How to Use a Digital Multimeter

This article is about how to use a digital multimeter ? Here we have covered all the steps which will solve your all your questions for the same.

Digital multimeters are an extremely useful instrument to quickly measure the voltage as well as resistance, continuity and current across a wide range of circuits. It’s incredibly simple to operate digital multimeters once you know what the different icons on the dial mean. Soon you’ll test every kind of electronic device using the digital multimeter!

Measuring Voltage

multimeter V and COM terminals
Multimeter V and COM terminals

Connect the test leads to the V and COM terminals. Always connect the black test lead into the terminal marked “COM” for “Common.” Always connect the test lead in red into the terminal marked “V” for “Voltage,” because that’s what you’re testing.

  • Both AC as well as DC voltage is measured using the test leads in this configuration.
multimeter turn dial set to v
multimeter turn dial set to v

Turn the dial until you reach the voltage setting that is appropriate for AC as well as DC voltage. The dial should be set to V as well as the one with a wave symbol on it, if you are taking measurements of AC voltage. Change the dial to V, or to the V with an horizontal line beside it, in order to measure DC voltage.


  • AC, also known as alternating current voltage is utilized to gauge things you may discover around the home such as wall sockets microwaves, as well as other household electrical appliances.
  • Direct current, or DC voltage is typically used to gauge the battery’s voltage. DC voltage is also utilized in automobiles and other small electronic gadgets.

Make sure that the range of voltage is set to a greater amount than the voltage that is expected. If you make the voltage range to low, you will not be able to get a precise reading. Check those numbers, and select the one that is closest to the value of the voltage you’re measuring, but staying above the voltage.

  • For instance, if you’re measuring a battery that has a 12V rating and you have options for 20V and 2V on your multimeter. Set the dial to 20V.
  • If you’re not certain of the voltage of the measuring, simply adjust the multimeter to its highest rating for voltage.
multimeter Place the probes on the opposite sides of a power source or load
Multimeter opposite sides of a power source or load

Place the probes on the opposite sides of a power source or load. The edge of the probe in black onto the negative end of a battery, or on the right-hand part of a socket for a wall for instance. The red probe should be placed on the positive side of a battery, or on the positive end of the wall socket for example.

  • If you’re unsure which side is positive and which one is negative, put a probe on the opposite end and see what the multimeter reads. If the multimeter is showing a negative value then your positive and negative numbers are switched.
  • To avoid being to avoid being shocked to avoid getting shocked, keep your fingers from the ends of the probes when positioning them next to an electrical outlet on the wall.
  • Be sure to keep the probes away from coming into contact or you could create an electrical short and create an electrical spark.
  • Always keep the probes in place by the handles in the color They are protected to avoid the risk of shock.
voltage displayed on the screen of the multimeter
voltage displayed on the screen of the multimeter

Check the voltage displayed on the screen of the multimeter. When your probes are hooked to the negative and positive leads, you’ll see an indicator on your multimeter that will show the voltage you’re trying to test. Check the digital display to see the reading, and record it in case you want to.

  • A glance at the reading will tell you if your voltage has a normal or not. For example, if , for instance, you take a measurement of the wall socket and your multimeter reads 100V. This is less than the average of 120V, which lets you know that the wall socket’s voltage is not high.
  • If you’re examining the battery’s voltage on a brand new 12V battery the reading should be around 12V. If it’s less or there’s no reading it means the battery is either low or dead.

Testing Current

Multimeter Test leads to A or COM and then turn on the knob to Amps.
Multimeter Test leads to A or COM and then turn on the knob to Amps.

Connect the test leads to A or COM and then turn on the knob to Amps. Plug the black connector into the COM terminal. Plug the red plug into milliamps or amps and label it by A or mA in accordance with the amps you’re measuring current. Select the Amps setting and then turn the dial on the multimeter to that setting.

  • The multimeter you have is likely to have two amps terminals that measure currents as high as 10amps (10A) and one which measures up to approximately 300 milliamps (300mA). If you’re unsure of the amperage range you’re measuring then place your red plug into an amps terminal.
  • It is possible to switch to milliamps for a better measurement if needed.
  • Some multimeters feature two As. One for alternate current (used in residential power systems and is represented by the wave symbol) and one to measure direct current (used in wires and batteries and is represented as an horizontal line that has an dotted line underneath it). Direct current, on the other hand is the type which is most frequently used for this measurement.

The circuit is broken by disconnecting one of the wires within it. This lets you utilize it as an ampmeter and determine the current. Unplug or disconnect wires from the terminals that it is connected to on one part of the circuit and leave the second wire attached the terminals.

