How to Use a Digital Multimeter
A multimeter is a multitasking device that does justice to its name. It can measure the voltage, current and, resistance of any electrical device or component. The digital multimeter gives more accurate and reliable results than its analog counterpart. That is why digital multimeter is widely used for testing and troubleshooting purposes.
Are you holding a digital multimeter for the first time and wondering how you should use this device? At the first glimpse, it can be a bit overwhelming to see all these unit signs related to an electrical circuit like voltage(V), Ohma (Ω), ampere (A).
Can We Get a Digital Multimeters Under 100 USD?
It is not so difficult to find the right tool to serve your purpose. You can get a properly functioning Multimeter within 100 USD. Many new brands with attractive modifications in features are available in this price range.
Best Ways to Use A Digital Multimeter
We will discuss how to use a digital multimeter for its various purposes.
Measuring the DC Voltage:
You can measure both DC and AC voltages with a digital multimeter. DC voltage is used in batteries. Here are some important instructions for you to measure DC voltage.
- Plug the black probe into the COM (Common) terminal and the red probe into the multimeter’s Volts (V) terminal.
- Turn the dial or rotary switch and align it to Volts (DC). Now set the range of voltages in the multimeter carefully. For example, if you measure a battery voltage of around 1.5 V, keep your dial at 2V. In case you are not sure about the voltage range, you should better put the dial at a higher value. When you know the voltage range using a higher value, you can always go to a lower multimeter range to make your reading precise.
- You need to hold the red probe on the battery’s negative side and the red probe on its positive side. If your battery is not labeled, do not worry about the probing then. Because even if you do wrong probing, the voltage reading will remain the same, showing you the negative of the original reading.
Measuring the AC Voltage:
AC voltages are mainly used in wall sockets, microwaves, pumps, etc. To measure the voltage of an AC voltage source, for example, a wall socket, you need to do the followings:
- There are two rectangular/ vertical slots in a wall socket and one round slot below them. One of the rectangular slots looks slightly larger than the other. To measure its voltage, put the black probe in the bigger one and the smaller one’s red probe. You should be careful while doing this. If your fingers are very near the probs tips, there will be chances of getting shocked.
- Turn the dial to Volts (AC) or V~ marked position. If the socket is running well, your tool will give a reading in the range of 110V to 120 V.
- Now place the black probe into the round slot keeping the red probe in the same position. Look at the readings again. If it does not change, you are lucky. If not, call an Electrician. Your socket needs some repairing.
Measuring Current of a Circuit:
An electrical component can carry both the AC and DC currents. To measure the current through an electrical circuit/ component, you should go through the following instructions.
- First, you need to plug the black probe into the COM terminal as before. Now put the red probe into the Ampere (A) terminal. There are usually two terminals labeling for A. One is for mA (milliampere), and another is for A. Use any of those terminals according to the desired current range. If you do not know the range, plug it into the A terminal. If your current readings are small, you can reconnect the red probe to the mA terminal for a more precise value.
- Twist the dial and point it towards Ampere (AC) if you want to measure the alternating current used for residential purposes, or you can use the Ampere (DC) settings to measure the currents of direct current sources like batteries.
- Disconnect your circuits’ wires (you might have to cut the wires in some cases) and hold the probs to the two-wire ends. You can view the desired current value on the display.
Checking the resistance:
Testing the resistance of an electrical component is simple. You just need to do the followings:
- As before, first set the probe connection. The black probe will remain in the same terminal (COM). But the red probe now goes to the terminal labeled Ω. This is the symbol for Ohm, the unit in which a resistance value is measured. Sometimes, the Ohm and Volt terminals are the same.
- Set up the dial’s position by twisting it to get the reading in Ohms.
Continuity Test of an Electrical Instrument:
A continuity test is important to see if any electrical device is broken internally or not. To check the connectivity between any two points in a circuit, follow the instructions below:
- First, remove the device from any kind of power source.
- Then, place the black plug in the COM terminal and the red plug in the terminal labeled with V, Ω, or the sign of continuity.
- Set the dial so that it points towards the triangle/diode sign.
- Hold the probes to the ends of the connection/ wiring. You will hear a beep sound immediately after touching your probes. If you do not hear any sounds, it means the component has a broken wire inside.
We are hoping you’ve got a general idea about how to use a digital multimeter. It may seem a little complicated when you take the first reading because there are many terminals and different setting modes. We suggest using your multimeter on a simple circuit for the first time. You can find more tips & tricks about electronic tools on toolslane.com.