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Put your multimeter to work at home

What are these?

Insulated probes

Is the battery still good?

The battery's good!

Check if the switch works

A good switch

A multimeter can solve this

Don't let your digital multimeter gather more dust in your toolbox. Put that useful gadget to work around the house.

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET

Does this look like Greek to you? You're not alone. Multimeter function dials are often labeled in electrical symbols and pictographs. 

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET

Your multimeter comes with two insulated probes. You'll need to connect them to the right ports (terminals) on the device depending on what you'd like to measure.

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET

Use your multimeter to test old batteries for signs of life. The black probe goes on the negative side (flat end) while the red probe touches the positive (raised bump) end.

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET

With a confirmed 1.5 volts of direct current, my multimeter proclaims this AA battery alive!

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET

Use your multimeter to verify if a suspect switch is working or has failed.

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET

An operational light switch will have a low resistance when in the on (closed circuit) position.

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET

When your "simple" home improvement project starts to look like this, the precise measurements of a multimeter might be your only salvation.

Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET
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