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Looked up a few guides on how to test outlet with multimeter but felt overwhelmed by the amount of information thrown at you? Don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place to understand it all.
We know how scary and difficult it can be to use a multimeter. So, we’ve made things easier so that you and anybody willing to put in some time can master the basics behind using a multimeter. Want to learn more? Then check this out!
What is Voltage?
If you’re not quite sure what voltage is, think of it as a long tube where water flows through. But now replace that tube with a wire where electrons must flow through.
That said, voltage is defined as the pressure from the power source, which pushes the electrons through your wires.
When testing a wall outlet, we want to know how many electrons flow through the wires when the path is complete. Only then can we know whether we’re getting the correct voltage.
How to Test 100-Volt Wall Outlet Using a Multimeter
Feeling more confident now that you know what you’re getting into? Well, here’s how to test wall outlet with multimeter like a pro:
1. Identify the Outlet
Before getting started, please note that you must learn what the tiny holes in your outlet mean. Otherwise, you might struggle to test voltage in a receptacle.
- The hot wire — the small plug on the outlet is the hot wire, where electricity comes out and then goes into your appliance.
- The neutral wire — the big plug on the outlet- is the neutral wire, where the power goes back.
- The ground wire — the rounded plug is the ground wire, which protects you against electrical shocks.
2. Multimeter Set Up
Set up your multimeter, grab the black lead, plug it into the COM slot, and then insert the red one into the VΩ slot.
Be careful when doing this. Putting the leads in the wrong spot can lead to undesired results.
3. Set the Multimeter to Volts AC
The symbol for volts AC might be different depending on your model. Generally, the volts AC setting has a capital V with a curvy line on top of it. So, turn the wheel on the multimeter to volts AC.
Do not set the multimeter to volts DC. This is because your home runs off of AC, not DC. However, if you were testing your car’s battery, it’d make sense to use volts DC.
4. How to Test 110v Outlet with Multimeter
To start, hold the leads from the insulated handles. That said, insert the black lead into the neutral plug. Next up, plug the red lead into the hot wire. After that, the multimeter will display the correct voltage on the screen.
When plugging the leads, please do not go the other way around. Otherwise, the other lead will become electrized, making it incredibly dangerous to work. Even 120 volts is lethal enough to cause severe damage.
How to Use a Multimeter to Test a 220-volt Outlet
Testing a 220 outlet is pretty simple and not much different from the steps we covered above. That said, here’s how to test outlet with multimeter:
1. Set up The Multimeter
Before getting started, identify the holes on the multimeter. First, plug the back lead into the COM slot. Next up, grab the red lead and insert it into the VΩ slot.
Once that’s done, set the multimeter to volts AC. Your screen will now display the icon for volts AC.
2. How to Test 220 Outlet with Multimeter
Grab your black and red leads and insert them into the hot slot. Your 220 outlets should have two hot sides. So, insert the red lead into the hotplug and then the black one into the other hotplug.
Your multimeter will now pick up and show the voltage on the screen. If you’re getting 220 volts, then your wall outlet is still working.
Not getting 220 volts? Don’t worry, though. Electricity fluctuates during the day, so you will get a lower number.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Couldn’t find what you were looking for? Here’s more information on how to test electrical outlet with multimeter:
Can I use a multimeter to test an outlet?
- Yes, you can use a multimeter for an outlet. However, you wouldn’t check for continuity using a multimeter. Instead, set the unit to volts AC and then plug the terminals into the wall outlet.
Why is there no power to my outlet?
- If you’re getting no voltage on your outlet, perhaps the wire got damaged, meaning the electrons cannot flow throughout the wire. Therefore, you must inspect the wire and find where it got damaged.
How to know if my 220 outlet is faulty?
- Your multimeter should display close to 220 volts. If you’re getting anything below that, then the wires going into the outlet got damaged somewhere and must be fixed immediately.
Can you stick a multimeter in an outlet?
- Yes, you can stick a multimeter into an outlet. However, make sure your hands never go past the slight slope on the leads. You don’t want to get electrocuted when testing a wall outlet.
Learning how to test outlet with multimeter couldn’t be easier with the steps we covered above. Sure, messing with electricity doesn’t sound too exciting when you get down to it, but as long as you remain calm and follow all the steps we carefully covered above, you’ll be fine.
At the end of the day, learning how to use a multimeter to test wall outlets is a great skill to have under the belt for any homeowner. In addition, you’ll save lots of money by learning how to use this simple tool.