How to Check AC Voltage with a Multimeter

How to Check AC Voltage with a Multimeter

A multimeter is a tool used to measure electricity. Unlike other measurement tools, it’s versatile enough to measure different variables. Multimeters have a knob that can enable you to select what you want to measure.

Voltage means how hard electricity flows in a circuit. Therefore, a higher voltage means that the electricity in that particular circuit is being pushed even harder. It is denoted with the letter v.

There are two different voltages that can be measured by a multimeter: the AC voltage and the DC voltage. Most electronic devices work on dc voltage, ensuring conventional AC is converted. However, there are multimeters that measure AC and DC voltages.

6 Steps on How to Measure AC Voltage with A Multimeter

Take Precautions

Never touch the probe tips. If a probe is touched and the other in use connected to the mains, it can short-circuit.

It is not essentially shortened and thus treats both of them as live cables. Put the probe and regulator in the right or appropriate position.

Put the Probe in a Correct Position

Set your multimeter in the correct range where v is at point 600. This depends on the climate in a given area.

Places such as India have higher voltages above 200v, including other warm areas; place it at 600v. Set the mode by turning your knob to place it at the AC voltage symbol.

Put the Black Probe in Position

Connect the black probe at the COM slot. The banana-shaped jack end is connected to the multimeter while the sharp end is connected to live wire.

The black probe polarity is observed and mostly placed on the negative side of the component.

Connect the Red Probe

This is an important step.

Be keen to make sure you connect the red probe to the VMA for low currents up to 200 mA but connect to 10 mA for higher currents; the bent banana jack end is connected to the multimeter while the sharp end to the outlet.

Connect to AC Mains

Look out for ground and live wires; connect black probes to your live wire and red to the other live wire.

A reading appears in the circular screen above. Add a digital multimeter you can touch and hold before removing crops to keep reading. It beeps each time a voltage is detected.

Remove the Probes

First, remove the red probe followed by the black one.

Carefully grip the probes on insulate bases and pull them straight out of the outlet.


Multimeters are good for confirming the amount of voltage in the circuit and are dangerous if not carefully dealt with. For extra safety, put on gloves and rubber shoes.

In case of children, they should do it in the presence of adults or their teacher. Choose a good multimeter to enable you troubleshoot problems in your electrical appliances.

One of the best multimeters is Fluke 87-V. You can check it out on

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