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 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:
The appliance is faulty if the multimeter reads infinity, really high, or extremely low resistance.
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;
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Each feature above makes the Fluke 117 digital multimeter suitable for professional use.
Fluke’s Take on Selecting the right multimeter
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:
Whether small or large, the features of Kaiweets HT118A provide the convenience needed for home appliances.
Using the Kaiweets HT118A Multimeter
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:
No extra bag is needed to carry the device around because Fluke 107 fits in the pocket.
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.
The affordability of Etekcity MSR - R500 doesn't make the device any less efficient.
The Etekcity MSR - R500 Multimeter
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:
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 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:
The features above provide top-notch accuracy and convenience for electrical functions.
Below are the basic steps to check whether your appliance is faulty with a 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.
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.
The upsides of the above multimeter include:
The downsides of the Fluke 117 digital multimeter include the high cost and lack of milli amp/micro amp range.
Kaiweets HT118A boasts the following benefits.
The disadvantages of Kaiweets HT118A include the relatively short probes, dim flashlights, and the large size.
Some top conveniences that Etekcity offer include:
Unfortunately, the rotary dial on the device can be complex to operate with one hand. Besides, the multimeter is heavier than many other designs.
The upsides of Fluke 107 are:
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.
The device above offers the following advantages.
Unfortunately, the test leads have short metal strips and lack blacklights.
Here are four highlights of AstroAI MUS10KRD.
On the downside, the device needs many batteries to be fully functional. AstroAI MUS10KRD doesn't also measure microamps.
Frequently Asked Questions About Multimeteres
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
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.
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.