Outdoors blog



You can not run a 24 volt motor on 36 volts. If you try then it will overheat and fail.

Whether you’re an experienced electrician, a home electrician, or just a clueless person, you’ve seen the sign (V) on the back of many kitchen or garden appliances or even on batteries.

That sign means Volt, the unit in. which Voltage is measured and the number next to it indicates how high it is. Voltage is basically a measure of the difference in electrical potential energy between two objects, meaning that Volt redirect the current in an electric circuit, creating current that can power anything from your game controller to a car’s motor.


  1. What is voltage ?

Voltage is not to be confused with Amperes. The analogy that may explain the difference between the two is a faucet. The Voltage represents the lever that opens or closes the faucet whereas the Amperes represent the amount of water present in the faucet or -in other words- the flow. What you should know is the current will take the easier “road” possible, so that it flows faster.

(Fun fact: That why sometimes, even the best of us will get electrocuted. The current deems your body a faster conductor then it’s previous one). The electricity’s purpose is to revert to a neutral electrical potential, that’s why even small AAA batteries will work until they’re one hundred percent empty.


  1. Why overfeeding the motor won’t work ?

Now that we know the basics for electrical currents, let’s talk about why we’re here, can we run a 36 Volt trolling motor on a 24 Volt battery?

Those batteries are actually divided into 12 Volt batteries meaning the 24 Volt has two batteries whereas a 36 Volt has three 24 Volt batteries.

A 24 Volt trolling motor is capable of at least 80lbs of thrust while a 36 Volt battery can easily thrust 110lbs.

If the question was instead “Can you use a 12 Volt power adapter on your 9 Volt piano?” then the answer would be a lot easier than one where pretty huge Voltage like 36 Volt and 24 Volt are involved because their power is simply too high. Both questions are the same answer. A resounding no.

You should always use the Voltage indicated on trolling motors and you must never feed a motor more Voltage than what’s indicated for it or what it’s rated. That means don’t run 36 Volt on a 24 Volt batteries, don’t run 24 Volt on a 12 Volt battery, and so on.


  1. From a practical sense

If the Volt used are inferior to the trolling motor’s indication, that means that the boat will be significantly slower. 36 Volt motors are supposed to have enough power to run the massive weight of the boat and won’t do as much damage as feeding the motor more than it can run.

By doing so you risk your motor as it may overheat, die, or completely explode. Compare this situation to your stomach, if an individual overeats then he or she may get sick or throw up because there’s too much food than the stomach can hold but if you don’t eat enough then his or her body won’t have enough energy to do basic workouts.

From a logical sense, you would think that if you fed a 24 V motor 36 V instead then the motor will run faster as it has more power but same with the faucet analogy from the introduction, if the amount of water coming through the faucet is superior than thee faucet’s hole, then the pressure might be too much for the faucet as a whole and may cause an explosion.

To summarize in a few words, if you use a 24 Volt battery for a 36 Volt motor then your motor will instantly fry. Now if you have an old commutated motor then it may run for a little bit but the end result will always be the same.

The trolling motor will heat a lot faster but it’ll probably burn up before you reach your destination. It’s like you’re putting the batteries of a Renault 1 in a big Ford truck and then expecting it to go at the same speed as if the batteries were the same.

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