How to Convert Horsepower to Foot Pounds

By Michael Keenan; Updated April 24, 2017
Engines often measure power in horsepower.

Horsepower, or hp for short, and foot-pounds per second are both units of power. When James Watt created the unit of horsepower, he set it equal to 550 foot-pounds per second. Horsepower is a significantly larger unit than foot-pounds per second. However, to compare the power produced by different items, you may need to convert from horsepower to foot-pounds per second.

Divide the number of horsepower by 0.00181818 to convert to foot-pounds per second. For example, if you had 20 hp, you would divide 20 by 0.00181818 to get 11,000 foot-pounds per second.

Multiply the number of horsepower by 550 ft*lb/s per hp to check your answer. In this example, you would multiply 20 by 550 to get 11,000 foot-pounds per second.

Check your answer using an online converter (see Resources).

About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."