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Thread: What Leads For A Digital Multimeter?

  1. #16
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ammeter

    when you get to the "checking electric water heater" part, then you will realize the benefit of a snap around ammeter.

  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJohn View Post
    A few thoughts on a DIYer and his inexpensive test equipment. The least expensive voltage tester most electricians utilize cost in the range of 35-60 dollars, and while this unit may be safe to use take care.

    Be careful using this tester, always test this and any voltage tester for that matter on a known live circuit prior to use.
    Otherwise, this might happen.
    Just my 2 worth.

  3. #18
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    Ah rite Sparky, that's the flash I was talking about!

    bob...

  4. #19
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
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    If you see a flash like that from using a multimeter on a voltage system with in the meters rating you have a good case for a lawsuit...

  5. #20
    Electrical Contractor sbrn33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJohn View Post
    If you see a flash like that from using a multimeter on a voltage system with in the meters rating you have a good case for a lawsuit...
    I was thinking the same thing. Who hasn't had the leads in the wrong holes or the meter set on the wrong setting?
    My lead set cost almost $30 bucks(without the meter). I can say I might be just a little scared checking 480 with that meter.

  6. #21
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    I can say I might be just a little scared checking 480 with that meter.
    Or you can buy those $90.00 leads for that $10.00 meter. The ones that are 30 feet long; and let you get way back from the meter. Then you can check the higher voltages.

    bob...

  7. #22
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
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    Any multimeter I have utilized has the Amp feature protected with a fuse, to prevent injury and/or damage to the meter. Though have investigated 2 instances where an electrician used a multimeter on 5 KV, not enough fuse for this protection.

  8. #23
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    I would stick a plastic pin in that 10 Amp hole on the meter in the picture because it is too easy to stick the lead in that hole and try to measure 120 Volts.

  9. #24
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbrn33 View Post
    I can say I might be just a little scared checking 480 with that meter.
    Since most of the folks on this forum are (mainly) plumbers, I would venture that most of us should not even be in the same room as 480!!! Much less trying to measure it!!!

    I remember, back in '02 { the phrase " back in '02" originated long before there was a 2002 to look back at!!!) , as a twidget ( electronic tech) we were cavalier about measuring KV (DC). High voltage, but very low current power supplies, like for radar or whatever. Also, DC zaps you different than AC. But I remember the electricians on the boat had enourmous respect for the 440 distribution. They used to say that stuff will "come and get you" if you mess up.

  10. #25

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    That's a good idea about blocking off that hole. I'll do something like that.

    I didn't realise this was primarily a plumbing forum - i found it googling for electricians, with my multimeter problem.

    So now I've got a plumbing problem, surprise, surprise.... I'll start a new thread would be the thing to do I reckon.

    Back to meters: After my experience of false readings from meters with insufficiently strong leads I am truly wary and worried. I wonder what's the sure way to know that your dealing with a dead circuit? Those 'light up' screwdrivers that many electricians seem to carry? A 'snap on ammeter' ?

    I read those comments about it being rare for the homeowner to want to read AC current (and therefore having little need for a snapon ammeter) but in fact it is our mains AC current that we most frequently deal with.

    Just putting in a light globe. Replacing a fuse. Trying to fix a power point that's hanging off the wall (my next job) - it is my 240Volt AC supply that I have to deal with.

    A defective desk lamp - it's all very trivial looking, cheap to buy, all plastic, super lightweight, thin cord - but it is powered by 240V AC!

    'Switch off at the mains' is good advice, yes, but not always possible for one reason or another. And in any case more information, more options, is good.

    Carry two meters? Always check with each?

    I remember seeing sparkies in the Army always rubbing two wires together to see if they got a spark. Sounds a bit savage..

    regards,

    ab

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