# Difference between volts and amps | Volts vs amps

Volts and amps or ampere are two measures of electricity. Specifically, voltage is the measure of electric potential difference between two points whereas ampere is the measure of electric current. They are closely related terms and can be a bit difficult to understand. In this article, let’s learn the difference between volts and amps.

## What is a volt?

Volt is the unit for electric potential difference or electromotive force. The electric potential difference can be considered as a force that drives electrons to pass through a conductor. If you connect the leads of a voltmeter, one to the positive and the other two to the negative of a battery, what the voltmeter reads is called electric potential difference or Voltage. The unit of voltage is Volts.

## What is Amps or Amperes?

Ampere or shortly known as Amps is the unit of electric current. In the above paragraph, you might have read that the voltage drives electrons through a conductor. This flow of electrons caused by the potential difference is known as an electric current. It is measured in amperes.

## Difference between volts and amps explained using water-pipe analogy

In the above picture you can see there smaller pipes connected to a larger pipe. As you know there should be sufficient pressure in the large pipe to lift water up the smaller pipe. Higher the pressure in the large pipe more water flows out through the smaller pipe. In addition to, the diameter of smaller pipes also determines the water flow. Here,

Large pipe – Can be compared to a battery in a circuit.

Smaller pipe – wires connected to a battery.

Pressure – Can be compared to voltage.

Water – Charges or electrons that constitutes the current flow.

Water flow in each smaller pipes – Can be compared to current.

Rate of current flow Amperes

Hope this analogy has made volts vs amps more clear to you. Now, let’s compare them side by side and understand the difference between volts and amps better.

## Volts vs amps: Key points to remember.

• Volts refers to the difference in electric potential buildup by an accumulation of charges at a point with reference to another point.
• Ampere or amps refers to the number of charges passing any point in a circuit.
• One volt is defined as the electric potential between two points when one joule of work is done in moving one coulomb of charges from one of the points to the other.
• One ampere is equal to one coulomb of charge passing a point in a second.

## Summary

Volts represent the measure of potential difference between any two points in an electric field whereas ampere is the rate of current flow in a conductor or a circuit. Hope that the above explanations and analogy has helped you understand the difference between volts and amps or ampere.

### 12 thoughts on “Difference between volts and amps | Volts vs amps”

1. For a very long time this unknown has been a thorn in my mind. I thought I may have figured it out, using a speed versus acceleration analogy for comparison. Kind of close it turns out, so if I’m understanding the analogy correctly, force and speed would be closer. Best explanation I seen yet, thanks.

• Thank you!

2. so what does this all mean?

3. if volts are like pressure then what is the maximum amount of volts that a wire can handle?

• The wires themselves does not have an upper limit. It’s the insulation has a breakdown voltage.

• hmm wires can burn if the voltage is too high

4. Thank you so much for

5. Great explanation. Very helpful. Thank you!

6. Well that was as clear as mud , I didn’t understand a word of it. There must be an easy explanation?????

7. Trying to look at this from 3 points of view: The BATTERY, the CHARGER -and- the DEVICE/TOOL. To start with all the items are 20V. But the CHARGER claims it charges different available BATTERIES at, 40 min. (1.5 Ah battery), 70 min. (3.0 Ah battery), 125 min. (5.0 Ah battery). If the CHARGER is trying to get all 3 to the same “Pressure” (20Volts), than the only difference is the “speed” of the current. So if the 1.5 Ah is the slowest current, why is it the fastest charging to the same pressure of 20Volts? Seems like the faster 5.0 Ah current would charger faster. Please advise…

8. 3 Point Analogy:

> WATTS are the Lake or Pond of water. The more WATTS the large the body of water, and it determines the amount available. This could be the size of a rechargeable Battery; the bigger ones offer more internal wiring and other materials that create more amount of charge. Or the amount of AC the Electric Company is sending down the Main Lines to the transformers at your house.

> VOLTS are the Hole in the dam that is holding the water back. A small 1inch hole won’t let the water escape w/ too much Pressure but a 5 inch hole could squirt hard enough to knock you down.

> AMPS is the size of the pipe connected to the hole allowing the speed of the Current or Flow of water. Even though the hole in the dam maybe be 5 inches wide, connecting a 1 inch pipe (w/ a reducer) would force the water to flow slower than if connecting w/ a 4 or 5 inch pipe. But w/ the higher potential pressure that the 5 inch hole offers.

9. 