It simply isn’t possible for any electrical work to be done without the use of a multimeter. But, before we move forward, allow me to explain what this piece of equipment really is.
A multimeter aka multitester, also known as VOM, is an electronic measuring instrument. It can measure voltage, current, and resistance between two points in an electrical circuit.
Are there different kinds of multitester?
As a matter of fact, there are two types of VOM. There is an analog VOM that uses a microammeter with a moving pointer to display readings. And, there is the digital VOM that is superior to the analog multimeter because of its accuracy in readings.
Another advantage of digital VOMs is that it is very sensitive to minute changes in input voltages. Also, it has a clear and easy-to-read display.
Now, it even has computer connectivity, speaking measured value, thermocouple probe for temperature measurement. So, the job of the electrician has become so much easier.
But, why is it so important to use a multimeter?
As mentioned earlier, VOMs are essential for any kind of electrical work. In layman’s terms, you have to check both sides of any electrical connection to check the current and voltage before using any electrical appliance.
For example, you’re fixing a ceiling fan. You’ll have to check the voltage, current, and resistance in the wiring of the point where the fan is to be connected as well as the switchboard where the fan switch is going to be.
And, if you haven’t done that then you’ll have either burnt sockets, burned electrical wiring, ruined electrical appliances, and in the worst-case scenario, a fire in your home.
You see, the difference in voltages, resistance in electrical current can cause severe damage to the electrical circuit in your home.
So, what are the hazards you can face using a multimeter?
To begin with, you can suffer from shock or arc flash events. These may be caused by voltage transients or voltage spikes. It is even possible to suffer from an electrical shock if your equipment is damaged or the probes on the VOM are not insulated.
There are many reasons that may cause shock or arc flash, but there are certain precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk.
What should you do to minimize risk when using a VOM?
The very first thing to do is to call a professional to do any electrical job around the house. Sometimes, the smart thing to do is to spend some and get help rather than getting electrocuted yourself.
Next, a pair of rubber insulating gloves should always be handy. Even, if it is for the electrician that you called over.
Make sure that the multimeter is not faulty or has any damaged parts. The VOM you use must have insulated probes.
And, if you feel this is something you can do, then please get some training in the field before you do try your hand at it. This can easily be achieved through a local vocational training center. And, if you need a VOM, you’ll a good one even under $100.
Our advice is to learn to use a VOM and before you try sticking it into an electrical socket. And, if you don’t have the time for this, then call an electrician. Remember electrical safety precautions are a must.