many Amps in 120 Volt Outlet?


15-amp or 20-amp breakers typically protect 120V circuits. However, the actual current drawn by the circuit may differ from the breaker ratings. This is because a circuit such as a 120V will only draw the current that is required by the device it’s supporting.

This means that to precisely convert 120 volts into amps, you have to consider the appliance you’re using. A device’s power rating has a direct effect on the current draw of the circuit.

For instance, a high-wattage device requires more current to operate effectively when compared to another unit with similar voltage but lower wattage.

How to Calculate

To determine the current drawn by a 120-volt outlet, check the power rating of your equipment and use the following formula: \[ \frac{\text{Watts}}{\text{Volts}} = \text{Amps} \]

For instance, let’s suppose you have a 1000-watt electronic device connected to a 120-volt outlet. The calculation proceeds as follows:

\[ \frac{1000\,\text{watts}}{120\,\text{volts}} = 8.33\,\text{amps} \]

This means that 8.33 amps is the answer to “120 volts is equal to how many amps” in this scenario.

To have an idea of the actual amp draw of different devices, below is the conversion of 120V to amps using different power ratings.

Device Watts Rating Voltage Rating Average Amperage Rating
50 watts 120 volts .42 amps
100 watts 120 volts .83 amps
200 watts 120 volts 1.67 amps
300 watts 120 volts 2.50 amps
500 watts 120 volts 4.17 amps
1000 watts 120 volts 8.33 amps
1200 watts 120 volts 10 amps
1300 watts 120 volts 10.83 amps
1500 watts 120 volts 12.50 amps
2000 watts 120 volts 16.67 amps
2500 watts 120 volts 20.83 amps
3000 watts 120 volts 25 amps

Examples of Appliances and Devices that Use 120 Volts


Numerous household appliances and devices operate efficiently with a 120-volt electrical supply. These are the common appliances in a typical home, such as a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, flat iron machine, and more.

Additionally, most 110V appliances can also be plugged into 120V outlets. This will not bring any problem to the device, as most electronics can withstand the small differences in voltage rating.

However, you should be careful when plugging a 120V device in a 110V outlet. This is because the power supply from a 110V outlet may not be sufficient to run your 120V electronics.

In this case, the disparity could cause your device to malfunction, which can lead to potential damage.


In conclusion, knowing how many amps is 120 volts is essential for responsible electrical management. This knowledge helps determine whether devices are drawing a safe and efficient amount of current.

Furthermore, it is equally important to be aware of the voltage tolerance of your electronic devices. This awareness enables you to determine if your appliance can operate seamlessly within the voltage range of an outlet.

By combining knowledge of amperage and voltage tolerance, you can ensure both the safety and optimal performance of your electrical equipment.

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