  • It doesn’t matter which part that you cut off. The purpose is to create a space in which you can connect your multimeter to the circuit so that it will function as an ammeter and inform you the amount of current moving throughout the circuit.
  • “Splicing in the multimeter” signifies that you’re connecting the multimeter with the voltage flowing right through your wires.

Make sure you connect the multimeter’s lead to the terminals with free connections and check the current reading. Connect one probe to each terminal you’ve disconnected the wire to connect it to the circuit. Look at the screen to figure out how much current flows across the circuit.

  • It doesn’t matter what probe you connect to which part of the circuit. Your multimeter will provide you with any reading you want.
  • It is possible to troubleshoot electrical circuits by connecting your multimeter into various sections. If one section shows an lower current reading this could indicate that there’s a problem with the wire that’s causing a blockage to the flow of electricity.
  • If you test amps initially and get a low reading, for example 1. You can switch to milliamps for testing to get the most precise reading.

Measuring Resistance

Place the black test leads into COM and the test lead into O terminal. O terminal. Put the plug of the test lead in black into the terminal for COM. The test lead’s red plug is placed in the terminal marked O that is the symbol for ohms, which is the unit used to measure resistance in.

  • The O sign is probably connected to the V sign. This means the terminal used to measure the ohms and voltage is exactly the same.

Adjust the dial to a specific number on the scale of resistance on the multimeter. Find an O symbol on the multimeter’s dial. The dial should be turned to something that is close that of the resistance you’re expecting in this area. If you’re not sure of which resistance you should expect then place it that is at the highest point in the range. You can alter the resistance as you test until you’ve got an accurate reading.

  • Resistance is the opposing force to current flow in any electrical circuit. Materials that conduct electricity, such as metal, have low resistance, whereas non-conductive materials such as wood have large resistance.
  • For instance, if you’re taking measurements of an electrical wire’s resistance the dial to be just above zero. You can find the expected resistance of different electrical components on the internet or in the manual of the owner.
  • The O values displayed on your multimeter may vary from 200- 2 million ohms, based on the particular type of multimeter that you have.

Put the probes on the resistor, and then determine the resistance. Make sure you place the probe’s tips on each edge of the resistance. Take a look at the multimeter’s LCD display to read the result, which will tell you the resistance in the ohms.

  • If your multimeter only showing “1,” you might require to increase the number of ohms, measured by rotating the dial until the reading is more precise.
  • Note the reading when needed, and note the proper unit.

Testing Continuity

Remove the battery from the device you wish to test. When the gadget is being powered, it isn’t able to check for continuity. Make sure that it is unplugged from all power sources prior to you begin.

  • The continuity feature on your multimeter can be used for checking whether wires are functioning or not. If you’re unsure if an individual wire or cord is still in good working order it is possible to test the continuity of it by measuring its. It tests how well two parts are connected of the circuit.
  • Continuity is an uninterrupted electrical flow. For instance, a brand new electrical wire should be in complete continuity. If it’s damaged or frayed it isn’t continuity since electricity can’t be able to flow through it.
  • This is a great way to check if cables are malfunctioning inside or out.

Connect the probe wires to the multimeter, and then adjust the dial to a continuity setting. Plug the red connector into the terminal marked V O, or the symbol for continuity that looks like an earphone. Plug the black one into the COM terminal. The dial will change to show the picture that resembles an audio wave.

  • A sound wave appears to be an increasing number of “)” symbols.
  • Instead of showing a range of numbers within its range the continuity feature only shows one sound wave. Twist  the knob until you’re pointed directly at the sound wave to make sure that it’s in the right place.

Attach the probes at the end of the device you’re conducting tests on. The black probe should be placed on one side of the component while the blue probe is on the opposite. Be sure that the probes touch both sides at the same time so that the multimeter can function properly.

  • The component does not have to be removed from a circuit to check for continuity.
  • It doesn’t matter what probe you attach to the other end of the device.
  • Some of the components you can test for continuity are switches, wires and conductors.
  • You must be touching two ends of the wire to test for continuity. For example, connect the probes to two unconducive wire ends.

Watch for a sound to confirm that there’s a good connection. Once two probes have touched the wire’s edges, you’ll hear a sound indicating that the wire is operating properly. If you don’t get a sound that means there’s an issue with the wire.

    • If you’ve got a cut or burned wire, your wire could be short.
    • The sound is telling you that there’s virtually no resistance between these two points.

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