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​What Exactly is “Wattage?” The Answer May Shock You!

​What Exactly is “Wattage?” The Answer May Shock You!

Jan 10th 2023

A heat press is a sizable purchase, so it’s understandable that a person contemplating buying one might have some questions ranging from the general “how exactly does it work?” to inquiries about specifications of particular models.

A question we tend to receive is “can your heat presses be used in my apartment?” We’d like to put a spotlight on this topic so that everyone knows which presses will work for them safely.

You might think the “biggest” factor to consider when deciding on a heat press would be the size of the press. This is a very relevant detail, and you do want to be mindful when finding a spot for your heat press so that it doesn’t pose a safety hazard by being too close to heat-sensitive objects. This requires the appropriate amount of space. However, there is another contender for the “biggest factor to consider” prize, and that is whether or not the heat press will work (and work safely) with the electrical outlets in your workspace. The answer to that question lies in the wattage of both.

Watt on Earth is a "Watt?"



Watts measure power, and in the electrical world, power translates to “the rate at which energy flows.” So the more wattage something has, the more powerful it is. It’s also important to understand that the electrical wiring you’re working with has certain limits that it shouldn’t extend beyond. For example, you can’t use something that draws 5,000 watts in an outlet that can only provide 1,500 watts or it would flip the breaker and cut off electrical power to that outlet. If there wasn’t a breaker in place, it would be a fire hazard, because the wires can’t carry that much electricity safely. You can tell how much a particular electrical circuit can safely provide by multiplying the amperage (the number you will see on the breaker for a circuit) by the voltage (traditionally 120 volts for a normal wall outlet), so a 15 amp/120 volt circuit would provide 1,800W of power. However, it’s recommended that a circuit is only loaded with 80% of its potential, which would bring that example down to about 1,500W. If the circuit has a larger amperage circuit breaker on it (for instance, a 20 amp breaker), it could handle a device that needs a higher wattage.

Is More Wattage Better?


Heat presses with higher wattages use their extra power to heat up to the desired temperature faster than their lower-wattage counterparts. This helps cut down the time you spend waiting for your heat press to get hot. It can also save time between pressing designs. When you press something with your heat press, some of its heat gets transferred to the item that’s being pressed, resulting in it requiring some recovery time to get back to the desired temperature. The more powerful the press, the quicker it will bounce back after pressing something, which is another benefit of a press with more wattage. That being said, they might not be the best option for your workspace.

                                                                                    

As a general rule, it’s recommended that a single standard 120 volt outlet doesn’t draw more than 1,500 watts of electricity. Our WALAPress 15x15s operate on 1,200 watts of power, so those are just fine to plug into a regular, run-of-the-mill wall outlet (on a 15 amp circuit). Our WALAPress 16x20s operate on 2,500 watts, so those would not be recommended for use in a regular (15 amp) wall outlet as it exceeds the recommended limit by 1,000 watts. However, our WALAPress 15x15 is capable of handling the needs of a home business with ease, so it’s a good option for someone in a house or apartment setting.

In fact, our Our tumbler pressesWALAPress 7 in 1s (320W), and WALAPress 8 in 1s (200W, 280W, 320W, and 1,250W) are all comfortably under the 1,500 watt limit, as well, so there are a variety of options in the safe range that cover all the bases someone starting up a business (or side hustle) might need!

While it's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a new piece of equipment, it's still important to consider the logistics going into your decision.  Understanding the safe limits of the electrical setup you're working with may not be quite as exciting, but it's certainly more fun than an electrical accident.  With this information in hand, we hope you feel more confident in choosing the right electrical equipment for you.  Stay safe out there!

Wattage Guide

WALAPress 8 in 1 (200W, 280W, 320W, 1,250W)

WALAPress 7 in 1 (320W)

WALAPress Elite Pro Tumbler Press (500W)

WALAPress Auto Open Cap (600W)

WALAPress Auto Skinny Tumbler (600W)

WALAPress 15x15s (1,200W)

WALAPress Pro Auto Open 16x20 (1,800W)

WALAPress Pro Auto Open 20x24 (1,800W)

WALAOven for Sublimation (2,000W)

WALAPress 16x20 Manual and Auto Open (2,500W)