How To Use A Multimeter To Test A Dryer Heating Element Guide

This article will reveal you how to use a DMM – digital multimeter, a crucial device that you can make use of to identify circuits, discover other individuals’s digital layouts, and also how to use a multimeter to test a dryer heating element.

One of the most basic points we measure are voltage as well as current. A multimeter is additionally fantastic for some fundamental sanity checks and troubleshooting. Is your circuit not working? Does the button work? Place a meter on it! The multimeter is your first protection when fixing a system. In this tutorial we will cover measuring voltage, current, resistance as well as continuity.

Every fixer should recognize their means around a multimeter, which has simply north of a zillion utilizes for testing electronic parts and circuits.

In this tutorial we’re mostly likely to reveal you exactly how to utilize a multimeter. This tutorial is primarily resolved for novices that are beginning out in electronics and also have no suggestion how to use a multimeter as well as exactly how it can be useful. We’ll explore the most usual attributes on a multimeter and how to measure current, voltage, resistance and just how to inspect continuity.

What is a multimeter as well as why do you require one?

A multimeter is without question a measurement device absolutely necessary in electronic devices. It incorporates three vital attributes: a voltmeter, ohmeter, as well as ammeter, and in many cases continuity.

The tool enables you to recognize what is taking place in your circuits. Whenever something in your circuit isn’t working, it will certainly assist you troubleshooting. Here’s some scenarios in electronics jobs that you’ll discover the multimeter beneficial:

  • is the button turn on?
  • is this wire performing the electrical power or is it broken?
  • just how much current is truly moving with this led?
  • just how much power do you have remaining on your battery pack?

What should multimeters assess?

Nearly all multimeters can easily measure voltage, current, and also resistance.

Various multimeters have a continuity check, leading to a noisy beep once 2 points are electrically linked. This is practical if, as an example, you are developing a circuit and linking wires or maybe soldering; the beep suggests everything is connected as well as absolutely nothing has actually come loose. You can also use it to make certain 2 things are not linked, to help avoid short circuits.

A few multimeters likewise have a diode check feature. A diode is like a one-way shutoff that only lets electricity flow in one instructions. The specific function of the diode check can differ from one type to another. If you’re working with a diode and can not inform which method it goes in the circuit, or if you’re unsure the diode is functioning effectively, the check feature can be quite convenient. In the instance your DMM has a diode check function, read the manual to locate out precisely how it functions.

Advanced models could have various other features, such as the ability to measure and also recognize other electric components, like transistors or capacitors. Given that not just about all multimeters have these functions, we will certainly not cover them in this tutorial. You can review your multimeter’s handbook if you require to utilize these attributes.

What do all of the symbols mean?

There’s a lot taking place when you take a look at the selection knob, however if you’re only mosting likely to be doing some fundamental stuff, you won’t even make use of fifty percent of all the settings. All the same, below’s a rundown of what each symbol suggests:

DCV or Direct Current Voltage:Occasionally it will certainly be signified with a V– instead. This setting is made use of to measure straight current (DC) voltage in things like batteries.
Alternating Current Voltage (ACV): Sometimes it will be denoted with a V ~ rather. This setup is made use of to measure the voltage from alternating current resources, which is practically anything that connects right into an outlet, in addition to the power coming from the outlet itself.
Resistance (Ω): This measures how much resistance there is in the circuit. The lower the number, the easier it is for the current to flow through, and also vice versa.
Continuity: Usually represented by a wave or diode symbol. This just evaluates whether a circuit is complete by sending a really percentage of current with the circuit as well as seeing if it makes it out the other end. If not, then there’s something along the circuit that’s triggering an issue– locate it!
DCA or Direct Current Amperage: Similar to DCV, however as opposed to giving you a voltage analysis, it will tell you the amperage.
Direct Current Gain (hFE): This setting is to test transistors and also their DC gain, yet it’s primarily pointless, considering that the majority of electrical experts and enthusiasts will utilize the continuity check instead.

Your multimeter might likewise have a committed setup for checking the amperage of AA, AAA, and also 9V batteries. This setting is generally represented with the battery icon.

Once again, you probably won’t also use half of the settings revealed, so don’t obtain bewildered if you just know what a few of them do.

How to utilize a DMM

For beginners, let’s review some of the various components of a multimeter. At the very fundamental level you have the device itself, in addition to 2 probes, which are the black and red cords that have plugs on one end and metal suggestions on the other.

The device alone has a screen at the top, which provides you your readout, as well as there’s a large selection knob that you can spin around to choose a details setting. Each setting may likewise have various number worths, which exist to measure different staminas of voltages, resistances, as well as amps. So if you have your multimeter set to 20 in the DCV section, it will measure voltages up to 20 volts.

