X

Put your multimeter to work at home

Here's how to put that multimeter gathering dust to work around the house.

bb-ces
bb-ces

Brian Bennett

See full bio

img-20171223-122107
1 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

Put your multimeter to work at home

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

img-20171223-115353-1
2 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

What are these?

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

pixlr-20171223141511687
3 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

Insulated probes

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.

img-20171223-125733-1
4 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

Is the battery still good?

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.

img-20171223-130020-1
5 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

The battery's good!

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

img-20171223-122805-edited
6 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

Check if the switch works

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

img-20171223-130949
7 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

A good switch

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

Electrical box SNAFU
8 of 8 Brian Bennett/CNET

A multimeter can solve this

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

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

More Galleries

2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

53 Photos
2023 Toyota Camry Nightshade is a Bronzeworthy Family Sedan

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Camry Nightshade is a Bronzeworthy Family Sedan

13 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

More Galleries

2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

47 Photos