My hubby is always installing and repairing electrical systems. (He became an electrician a couple years ago.) These types of systems include electronics, wiring and circuit boards. He busted his multimeter the other day and spend quite a bit buying a new one.
For those who don't know what an electrician does or why they need a meter, this article is for you.
When building a house, an electrician is a big part of that team. They have to run electrical wiring among other things and install electrical sockets and lighting. Because electricians work with so much electricity it is important for them to have a good multimeter in their toolbox.
A multimeter is an electronic measuring instrument that combines several measurement functions in one unit. Your typical multimeter usually has features to measure voltage, current and resistance. I will go into details more about those in a minute. Electricians can use a multimeter for testing batteries, electrical current and broken appliances. They can also be used to troubleshoot problems in a wide range of appliances from household to factories.
There are two different types of multimeters, the analog and the digital multimeter. Most electricians use digital because the measurement readings appear in exact numerical values. With the high demand to become an electrician these days it is more reasonable for an electrician to use a digital multimeter because of its accuracy as well as it gets the job done faster. Let me explain how a multimeter works in more detail; this will help you understand why having this tool is so important for an electrician.
As stated before a multimeter is used to troubleshoot electrical and electrical circuits, as well as ensure correct operating levels and check voltage. The reason it is called multimeter because it combines three functions in one giant tool. These functions are a voltmeter, ammeter and an ohmmeter.
Here are these functions in more detail:
Meter- Is simply the measuring device.
Ammeter- Measures the number of electrons that are passing a giving point in a certain amount of time. This will give us the unit called amperes. A multimeter can be used to check how many amperes different appliances, are drawing excessive current.
Voltmeter- measures the electrical potential between two points and is measured in volts.
Ohmmeter- measures the resistance to current flow and is measured in units called ohms.
Not all digital multimeters are the same and it is important for the electrician to understand what type of calculation they need. The differences in digital multimeters are there method of calculation. Some of the different thing you can test with this tool is frequency, current, resistance, voltage and continuity. It is important to know what methods to look for when testing.
Here are the common methods:
1. RMs- the meter measures the heating that will effect if the voltage is impressed across a resistive load.
2. Peak Method- the meter will read the peak of the signal; divide the result by the square root of 2 to get the value of the rm.
3. Averaging method- the meter determines the average value of the corrected signal.
All these methods should give you the same result for a clean misleading signal. However they can give different results for a misleading signal which is not uncommon.
Multimeters come in a wide range of prices. You can find them anywhere from 20 to 100 plus dollars. It is important to figure out what type of job you want to use it for and the different features you would like for it to have. The best thing to do when looking into investing in a tool for the job is to ask other electricians and read many reviews. Some people end up spending way too much for a multimeter that ended up being not the type they needed. Always ask around and talk to other professionals before you make a purchase.
Electricians work with electricity and electrical current every day. As everyone knows electricity can be very dangerous when handled wrong. Why not get a tool that can make working with electrical devices easier as well as give you accurate results. Without a multimeter an electrician is forced to use trial and error when it comes to the job which can often be dangerous, given the things they must do. A multimeter is a must for every electrician to do a wonderful job and make their clients happy.