Your DMM will additionally come with 2 or three ports for connecting in the probes:

  • the COM port mean “Common”, as well as the black probe will certainly constantly link into this port.
  • VΩmA port (occasionally denoted as mAVΩ) is just a phrase for voltage, resistance, and current (in milliamps). This is where the red probe will connect into if you’re measuring voltage, resistance, continuity, and current less than 200mA.
  • the 10ADC port (often represented as simply 10A) is made use of whenever you’re measuring current that’s even more than 200mA. If you’re uncertain of the current draw, begin with this port. On the various other hand, you would not utilize this port in any way if you’re measuring anything besides current.

Caution: Make sure that if you’re measuring anything with a current more than 200mA, you plug the red probe right into the 10A port, instead of the 200mA port. Or else you might blow the fuse that’s within of the multimeters. In addition, measuring anything over 10 amps could blow a fuse or damage the multimeters too.

Your measurement tool might have completely different ports for measuring amps, while the various other port is particularly simply for voltage, resistance, as well as continuity, yet a lot of less costly multimeters will share ports.

Anyhow, let’s get going really making use of a multimeter. We’ll be measuring the voltage of a AA battery, the current draw of a wall surface clock, and also the continuity of a straightforward cord as some instances to get you started as well as familiar with making use of a multimeter.

Components of a DMM

A multimeter features four components:

  • Display: this particular is just where the measurements are shown
  • Selection Knob: this selects what you want to measure
  • Ports: this is where you plug in the probes
  • Probes: a multimeter features two probes. Normally, one is red and the other is black.


  • “COM” or “–” port is where the black probe should be linked. The COM probe is traditionally black.
  • 10A is used when measuring huge currents, more than 200mA.
  • µAmA is utilized to measure current.
  • allows you to measure voltage and resistance and test continuity.


COM mean common and also is often connected to Ground or ‘-‘ of a circuit.The COM probe is traditionally black yet there is no difference in between the red probe and black probe apart from color.


10A is the special port made use of when measuring huge currents (more than 200mA).

Selection Knob

The selection knob permits the user to establish the tool to read different points such as milliamps (mA) of current, voltage (V) and resistance (Ω).


2 probes are connected right into 2 of the ports on the front of the unit. The probes have actually a banana kind connector on the end that connects into the multimeter. Any type of probe with a banana plug will deal with this meter. This enables for various sorts of probes to be utilized.

Probe Types

There are various kinds of probes available. Right here are a few of our faves:

  • Banana to Alligator Clips: These are great cables for attaching to large wires or pins on a breadboard. Helpful for performing longer term examinations where you don’t need to need to hold the probes in location while you adjust a circuit.
  • Banana to IC Hook: IC hooks function well on smaller ICs as well as legs of ICs.
  • Banana to Tweezers: Tweezers come in handy if you are needing to check SMD elements.
  • Banana to Test Probes: If you ever before damage a probe, they are inexpensive to replace!

Measuring Voltage

To begin, allow’s measure voltage on a AA battery: Plug the black probe into COM as well as the red probe right into mAVΩ. Establish to “2V” in the DC (straight current) array. Nearly all portable electronics make use of direct current), not alternating current. Connect the black probe to the battery’s ground or ‘-‘ and also the red probe to power or simply ‘+’. Press the probes with a little stress against the positive and also negative terminals of the AA battery. If you’ve obtained a fresh battery, you need to see around 1.5 V on the display screen (this battery is all new, so its voltage is a little greater than 1.5 V).

You can measure DC voltage or AC voltage. The V with a straight line means DC voltage. The V with the wavy line means AC voltage.

To measure voltage:

  1. Set the mode to V with a wavy line if you’re measuring AC voltage or to the V with a straight line if you’re measuring DC voltage.
  2. See to it the red probe is attached to the port with a V alongside it.
  3. Attach the red probe to the favorable side of your component, which is where the current is originating from.
  4. Attach the COM probe to the opposite of your component.
  5. Read the worth on the display.

Suggestion: to measure voltage you need to link your multimeter in parallel with the component you desire to measure the voltage. Placing the multimeter in parallel is placing each probe along the leads of the component you desire to measure the voltage.

Measuring a battery’s voltage

In this instance we’re going to measure the voltage of a 1.5 V battery. You know that you’ll have approximately 1.5 V. So, you need to pick an array with the selection knob that can review the 1.5 V. So you should pick 2V in the situation of this multimeter. If you have an autorange one, you don’t need to bother with the variety you need to pick.

Start by turning on it, connecting the probes into their particular ports and also after that establishing the selection knob to the highest number worth in the DCV area, which in my situation is actually 500 volts. If you do not understand at least the voltage variety of the important things you’re measuring, it’s always a good idea to begin with the highest value initially and also after that function your way down till you get an exact reading.

