A multimeter is a very useful device to have at home or in the workshop as it can measure a number of important things. Some of the parameters that this meter can measure include voltage, resistance, current, and continuity, making it very versatile. For home and automotive DIY fans as well as those who frequently work with electrical circuits, this is an indispensable tool.
With a multimeter, users can do a simple voltage testing on batteries and circuits. Most meters whether analogue or digital can measure both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) voltage. In fact, it only requires selecting the type of voltage on the device and connecting the leads correctly. Also, users need to select their expected voltage range, whereby they usually start with the highest voltage. In case a car has difficulty starting, owners can simply use a multimeter to test the battery's voltage before deciding what to do with the car.
Amperage is the amount of electrical current running through wires or electrical circuits. Measuring the current in an electrical system is important to ensure that the current running through a wire or system is not too high. With too much current running through a wire, it can overheat and melt, causing a malfunction or a serious catastrophe. The process of measuring current is similar to measuring voltage, but users have to select the correct parameter to test.
Testing for resistance may not be necessary for most people, but it can be useful for DIY wiring projects and for testing fuses. To measure the resistance of an object, users should set the multimeter to resistance or ohms and then choose the appropriate range as this enables the meter to display an accurate reading. When testing some fuses such as an old style glass automotive fuse with an automotive multimeter, users may get a lower than actual reading if the fuse is on a metal surface. Therefore, users must always ensure that the leads or probes, and test object, are connected properly.
Testing for Continuity
Testing for continuity can tell a user if a connection through a circuit or device is complete. Continuity and resistance are closely related, so by measuring one, users can usually determine the value of the other parameter. A reading lower than 210 ohms generally means that a circuit has good continuity and can carry an electric current.
Test on Household Appliances
All electrical appliances have circuits and components that may malfunction at some time. Whether it is because of a burnt fuse, wire, or weak battery, users can determine the problem with a multimeter. Available in a number of brands including Fluke and Draper, this essential electrical equipment is compact and very easy to use.