The Basics of Electrical Equipment Ratings

The Basics of Electrical Equipment Ratings

Which is it — volt-amperes (VA) or watts (W)?

Many loads are mainly resistive; thus, they’re rated in watts (i.e., true power). Simply stated, these loads have a very small reactive component, which means an apparent power rating (VA) would not be appropriate. One example is a hair dryer. Although these handheld units have a motor that’s considered an inductive component, the current draw on the motor is very small compared to the heat strips in the device. Another example is a unit heater in a shop area. Again, these units have an

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