How to use a multimeter to test a 220v outlet? Top 5 Picks

Troubleshooting electrical issues in your home need good quality multimeters. Whether you're in your office or at home, every electrical appliance is connected to some outlet. For a professional electrician, it is easy to check that an outlet is dead or live. But for a beginner, it can be tricky. Therefore, Here I have discussed how to use a multimeter to test a 220V outlet. Basically, the 220V is a general standard, but following my steps, you can check any outlet ranging from 90V to 220V.

What can a multimeter do?

Always remember that a multimeter is not a toy or gadget. If you don't take it seriously and take proper safety guidelines, it can be dangerous for you and the surrounding.

Multimeters are of two types analogue and digital. The working principle is the same to convert the electrical signal into readable form through complex circuitry. Mainly, with a multimeter, you can test voltages resistance, current, and continuity.

In my opinion, if you're a beginner, then a digital multimeter should be your priority. If you're a beginner, you can easily find a budget multimeter with all the essential features. Sometimes for professionals, it becomes a bit tougher to find the right one. A common question arises in home owners that how to use a multimeter to test a 220V outlet? If you're a professional, then I have also made a list of the best multimeters for electricians and electronics technicians.  

How to check current and voltage with a digital multimeter?

There are different procedures to check voltage and current on digital multimeters.

Step-I

 First of all, you have to determine that you want to measure which value first. Then, just put the testing leads in their respective slots. Red testing probe in the (V) and Black testing probe in the (Com).

Step-II

After inserting the slots in their places, rotate the dial at V to check voltage. In addition to this, if your multimeter has an auto-ranging feature, then you don't need to select AC/DC selection.

Step-III

All you have to do is attach the red testing lead with live wire and Black with neutral. It took almost a fraction of seconds, and you can see the results on your screen.

Measuring current of an outlet with multimeter

You can also measure current up to 10A easily with any multimeter. But if you want to measure current in an AC circuit, you just need a clamp type multimeter. The best clamp multimeter is the one that can measure current without noise. To measure electric current, you have to re-insert the live testing lead in the (Ampere slot) and black lead in the Common (Com) slot.

PRO-TIP

  • Sometimes the results on screen will fluctuate, don't worry, it's due to a loose connection. You just need to repeat the step-iii, and you will get precise results.
  • If you're using an analogue or manual ranging digital multimeter to check outlet voltages or current, always make sure the selection of AC/DC is accurate. Otherwise, it can damage you and your multimeter zero calibration. You can also test your car relay with a multimeter easily which make multimeters perfect for automotive usage.

Why is the grounding of outlets necessary?

Grounding of outlets is necessary because it saves your life and reduces noise in your equipment's. We all know there is always some harmonics in AC circuits to minimize the impact and any malfunctioning grounding is necessary. It's your electrical outlets which are bearing such electrical surges the most. If your outlet is earthed properly, the surge will travel to earth immediately.

There are multiple grounding points in commercial projects to give the surge the shortest path to the ground. Therefore, the lesser the resistance of the grounding point and your outlets, the more secure your wiring will be. To measure such resistance, you need a well-calibrated industrial multimeter designed explicitly for electricians.

5 Best multimeters to test 220V outlets and Home Troubleshooting

The best multimeter to check any outlet voltages or Current should not be too expensive. If you're an electronics technician, then you must need a well-calibrated multimeter. Here I have made a list of the 5 best multimeters to check voltages.

1. Extech EX330 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter for Home use

A good multimeter quality multimeter is the, which can measure voltages in your ac outlets and electrical appliances as well. Sometimes, you don't know about the exact ranges of outlets voltages and current. For this purpose, auto-ranging digital multimeters are the best solution. Extech EX330 can perform all the tasks mentioned above in no time.


Features

Non Contact Voltage Detection-NCV 

Auto-ranging digital display

3 & ½ digital LCD display

Backlight for a better view.

Dual input safety fuses.

