How to Convert Horsepower to Foot Pounds

Engines often measure power in horsepower.
••• motor image by Klaus Eppele from Fotolia.com

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).

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