When working on your home appliances, you will need to use a multimeter device. This device will help you identify electrical current issues that could be causing the problems with your appliance.
What is a multimeter?
A multimeter is a small handheld device that tests the electrical voltage and resistance that is flowing through components and connections.
When using a multimeter, the power must be left on to test for voltage but turned off to test for resistance. In most cases, it is best to leave voltage testing to the professional electricians to avoid the risk of electrical shock.
There are two main versions of the device – digital and non-digital. One uses a needle that hovers over a measurement scale and the other provides a reading on an easy to read digital screen. Both of these devices have two wires with probes on the end coming from them – one black and one red. The red connection is for positive current and the black is for negative.
How is a multimeter used?
To use the multimeter for continuity testing, you set the ohm to X1. When the probes aren't touching anything, you should see an infinity reading. This tells you that the circuit is open and won't conduct any electrical current. When the probes touch one another, the reading is zero. This shows that the circuit can conduct electrical current due to a closed circuit.
To test an electrical element within an appliance, the two probes are touched to two connections. If the multimeter displays a reading of infinity, the element is broken and needs replaced or repaired. If the reading is zero, the element is conducting electricity and likely isn't the problem you are experiencing.
To use a multimeter to test for a ground fault, you are trying to find out if an electrical current is flowing through the circuit as it is supposed to. If the current flows through the ground instead of the circuit, there are greater risks of electrical fire or shock and you will lose a lot of electricity each month which will increase your electricity bill.
Set the ohm setting to X1 and touch a probe to the terminal and the other to the housing element. Move the first probe from the terminal to the second terminal. If the reading shows infinity, a faulty ground is in play and needs to be identified and repaired immediately.
If you ever find yourself feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed with the idea of this test, talk with your local professionals for help. Contact a business, such as Genesis Electrical Service Inc., for more information about electrical work.