It can take three samples per second

You can measure high voltages up to 600 volts easily.

mA can be measured easily with this electrical tester.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact
  • Data hold option is available
  • Auto-shutdown after 15mins of inactivity

Cons

  • It is not perfect for industrial use.


2. Klein Tools MM400 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter

If you're looking for a multimeter for commercial and home use simultaneously, then Klein tools MM400 is the best solution. It has all the features that your home use multimeter should have. Most electricians compare fluke vs Klein multimeters, but fluke multimeters are a bit price. But if you are still a fan of fluke multimeters, I also compiled a list of the best fluke multimeters for electricians.

Features

You can measure ac/dc voltages up to 600V.

It can measure current up to 10A.

CAT-III safety standards make it perfect for medium voltage outlets testing.

You only need 2x AAA batteries to start testing.

It has a particular silicon case.

A thermocouple comes with it to measure temperature.

It can measure capacitance and frequency duty cycles

Pros

  • Low battery indication
  • 2AAA batteries come with it
  • Perfect for commercial use
  • Robust built

Cons

  • CAT standards can be improved


3. UNI-T AC/DC Auto Ranging Multimeter for industrial use

 Industrial multimeters are pretty expensive, and every electrician can't afford them. Here I dig down the best multimeter of all time for electrical outlets troubleshooting. UNI-T instruments  is well known for its high built quality standards. So, if you're concerned about how to use a multimeter to test a 220V outlet then it is the right choice.

Features

Highly calibrated

The auto-ranging feature is enabled

It is of CAT-III standard. Therefore, you can measure 600Volts and current up to 10A

A Separate button to hold data on the screen is available

4000 counts display

It can measure the duty cycle of AC outlets and appliances

Backlight is also available on display.

Pros

  • Cheaper
  • It can measure high voltage with CAT-II standard testing probes
  • Both auto/manual ranges are available.
  • A thermocouple also comes with it for temperature measurement.

Cons

  • The display screen is a bit smaller



4. AstroAI 10000 Counts Digital Multimeter for routine use

We're living in a modern world. Modern technological advancements turn Keypad phones into touch screens. In the same way, multimeters were also upgraded. There is no doubt in saying that AstroAI is one of the pioneers of modern multimeters. The new MUS10KRD is a perfect example of it. Let's have a look at its most prominent features.

Features

Bigger Colorful LCD

It comes with intelligent mode features. Which allows you to auto detect voltage resistance and continuity.

Both Auto/manual ranging is available.

10000 counts display

It can measure voltages up to 1000V and current up to 10A

The diode test option is also there for you.

Non-Contact voltage detection

Certified with CE and RoHS.

LED indication is also there to show the current status.

Pros

  • Low battery indication.
  • The data hold option is also available.
  • It is equipped with Input safety fuses.
  • It comes with 6x 1.5V AAA batteriesCons

Cons

  • It has a more prominent display, so it needs to be handled with care.


5. INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter

From many top-rated multimeter reviews, I personally like Innova 3320. The main reason for this likeness is its features and lower price. An auto-ranging multimeter not only saves you from equipment malfunctioning but also provides excellent results. After choosing the best multimeter to test electrical outlets, you need good quality testing leads. The better the quality of testing probes, the more noise-free results you will get.

Features

A perfect battery tester for small batteries.

You can perform a battery load test from1.5V to 12V batteries.

A separate indication is also available for faulty and best condition batteries.

Auto/manual ranges are available.

It can measure voltages up to 600V and current up to 10A

Side way probe holders for hands-free use.


Pros

  • Low battery indication.
  • A silicon case on a multimeter to save it from damage.
  • A back-light display is available.
  • It comes with 6x 1.5V AAA batteries.

Cons

  • It might not be a perfect choice for industrial usage.

Conclusion

Choosing the right tool for the right job shows an electrician proficiency. If you're a beginner and need a budget multimeter under 50 dollars, you can also see this on my site. Here I dig down the best multimeters for home appliances and electrical outlets checking. If you're concerned about how to use a multimeter to test a 220V outlet, then Klein Tools MM400 is the ultimate electrical tester for it.

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