Multimeters are primarily used to measure current, voltage and resistance, including continuity and checking of diodes. Multimeters are frequently used by electricians for troubleshooting electrical appliances.
There are two primary types of multimeters: analog and digital multimeters. With an analog multimeter, you’ll find a pointed needle and readings are read from the scale while in a digital multimeter, readings are displayed in an LCD screen.
What Multimeters are Primarily Used to Measure
One of the primary functions of a multimeter is to measure alternating current or direct current. Voltage is measured in volts denoted by letter v. When choosing a multimeter, go for one with a higher main voltage rating that’s usually above 230 V. With this type of a multimeter, you’ll be able to detect the problem with your electrical device.
The same concept of measuring voltages is the same idea used when measuring current. Current is measured in amperes and mill amperes denoted by letter A and mA, respectively. However, is it important to put in mind the safety precautions involved.
High currents are dangerous and may be escalated with cheap multimeters. Therefore, before buying a multimeter, check its quality. Recently, digital multimeters have become more common; choose the best type for safety reasons.
Watch this video to better understand what’s the difference between AC and DC current:
Measurement of Resistance and Continuity
Multimeters are used to measure resistance between two points. It is measured in units known as omega, denoted by Ω. Resistance is measured by running current in the component to be measured. To do it accurately, remove the component from the circuit. Closed circuits usually have lower resistance compared to open circuits with higher resistance.
Most multimeters have a beeping sound to notify users of the resistance while some have a red light for the same. Go for a high quality multimeter with good visual quality and sound to work efficiently while in need.
A diode is checked by measuring the voltage drop when it is forward biased. Multimeters give you the possibility of checking diodes when dealing with electrical appliances. When buying a multimeter, choose one with a diode enabled; you never know when you’ll need to check for diodes.
How to test a diode? Find out here:
A digital multimeter makes use of AC signal and is more accurate in computing voltage rate of change. One of the practical examples is when a single faced motor fails to start. It means one of the capacitors has failed and a digital multimeter can help detect if that is the problem.
If your appliance depends on ac voltage and steady current for its operation, a multimeter can help measure its frequency. Therefore, it’s possible to monitor the current within some designed width. However, not all multimeters are fitted with this feature so make sure to choose wisely.
Check out how to measure frequency with a Fluke digital multimeter:
Multimeters take different measurements in one device as discussed above so you are able to easily measure various variables. The type of multimeter in use matters; therefore, when buying one, be sure to pick the best. You do not need to be electrical savvy to use it. In fact, it is advisable to have one at home.