What Is A Multimeter And How To Use It?

What Is A Multimeter And How To Use It?
Kunal Kapoor

There are many different models of the multimeter. Generally, a multimeter is a little handheld piece of equipment with an indicator needle and a numeric LCD display. The tool has a switch which will give you the option to select the type of test you want to be completed. A multimeter has probes, which refers to the two wires, the red for the positive and the black for the negative.

In short, a multimeter is just like something you would like to measure distance or a scale to measure weight. The best thing about a multimeter is that it measures many different things. This is because it is a kind of a multi-tool which means it is something with many uses. This thing mostly has a knob on the front that allows you to select what you want to measure. A multimeter is an amazing thing to measure electricity.


How To Use A Multimeter

When the power setting has been set, connect the multimeter to the power source in order to display the detected current. Using the two positive or negative probes, you can connect the multimeter into the circuit.

!          Reminder: Make sure that you and the system are properly grounded, before testing any electrical component. Using a multimeter must also be done by trained individuals only.

If you are confused about how to use a multimeter or getting unexpected readings while using it, the following guidelines can help you.


·         Measuring The Voltage

The electricity voltage is the variation in potential of electrons between two points. The difference occurs when the growth of electrons in one point is more than the other side. The electrons flow from one side to another, if the two points are attached to each other using a wire. The flow continues until the potential of electrons turn out to be equal.

To measure the voltages follow the steps below:

1. Plug the positive and negative probes into the right socket or the right ports on your multimeter. The black probe is usually being plugged into the socket called “COM” and the red one is labeled with a “V” but it might have some other symbols. Check the multimeter’s manual if you have trouble identifying the right socket.

2. Then choose the right voltage setting located on you multimeter’s dial. If you are working with a manual ranging multimeter, estimate the range you need based on a battery that powers the circuit p.

3. Lastly, touch the tips of the probe to your circuit in a parallel direction with the element you want to measure. Make sure to use the red probe to the positive terminal and the black probe to the negative terminal

4. Adjust the range in case your multimeter is not auto-ranging. Don’t forget to consult your multimeter’s manual if you want to know specific information about your model.


·         Measuring The Resistance

In order to measure the resistance safely, the current should not be present so don’t forget to unplug the device. Resistance is the measure of how much the flow of current in a certain circuit is obstructed.

1. Plug the red and black probes into the accurate ports of your multimeter first. Measuring resistance usually, require you to plug the black probe into the socket labeled as “COM” and red probe into the socket with the symbol of “Ω”.

2.  Next, choose the right resistance measurement setting that can be found on your multimeter’s dial. Doing so will help you to pick the range.

3. Make sure to turn off the power supply before measuring the resistance. You can turn off the switch, if not, remove the batteries. You might need to remove some components of your circuit as well to perfectly determine the resistance.

4. Again, adjust the range if your multimeter is not auto-ranging. If “0” is the reading of your multimeter then the range is probably too high. However, if it reads “OVER”, “OL” or “1” then the range is too low.


·         Measuring The Current

Current is the measure of electricity flowing in the circuit. The higher the current, the more the electricity is flowing. The current is being measured as the Amperes.

1. Plug the red and black probes in the right socket. There are multiple sockets for measuring the current. Some labels are like “10A” and “mA”.

2. Select the right current setting on your multimeter and don’t forget to check if your circuit has direct current or an alternating one.

3. Then, connect the probes in series to the current you want to measure. Make sure to match each probe to the other side.

This is just a simple analogy to a better understanding of how great the multimeter is. The founder of zoniv.com is glad to help you further when it comes to using a multimeter and diagnosing electrical problems in a very simple way.