Best Multimeter for Appliance Repair

What to Look for in a Multimeter

Multimeters are a must-have tool, not only for an appliance repair technician but for anyone with electrical appliances - including those who are performing a DIY repair. The devices measure current, inductance, resistance, and various other parameters. But with so many types and models available, it's hard to tell the best multimeter for appliance repair.

So, here is an overview of the top multimeters and other related concerns.

Resistance Testing

Resistance is the opposition to electric flow as current passes through an appliance. A multimeter tests resistance to check how much current is lost during the flow through a circuit. To get an accurate measurement for resistance, disconnect the faulty device from the power source to ensure damage doesn't reach the appliance. Then follow the steps below:

  • Set the multimeter's range to the appliance part's standard resistance. If unsure of the average resistance level, check the manufacturer's manual for the appliance.
  • Place the probes on the metallic elements of the test device
  • Look at the display for the resistance value

The appliance is faulty if the multimeter reads infinity, really high, or extremely low resistance.

Checks for Continuity

Continuity refers to whether electricity can flow through a circuit without resistance or restricted flow. Faulty appliances, especially those with broken or damaged wires, can have continuity problems. To test for continuity or current flow through a part of your device;

  • Plug the two probes into a multimeter and connect the test appliance
  • Ensure one lead touches the contact point of the device and the second the opposite terminal
  • Set the dial to continuity

If the reading is zero, the part of the tested appliance is in perfect condition. However, if the multimeter displays OL (open loop) or reads towards one, the tested part lacks continuity.

Tests the voltage

The voltage test checks if a device is mechanically sound. Like the resistance test, set the multimeter to the expected range during a voltage test. Another crucial factor is to ensure the multimeter can handle the maximum expected voltage. Then, follow these steps:

  • Set the multimeter dial to AC or DC (AC is common in electronics, buildings, and things that require multiple currents. Conversely, DC is found in batteries and low-voltage power sources)
  • Select the voltage range and plug the probes into the slots on the multimeter
  • Connect the test leads to the device you wish to test and check the reading

If a multimeter displays a negative number, the probes are likely in the wrong place. Reverse the probes to allow proper electrical current flow. The circuit may not have received any electrical power if the multimeter doesn't have any reading.

What To Look For in the Top Multimeter for Appliance Repair

The features, accessories, leads, etc., are essential considerations in the best multimeter for appliance repair. Here is a guideline on what makes a multimeter ideal for diagnosing an electrical problem when performing appliance repair.

Functionality

An ideal multimeter should check at least two basic electrical tests — current, voltage, and resistance. Also, the device should be able to test both alternating and direct currents. Digital multimeters also have the extra ability to check frequency, temperature, and capacitance. An ideal choice matches desired current and expected future needs.

Auto Range Function

A lot of time goes into estimating the range of electrical current with a manual multimeter. On the flip side, digital models with auto range functions take a shorter time. All needed is to select the necessary process - resistance, voltage, or current test. Then, the meter scans the options to match the proper range to the circuit and provides a readout.

Safety Features

Safety is a priority for anyone who handles electric gear. For instance, CAT precautions are vital for a professional multimeter to handle great DC or AC voltages. The higher the CAT rating, the more advanced the insulation and the safer the unit.

Durability

An ideal multimeter can withstand bumps, shocks, and accidental falls. The device's outer casing should be hard enough to withstand accidental falls. Durability ensures the circuit won't become exposed and make the device unsafe after a few falls.

Analog Multimeters vs. Digital Display Multimeters

Choosing between analog multimeters and digital display multimeters depends on the user's needs. For some, an analog multimeter provides an easier-to-see readout, especially in bright sunlight. Most modern multimeters are digital and hard to decipher in bright sunlight. Fortunately, some models include a backlit screen to enhance visibility in bright light.

True RMS

Electronic devices like computers, HVACs, and ballasts generate non sinusoidal waves. The waveform's shape can dramatically affect the multimeter's reading. Thus, a true RMS comes in handy to measure imperfect non sinusoidal waves accurately.

