Do you know how to measure voltage with multimeter? If not, don't worry - this blog post will teach you how! Multimeters are essential tools for anyone who works with electronics. They allow you to test the voltage of a circuit to make sure it is safe and functioning properly. In this blog, I will tell you how to use a multimeter for ac dc voltage measurements.
Here, I will also give you some tips on measuring voltage and troubleshooting electrical problems. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced electronics hobbyist, this post has something for you! But before testing let's figure it out which multimeter suits you the most.
Analog or Digital multimeter?
Multimeters can measure voltage, current and resistance with some additional features in both ac and dc circuits. But there are two types of multimeters.
Analog Multimeter: It is a type of multimeter which can display readings on a needle moving along a scale. It is mostly used by experienced technicians as it is difficult to read.
Digital Multimeter: As the name suggests, this type of multimeter displays readings on a digital screen. It is much easier to read than an analog multimeter and therefore, it is more popular among beginners and hobbyists. You can buy a manual or auto-ranging multimeter depending upon your choice. If you're not sure which one to buy then I have made a list of the best budget multimeters for you.
Now you know what types of multimeters are there so let's see voltages and its types.
Types of Voltages
AC Voltage: The voltage which changes its direction periodically is known as alternating current. The frequency of AC is 50Hz in India and 60Hz in the USA. In normal home appliances, we use 110V or 120V. But many countries also have 220V standards.
DC Voltage: The voltage which flows in one direction only is known as direct current. It is generated by batteries, solar cells, fuel cells, and thermocouples. The most common DC voltage is 12V which we use in our cars. If you want to know how to test a car battery charging system then you can visit my other blog. You can also grab the best automotive multimeter from my top 8 picks.
Now that you know the types of voltages, let's move on to how to measure them using a multimeter.
How to measure Voltage with a multimeter? in 3 Easy Steps
Set your multimeter to "Voltage" mode. You can usually do this by turning the dial to the "V" symbol. Voltage range is of prime importance. If you're using a manual ranging multimeter then set it to 600V. But if you already have an auto-ranging multimeter then you can skip this step.
Connect the black multimeter lead to the COM (common) port on your multimeter. and red test lead to the V port.
Now you're multimeter is all set to measure AC voltages. All you have to do is connect the Posistive (red probe) lead to the positive side(phase) of the circuit and the Negative (black probe) lead to the negative side of the circuit. The color of phase in the US is red, black or blue. And the color of the neutral wire is white. The reading on your multimeter will tell you the voltage of the circuit.
You can use this same method to measure DC voltages as well. Just make sure you set your multimeter to "DC Voltage" mode before taking any measurements.
Tips & Tricks while measuring voltages:
Both AC and DC voltage range is equally important when you're measuring voltages. If the voltage is too high or low then it can damage your multimeter. So, always make sure to set the correct voltage range before taking any measurements.
- If you're using a digital multimeter then take multiple readings and average them out. This will give you more accurate results.
- Make sure to choose the highest voltage range to avoid any accident.
- Always check that the positive and negative terminals are connected properly. Otherwise, you might get false readings.
- While measuring ac voltage make sure the voltage is not too high as it can damage your multimeter.
- Dc voltage measurement requires more care as compared to AC. Because AC voltages have a sinodiual wave which comes to zero after intervals but while measuring dc voltage, you will see a straight line meaning constant supply.
- If you're not sure about anything then don't hesitate to ask a professional for help.
Safety Guide while measuring voltages with multimeter
Voltages can cause serious injuries or even death if you're not careful. So, it is important to take some safety precautions while working with them. Here are some safety tips that you should always keep in mind:
- Always disconnect the power source before taking any measurements. Once you will be ready to measure then turn the source voltages "ON" and then measure accordingly.
- Wear rubber gloves and shoes to insulate yourself from the voltage.
- Use only one hand while taking measurements. This will minimize the chance of shock if you accidentally touch anything live.
- Keep your multimeter in good condition and always well insulated test leads.
- If you're not sure about which is phase and which is neutral then don't take any measurements. You can ask for help from an experienced electrician.
No matter you're measuring AC voltage or DC, the process is quite simple and easy. Just make sure to take all the safety precautions while working with voltages. The most critical point while measure voltages is ac/dc selection. Hopefully you understand now how to measure voltage with multimeter.
If you measure dc voltage then select DC Voltage but if you want to measure ac voltage then select AC voltage. Most of time it becomes difficult to understand, for such situation you should use auto-ranging digital multimeter. You can also buy a good quality multimeter from our list of best multimeter for home use.