Multimeters can be incredibly useful and a vital tool to many people. But they won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use them! I have been in the contracting and construction field for nearly my entire working career. I have used quite a few different types of multimeters and electric testers in general. Because of this, I have learned the ropes, and I am here to explain how to use a multimeter as easily and as safely as possible!
A multimeter does three simple functions; it measures electric currents called amperes, it measures resistance measured in ohmmeters, and voltages measures in volts. Although these all may sound pretty similar, each of these functions have their own specific settings that need to be used to measure accurately.
Before jumping into using your multimeter, you need to be extremely careful. You are dealing with live electricity and it can be extremely dangerous. So be sure to make sure to check your multimeters conduct measurements and make sure you don’t exceed these measurements when you are dealing with live currents.
Resistance is measured in Ohms which is represented by the symbol Ω. Before you try to measure the resistance of any electronic, you will need to disconnect the wiring and power of what you are measuring. This will keep you safe from any live currents that could otherwise harm you.
From there will you have to change your multimeter settings to the Ohms or Resistance setting. Generally this is done with a dial, or maybe a button if you don’t have a dial on your multimeter. From there you will have to take your red lead and connect it to the port symboled VΩ, and the black lead to the common port. Now all you have to do is connect the red and black leads to the circuit you are trying to measure. From there you should be displayed with your measurements on the screen.
Current can be extremely dangerous when you are measuring it, because you are exposed to an open circuit. Generally the standard safety rating for a current is at 300mA.
To measure current, you will have to set the multimeter to the ammeter function or current function depending how it is labeled on your multimeter. Then you will set up the terminal leads similar to how you set them up with measuring resistance. From there you will attach the lead to the circuit and the other to the open points in the circuit. You will then be displayed with the results in the form of amps.
The great thing about multimeters is there functionality. They are really combination of tools, and if you own one you don’t have to carry all these different tools with you. Although they are great tools, I suggest you be careful with them, and make sure you take all the safety precautions available. Overall, if you learn how to use these multimeters effectively, it will make a lot of home repairs and on the job repairs a whole lot easier!