Maximum Voltage

Multimeters usually have an expected maximum voltage, most of which don't exceed 1000V. A higher voltage rating is ideal for high-voltage tasks. Otherwise, if the multimeter experiences too much voltage, a wire in the fuse melts and breaks the circuit. After the wire melts, the multimeter won't function well unless the fuse gets a replacement.

Which Type of Multimeter Is Preferred for Use in Appliance Repair?

The type of multimeter for appliance repair often depends on the line of use. Here are some preferred multimeters for different categories of services and users.

Fluke 117 Digital Multimeter - Ideal for Professionals

For professionals who want high accuracy, Flake 117 digital multimeter is an ideal solution. Although expensive, the multimeter has all the features needed to repair home appliances. The digital display with robust build quality also makes fluke 117 ideal for indoor and outdoor use. Fluke 117 boasts the following key features:

  • High display count resolution as opposed to DIY appliance repair
  • An auto range feature that allows for the automatic selection of ranges
  • A true RMS function to enhance the accuracy of the measurements
  • Non-contact voltage detection to detect energized circuits and improve safety standards

Each feature above makes the Fluke 117 digital multimeter suitable for professional use.

Fluke’s Take on Selecting the right multimeter

Kaiweets HT118A Multimeter - Ideal for home use

Homes have different appliances, e.g., coffee machines, HVAC systems, TVs, and ovens. A multimeter that can troubleshoot all the devices offers top-notch convenience. Kaiweets HT118A multimeter is suitable as a continuity tester for home appliances and cars. Key features of the multimeter are:

  • Silicon case for extra safety
  • Optional flashlight for using dark areas
  • High accuracy
  • Ability to measure temperature with the temperature probe provided in the device's package

Whether small or large, the features of Kaiweets HT118A provide the convenience needed for home appliances.

Using the Kaiweets HT118A Multimeter

Fluke 107 - Ideal for Portability

A fluke multimeter107 is a small device that can fit in the palm. The model provides accurate resistance, capacity, continuity, and voltage information. Some admirable features of the device include the following:

  • Data hold to enhance safer and speedier operations
  • Long battery life
  • Backlit display feature that makes the readout easier to see
  • Full parameter automatic range test, which enhances convenience and speed

No extra bag is needed to carry the device around because Fluke 107 fits in the pocket.

Etekcity MSR - R500 Digital Multimeter - Great for Budget Friendliness

Etekcity digital multimeter is accurate for continuity, diode, functionality, resistance, and voltage measurements. The device has a built-in support stand to allow for hands-free use. The protective rubber sleeve on the tool also provides drop protection. In addition, the price is affordable, and the device doesn't skimp on the high-end features listed below.

  • An automatic shutoff functionality that preserves the batteries
  • A hold button that leaves the reading on the screen for long enough to allow you to record accurate measurements
  • LCD backlight display to enable speedy and less strenuous operations in darker areas

The affordability of Etekcity MSR - R500 doesn't make the device any less efficient.

The Etekcity MSR - R500 Multimeter

AstroAI MUS10KRD Digital Multimeter - Ideal for Tech DIYers

AstroAI is a perfect choice for all basic functions, plus the ability to export data to a computer. A big display with a backlight enhances visibility and speed. Other valuable features of the device are:

  • An auto mode that automatically selects current voltage and resistance
  • Non-contact voltage mode to test energized circuits with no need to attach test leads
  • Test LED jacks with indicator lights
  • True RMS function to enhance accuracy in the readouts

Even non-tech users who wish to store data in a computer can take advantage of AstroAI MUS10KRD's features.

Astro AI Multimeters

Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter - Ideal for Electronics and Electricals

Extech EX330 is convenient, easy to handle, and incorporates multiple functions. The device has a fully digital multimeter and a non-contact voltage detector. So, both AC/DC voltages are taken with high accuracy. The EX330 also performs diode tests, continuity tests, and measures resistance. Some notable features of the device are:

  • Non-contact voltage detector that detects certain voltages without contact with the test appliance
  • Data hold option that stores your last reading until you get a new one
  • Low battery indicator to warn you so you can replace the batteries in good time
  • Automatic range feature that eliminates the need to set up the scale manually

The features above provide top-notch accuracy and convenience for electrical functions.

