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There are many guides on the internet on how to measure current with a multimeter — courting you with their endless solutions. And they’re sometimes right.
But how do you sort through all that information to get what you actually need?
This guide aims to quickly point you in the right direction so that you can test current and resistance using a multimeter at home.
By the time you’re done, you should know how to measure current and resistance without relying on your local electrician.
How to Check AMPS With a Multimeter
Learning how to measure amps with a multimeter is relatively easy and does not take much time. But to make it work, you need to know a few tricks. So, follow these steps for accurate results:
1. Plug in the Leads
Grab your black lead and plug it where it says “COM,” then take the red one and insert it into the port labeled “10ADC.”
2. Turn the Wheel to Your Amperage Mode
Find the option that has a capital “A” and a curvy line on top of it. Next, turn the wheel to a higher amperage than what’s expected.
If you set the amperage too low, you will not get an accurate reading. So, find out that amperage for your component and make sure your multimeter is above the expected current.
3. Turn off Power to the Component
Before moving any further, be sure to shut off the power to the unit you’re trying to test.
4. Use Alligator Clips
Avoid using the standard terminals for testing current. Instead, use alligator clips. Otherwise, all the current will flow into the terminals, causing the tiny leads to melt due to the abnormal increase in heat.
5. How to Measure Current with a Multimeter
After shutting off the power, attach the clips in series with the unit you’re trying to test. After that, turn on the power. Your multimeter will now display the current.
Got stuck somewhere? Then watch this simple video:
How to Check for Resistance With a Multimeter
Not sure how to measure resistance using a multimeter? Then follow these simple steps:
1. Insert the Leads
To measure resistance, take the black lead and plug it into the port that’s labeled “COM,” then grab the red one and put it in the port that has this symbol: “VΩ.”
2. Turn the Wheel
After setting up the leads, set the wheel to resistance. The symbol for this setting looks like this: “Ω.” Now turn the wheel to the proper range for your unit.
3. How to Measure Resistance with a Multimeter
First, remove the component from the circuit. Now touch the multimeter leads to the unit you’re testing, and wait until the multimeter shows the results.
Your multimeter will now show the results on the screen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some questions you might still have after going through the above information:
Can a battery have voltage but no amps?
- Your multimeter might display the voltage on the screen, but you might not get any amps. Typically, this is a clear indication that your battery is about to die.
Can a multimeter measure current?
- Yes! You can use a regular multimeter to measure current. First, however, you have to plug the red lead where it says AMP or Milliamp. After that, insert the black lead into the “COM” jack.
What does a reading of 0 ohms mean?
- If your multimer reads close to zero, then perhaps you set the meter too high. Instead, adjust the unit to a lower number. But if your unit displays “OL,” it means your component does not have continuity.
How many ohms is considered a short?
- Anything below 2 ohms is considered short. This always means that you have a short circuit.
As you know by now, learning how to measure current with a multimeter is easy and doesn’t take any time. We hope that you can now test your house appliances.
Once you get the basics down, learning how to test voltage or continuity with a multimeter will be a walk in the park.
But if you still have any questions after going through our simple guide, get in touch with someone who knows their craft for further assistance.