You’re excited about reaching your new year’s resolutions by getting on a new treadmill and exercising every day. But will your treadmill last you a long time and be a worthwhile investment? That depends on the quality you pick and how you look after it.
Below we’ll discuss important facts about identifying best buys by looking at a treadmill’s power ratings. We’ll also help you choose wisely in terms of using this—and other—electrical equipment, to create a safe environment for all.
Power Requirements for a Treadmill - Important Tips
Before you purchase your treadmill, know what it will require to create a safe exercise space:
Do you have a dedicated outlet?
To protect all your electrical assets, dedicate one outlet to your treadmill and don’t connect any other appliances on that specific circuit. This way you ensure that the treadmill won’t sometimes be ‘starved’ of power because the electric current is channeled elsewhere. Dedicating an outlet prevents unnecessary damage.
Is the outlet grounded?
You need to give electricity a safe path of least resistance, which is created by grounded outlets with a third hole. This is where the grounding pin will go. This is essential because your treadmill could malfunction one day and you don’t want the electricity to run through the individual using it—it needs to run into the earth.
Do not use alternative power sources:
A decision made in haste can create a dangerous environment at home and also cause damage to your treadmill and other appliances. Don’t use extension cords or surge suppressors because these affect voltage and inrush current. If you do use them your treadmill may not be able to run properly and this can result in burning certain components. Even attaching it to an outlet that has a light dimmer is risky for the same reason. Also, protect your treadmill by not using GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupters). A treadmill is bound to cause the circuit breaker to trip and when it happens often, internal components can get damaged.
How Many Amps Does a Treadmill Use?
You may feel apprehensive purchasing your first treadmill when you look at all the specs listed in the appliances’ manuals. In terms of wiring requirements, homeowners usually have to ensure their home’s outlets can provide 15 amps. But know that in this case you definitely can’t add anything else to that circuit. With the gauge wire being lighter than a 20A outlet, the machine will easily be power-starved if it doesn’t have a dedicated outlet.
If you’re purchasing equipment for a gym where the device will undergo heavy-duty use, you’ll need outlets providing 20 amps.
Each unit is different, so make sure to study the manual for requirements and consult an electrician if you’re unsure what outlets your home has.
How Much Power Does a Treadmill Use?
The specs mentioned in a treadmill’s manual can be confusing. When it comes to power, ignore terms like ‘peak duty’ and ‘treadmill duty’. What you need to look at is CHP (Continuous Duty Horsepower).
To clarify, a 1CHP motor represents 746W.
You should at least purchase a treadmill with a 1.5CHP, but they’re scarce because brands want to be ‘bigger and better’. But know that the biggest isn’t necessarily the best on the market. For home use, a 2.5CHP motor is sufficient and you’ll have a few options to pick from.
Know that the amount of power your treadmill will draw will also depend on what you’re doing at a certain time. It won’t always be the same. As an example, for a 30-minute running session where you’re going 7.5mph, you can expect your machine to draw anything between 550W and 700W. The incline will also affect this outcome.
Now, let’s give you a few examples of what’s available on the 2020 market.
Treadmills: Examples to Consider
120V/20A: LifeFitness Integrity Series
With this model, you may need to get your outlet checked and ensure it can provide 20A and not just 15A since its specs state a 120V/20A power requirement.
The design has various safety features such as a shock absorption surface, thanks to multiple shock absorbers. You also have lots of room for movement with the 22” wide running area. Make sure you keep your LifeFitness treadmill safe for you to use and safe from damage, by also using a dedicated power source for it.
115V: LifeSpan TR7000i and TR8000i
In the 115V Lifespan treadmills, you’ll see you get high CHP ratings: the TR7000i model offers 3.5HP and the TR8000i motor can provide 5HP. This is more than enough for home use. You can also see you’re buying quality with this model, with lifetime warranty coverage on these motors. This cover only applies to personal use where it doesn’t work as hard as the equipment in the gym.
With the hospital-grade cord provided, your treadmill is safe for use, but remember to use a dedicated power outlet.
A NEMA 5-15 receptacle applies, and therefore a 15A outlet will suffice.
10A: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7718
With this model SF-T7718 from Sunny Health, you only need a power source that can provide 10 amps. Note that the brand warns that a power outlet rated lower or even higher can result in damage to your equipment. So get an electrician’s assistance if you’re not sure how to install yours correctly.
15A: Nordictrack T 6.5s
For the Nordictrack T 6.5s, you need a power source of 15A or more, so even if you have 20A outlets, it’s still safe to use them. Here, the brand helps you create a safe environment by adding a grounding pin to the plug.
15A: Bowflex BXT116
With Bowflex BXT116 you have another option where a 15A power source will suffice, so you don’t have to upgrade to 20A. If you’re unsure whether your power source is grounded, it’s best to consult an electrician.
Only as a temporary measure, if you need to connect your treadmill to a 2-pole receptacle, use an adapter that has a tab for using the grounding screw.
When it comes to your treadmill’s power requirements, playing it safe is essential, to protect both you and your equipment. Ensure your new machine’s long lifespan by using it in the right manner, so you can reach those health goals for years to come.