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For many, dealing with electricity is a big no. But if you’re one of those brave ones who are trying to break out of their comfort zone to learn how to use a multimeter to test voltage, then you’re in the right place.
Contrary to what you might have heard, using a multimeter is extremely easy. There’s nothing strange about it. By the time you’re done with this guide, you should be able to test voltage at home with your multimeter.
How to Test Voltage Using a Multimeter
Not feeling confident about your electrical skills? Well, here’s how to use a multimeter to measure voltage:
1. Plug The Leads
All multimeters look different depending on the brand. But for the most part, they all share the same settings.
So, to set up your multimeter, grab the black lead and put it straight where it says “COM.” Next up, take the red lead and plug it where it says “VΩ.”
2. Set the Multimeter to AC or DC
Taking a peek at a multimeter is more than enough to get lost. However, simply turn the wheel to the icon with a capital V and a curvy line on top. That is AC voltage, which is what we need to test voltage on a wall outlet.
Want to test your car’s battery? Then turn the dialog to DC volts. The icon for DC has a capital V with a straight line.
3. Set the Multimeter to the Corresponding Voltage
Now set the multimeter to the corresponding voltage you want to test. For example, if you’re going to test a 120-volt outlet, turn the dialog to 200 volts. Always turn the wheel to a higher voltage than the one you’re trying to test.
Getting weird numbers when measuring voltage? Then move down to the following range to get a more precise reading.
4. How to Use a Digital Multimeter to Test Voltage
To test a wall outlet, simply grab the black lead and plug it into the neutral plug. Next, insert the red one into the hot wire. If the outlet is working, you’ll get close to 120 volts.
To test a battery, grab the red lead and put it on the positive side of your battery. Next, take the black lead and put it on the ground.
Your digital multimeter will show the voltage on the screen. For instance, if you are testing an AA battery, it should get close to 1.5 volts.
Need more help measuring voltage with a multimeter? Then watch this splendid YouTube video:
How to Test Voltage of Live Wires Using a Multimeter
Lives wires can cause some severe damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, here’s you can tackle this job without getting electrocuted in the process:
1. Safety Precautions
Before testing live wires, we suggest wearing insulating gloves to prevent irreversible damage. Messing with live wires is incredibly dangerous, and you could die in the process.
2. Set Up the Multimeter
To start, the set multimeter to AC. If you don’t know what volts AC looks like on your meter, the icon for AC has a V with a curvy line on top. But if you want to measure DC, turn the wheel to the capital V with a straight line on top.
3. How to Use a Multimeter to Test the Voltage of Live Wires
Grab the red lead and put it on the live cable, then take the black one and put it on the neutral. Now check your multimeter, and it should display your voltage.
If your multimeter is getting anywhere from 110-120 volts, then the outlet is live, and you have nothing to worry about. But if your multimeter does not pick up any voltage, it means there is no voltage in your wires, indicating there’s something wrong with it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Looking for more information about multimers on how to use a multimeter to test voltage? Then check this out:
How do you check 12-volt voltage with a multimeter?
- First and foremost, set the multimeter to voltage. Depending on your application, you might need volts DC or AC. Once you’ve figured that out, set the multimeter to the correct voltage. For example, if you’re testing a 12-volt battery, make sure to set it to 20 volts.
How do you use a multimeter to test household wiring?
- Start by setting the multimer to volts AC. Next up, take your black lead, put it inside the neutral plug, grab the red one, and insert it into the hotplug. The multimeter will show approximately 110 to 120 volts.
How do I test 240 volts with a multimeter?
- To start, plug the leads into the multimeter. The red one must go into the VΩ jack and the black one into the COM jack. Next, set the multimeter to the corresponding voltage. Finally, grab your leads and insert one into the active terminal and the other into the neutral terminal.
Will touching a live wire kill you?
- Yes, coming in contact with a live wire can kill you. You might be able to survive, but it will leave side effects.
The biggest takeaway from this guide on how to use a multimeter to test voltage is that you should never touch live wires with your bare hands. Instead, wear insulating gloves and remain calm at all times, and you’ll be OK.
Other than that, this whole process is pretty simple, even if you know nothing about electricity. We hope you now feel more confident about your skills and manage to inspect your electrical devices at home.