Multimeters are electrical test meters that can be used as voltmeters, ammeters, or ohmmeters. Basically, a voltmeter measures the volts of an electrical system and a multimeter can be set for DC or AC voltage. Similarly the AC or DC current (ammeter) measured in amps can be measured with a multimeter as well. Finally the resistance (measured in Ohms) of an electrical system can be measured by a multimeter. When you first hold a multimeter it may look confusing to read, but it is really quite simple. By following a few easy steps you can be testing electrical circuits like a pro in no time.
1. Determine what type of circuit you will be testing. If you are testing a circuit in your home, it most likely is AC and thus you would want to set the multimeter to AC. However, if you are testing car, boat, or RV circuits you should choose the DC setting.
2. Determine the suspected range of circuit resistance and set the multimeter to a resistance of at least 10 times that of the circuit resistance. Connect the red wire to the positive connection and the black wire to the negative or ground connection.
3. Read the number from the scale you are working with. The red scale is for AC and the black is for DC currents. If you are interested in the DC voltage and you have the multimeter set to DC 10V you will read the first line of black numbers labeled "DCV,A" for DC voltage and amperes. However if you have the multimeter set to DC 50V, read the second line. If set to AC 10V read the first row of black numbers, but use the red line scale to determine the exact reading.
4. Read the resistance by determining the Ohm reading from the very top scale of black numbers, and amps are determined in the same manner as voltage.
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