The secret truth about horsepower ratings on Vacuum Cleaners

Posted by Viking Janitorial Supplies on May 20th 2022

The secret truth about horsepower ratings on Vacuum Cleaners

Horsepower (HP) is needed in a lot of different applications, and commercial vacuums are no different. But picking the right machine vacuum can be a little confusing

Recently, a client of ours asked me if we carried a vacuum cleaner with a 6.5 horsepower (HP) motor. I believed he had gotten that HP figure after looking at a big box consumer-oriented machine, and I was right.

I knew this because there is not a vacuum motor on the market with sustainable HP at a level that high. The sustainable HP of any motorized device that gets power from a 120-volt AC outlet is about 2 HP. Standard cords are limited to 15 amps of current, or about 1800 watts. One HP equals 746 watts.

Manufacturers that claim a (HP) rating above 2.0 are speaking of “peak” horsepower, not sustainable or constant horsepower. Peak horsepower is the electrical power drawn by the motor at the instant it starts, or alternately, right before the motor burns up after leaving on until it does so. Sustainable (HP) is what determines water lift and CFM (airflow) measurements, which show how powerful a motor actually is; the higher the water lift and CFM, the greater the suction.

Peak horsepower ratings have nothing to do with sustained horsepower during actual use, and is used to make some units appear more impressive than they actually are.

In addition to exaggerated (HP) claims, the motor and other components on consumer units simply do not provide the durability, performance and reliability needed for commercial environments. They also do not carry the same warranty if used in a commercial setting.

Looking for a commercial vacuum, carpet extractor? Contact one of our Janitorial Specialists Today 410-525-2100