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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
I understand your question.
My concern is trying to explain operation of a meter that will or can be used on live electrical could result in someone getting hurt.
Here's a few simple directions (assume this is a digital meter, if it is an analog (needle pointer) meter, then my instructions might be a bit different.
General rule: Most meters have multiple voltage selections. Always start at the highest voltage selection and if the reading is too small to accurately read, slowly choose lower settings until you reach a voltage selection that gives a proper reading.
General Safety: Never touch anything metal while working with electricity. Remove all jewelry (watches, rings, (yes, even that wedding band, your spouse would rather see you alive with all of your fingers), necklaces, piercings, etc.)
Wear rubber shoes, do not stand in water, if you are sweaty, dry off and cool off.
Old electrician trick of the trade to prevent shock is to always work with one hand behind your back or in your pocket. This prevents you from becoming part of the circuit. However, hard to take electrical measurements with one hand. Improvise.
Voltage: Use this to measure the voltage output of a circuit, includine outlets, batteries, etc.
AC Voltage (alternating currents)- This is the type of voltage you have at your wall outlets. Should place the meter at the highest setting, usually is 1500 or 600 volts. Place the metal tips of the probes on the individual contacts. Take care to never cause the probes, while in contact with the live circuit, to touch each other. If unsure if the circuit is AC or DC, start here. Then you can switch to DC. (Note: Most DC
DC Voltage (Direct Currents) : This is the voltage from batteries. Most battery voltages are 24 volts or lower. However, if you are working on a special circuit, perhaps a solar electrical panel or some other type of circuit for storing electrical power for a residential backup power source, or perhaps a Uninteruptible Power Supply (UPS) for a computer, you may see higher voltages.
Note: Even if you think you know the voltage, start at the highest setting: On analog meters, you must choose polarity (+ and -, red and black) correctly, or you could destroy the readout. However, if you were on the highest setting, the meter movement would likely try to go in the wrong direction, but the amplitude of the movement would be small enough to protect the meter.
Resistance, Ohms or Continuity (often marked by the Greek letter OMEGA, which stands for Ohms. Sorry, not sure hot to get the OMEGA letter on here) - CAUTION: Only use these settings when the taking measurements on a circuit that is not live, is not plugged in or powered by batteries. If unsure, use the voltage settings to test first, if any voltage present, cannot check the continuity. (And if you have voltage, likely there is some continuiity.) A discussion of how to use these measurements is beyond the scope of this discussion.
AMP readings: Danger, danger: Some meters have the ability to read amps. However, unless using a clamp on meter type to read, this is the most dangerous for the person and the meter. (I've blown up two meters this way. )
Basically, the meter becomes part of the circuit, and all of the electricity to power what you are testing must run through the meter. If the item being tested draws 12 amps, and you have a 10 amp meter (usually the highest amp setting on most non-commercial meters) smoke will be released by the meter and you can kiss it goodby. (Hopefull, you are still in a mode where you can pucker your lips and your hair is not also emitting the pungent odor of burnt hair.)
With a clamp on meter, this is not a problem, usually, as the meter never becomes part of the circuit.
Hopefully, this gives you a basic understanding without putting you at risk for getting hurt or killed. (Note, I have a degree in engineering, was trained by my dad from a young age to respect electricity and use meters, and I have blown up two meters though no major fires. )So, please be very careful when using a meter. Please.
I take no responsibility for any damage you do to yourself, your meter, or your home, car, etc.
Posted on Sep 08, 2009
Make sure it is switche to AC Volts. If it is a range multi meter, set the range to 240V.
If it is auto ranging, it should do it on its own as long as it is set to AC Volts.
AMPS kill, voltage doesn't. Still, be careful working around electricity.
Hope this helps. If not, contact me and I will give you my email address and you can send a digital pic of the meter and I can tell you how to use it.
Hope this helps!
Posted on Sep 22, 2009
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SOURCE: how to use digital multimeter
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Posted on Jul 06, 2011
if you are just trying to see if you have loss, your meter just needs to have current reading capability. Disconnect the ground terminal of the battery and use the meter leads to complete the circuit from negative post to negative cable. Do not have the key on or try to start the vehicle with the meter connected like this as most meters will not handle that level of current. The meter should now show you how much current is being drawn when the car is off. You can then remove fuses for suspect devices to see if the current draw drops.
Posted on Dec 19, 2014
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