How Do You Test a Faulty Appliance With a Multimeter?

Below are the basic steps to check whether your appliance is faulty with a multimeter.

  • Turn off and unplug the appliance to eliminate the risk of electric shock
  • Turn on the multimeter and adjust to the lowest ohm settings
  • Access the plug of the device (for small appliances) or individual components you want to test
  • Attach alligator clips to the terminals you want to test
  • Turn the knob of the device as you would during normal operations
  • Read the multimeter

A low reading means that the tested element is in perfect condition. Conversely, a higher or infinity reading means the tested part is defective.

Pros and Cons of Different Multimeters

Most multimeters do an excellent job, but each has different pros and cons. Here are some typical multimeters and the pros and cons of the multimeters discussed above.

Fluke 117 Digital Multimeter

The upsides of the above multimeter include:

  • Hands-free voltage detection that enhances the swift detection of dead circuits
  • Discerns actual currents from currents that appear to be live but are just capacitance bleed through
  • Proven Safety with tested pieces of equipment

The downsides of the Fluke 117 digital multimeter include the high cost and lack of milli amp/micro amp range.

Kaiweets HT118A

Kaiweets HT118A boasts the following benefits.

  • A low battery level indicator to allow for timely replacement of batteries
  • Auto power off function to switch the device on in case of inactivity
  • Ability to measure temperature

The disadvantages of Kaiweets HT118A include the relatively short probes, dim flashlights, and the large size.

Etekcity MSR - R500 Digital Multimeter

Some top conveniences that Etekcity offer include:

  • Availability of safety features like a non-contact voltage mode that allows you to test potentially hot or live wires without direct contact
  • Large screen display for easier readability
  • Wide variety of different measurements suitable for most professionals

Unfortunately, the rotary dial on the device can be complex to operate with one hand. Besides, the multimeter is heavier than many other designs.

Fluke 107 Digital Multimeter

The upsides of Fluke 107 are:

  • A manageable size and weight that fits in your pockets and doesn't weigh you down
  • High-quality leads
  • Solid build quality, evident when you turn on the dial

On the down side, Fluke 107's continuity tone isn't loud enough for use in commercial work sites. Also, the multimeter doesn't come with a carrying case.

Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter

The device above offers the following advantages.

  • Large LED display for enhanced visibility
  • Auto shutdown feature to save on energy
  • Durable and sturdy case

Unfortunately, the test leads have short metal strips and lack blacklights.

AstroAI MUS10KRD Digital Multimeter

Here are four highlights of AstroAI MUS10KRD.

  • The pockets size makes portability easier
  • Auto mode allowed for simpler measurement of values
  • The colorful display eliminates the need for a backlight

On the downside, the device needs many batteries to be fully functional. AstroAI MUS10KRD doesn't also measure microamps.

Frequently Asked Questions About Multimeteres

What is the Difference Between a Multimeter and a Clamp Meter?

You’ll use a digital multimeter to measure voltage, current, capacity, resistance, and continuity. A clamp can measure much higher amperage than a multimeter, and you don’t have to power down your appliance when measuring amps with clamp meters as you do with a multimeter. The clamp meter doesn’t require you to touch an active conductor - which greatly reduces the chances of electrical shock.

Fluke video describing the difference between a multimeter and a clamp meter

What Is a Multimeter?

A multimeter is a device that provides accurate current measurement in appliances. The device usually has a dial, display, and two test probes — black and red probes — attached with wires. A multimeter probe sends power through an appliance to check for a complete electrical current flow.

How Is a Multimeter Important for Appliance Repair?

A damaged part in a broken appliance isn't easy to diagnose with bare looks. A multimeter comes in handy to pinpoint the faulty part of a defective appliance. Multimeters usually test faults in the following three ways.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

About Me

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

This website is dedicating to helping home services contractors to grow their businesses by implementing effective marketing, systems, and processes. 
Learn More About Me

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