In this instance, we understand the AA battery has a very reduced voltage, yet we’ll start at 200 volts simply for the purpose of example. Next off, position the black probe on the adverse end of the battery and the red probe on the favorable end. Have a look at the reading on the display. Given that we have the multimeter collection to a high 200 volts, it shows “1.6” on the display, suggesting 1.6 volts.

However, I want an even more exact analysis, so I’ll move the selection knob reduced to 20 volts. Right here, you can see that we have an even more accurate analysis that floats in between 1.60 and also 1.61 volts. If you were to ever before set the selection knob to a number worth less than the voltage of things you’re checking, the multimeter would simply read “1”, symbolizing that it’s strained. So if I were to set the handle to 200 millivolts (0.2 volts), the 1.6 volts of the AA battery is also much for the multimeter to manage at that setup.

All the same, you may be asking why you would require to evaluate the voltage of something to begin with. Well, in this instance with the AA battery, we’re checking to see if it has any juice left. At 1.6 volts, that’s a fully-loaded battery. Nevertheless, if it were to read 1.2 volts, it’s close to being pointless.
In a much more sensible situation, you could do this type of measuring on a cars and truck battery to see if it could be dying or if the alternator (which is what charges the battery) is spoiling. An analysis between 12.4-12.7 volts indicates that the battery is in good shape. Anything lower which’s proof of a passing away battery. Additionally, start your car up and rev it up a bit. If the voltage doesn’t increase to about 14 volts or so, then it’s likely that the generator is having concerns.


What takes place if you pick a voltage setup that is as well low for the voltage you’re trying to measure? Nothing poor. The meter will just display a 1. This is the meter attempting to inform you that it is overloaded or out-of-range. What ever you’re trying to review is as well much for that particular setting. Attempt transforming the multimeter handle to a the next greatest setup.

Selection Knob

For what reason does the meter knob reviewed 20V and not 10V? If you’re looking to measure a voltage less than 20V, you look to the 20V setup. This will certainly enable you to check out from 2.00 to 19.99. The first figure on lots of multimeters is only able to show a ‘1’ so the ranges are restricted to 19.99 rather than 99.99. For this reason the 20V max variety instead of 99V max variety.

How To Measure Resistance

Plug the red probe into the right port and turn the selection knob to the resistance area. Then, connect the probes to the resistor leads. The means you connect the leads doesn’t matter, the outcome is the same.

Normal resistors have shade codes on them. If you don’t understand what they imply, that’s ok! There are lots of online calculators that are simple to use. Nonetheless, if you ever locate on your own without web access, a multimeter is very useful at measuring resistance.

Select out an arbitrary resistor as well as set the multimeter to the 20kΩ setup. After that hold the probes versus the resistor legs with the very same amount of stress you when pressing a secret on a keyboard.

The meter will certainly review among three things, 0.00, 1, or the real resistor value.

In this instance, the meter reviews 0.97, meaning this resistor has a value of 970Ω, or concerning 1kΩ (remember you are in the 20kΩ or 20,000 Ohm mode so you need to move the decimal 3 places to the right or 970 Ohms).

If the multimeter checks out 1 or presents OL, it’s strained. You will certainly require to attempt a higher setting such as 200kΩ setting or 2MΩ (megaohm) setting. There is no damage if this occur, it simply indicates the array handle needs to be readjusted.

Should the multimeter reads 0.00 or nearly zero, after that you require to reduce the setting to 2kΩ or 200Ω.

Remember that numerous resistors have a 5% resistance. This means that the shade codes may show 10,000 Ohms (10kΩ), however since of disparities in the manufacturing process a 10kΩ resistor can be as reduced as 9.5 kΩ or as high as 10.5 kΩ. Don’t fret, it’ll work just great as a pull-up or basic resistor.

As a rule of thumb, it’s uncommon to see a resistor much less than 1 Ohm. Bear in mind that measuring resistance is not perfect. Temperature can influence the reviewing a great deal. Also, measuring resistance of a gadget while it is physically installed in a circuit can be very difficult. The bordering elements on a circuit board can substantially affect the analysis.

The mockup normally resembles with a standard clock running of a AA battery. On the positive side, the cable going from the battery to the clock is damaged up. We just place our two probes in between that break to complete the circuit once more (with the red probe linked to the power resource), just this time around our multimeter will certainly read out the amps that the clock is drawing, which in this case is around 0.08 mA.

While a lot of multimeters can likewise measure alternating current (AC), it’s not actually an excellent concept (specifically if its online power), given that AC can be dangerous if you finish up making a blunder. If you need to see whether an electrical outlet is working, use a non-contact tester instead.

To measure current you require to bear in mind that components in series share a current. So, you require to connect your multimeter in series with your circuit.

SUGGESTION: to put the multimeter in collection, you need to position the red probe on the lead of a component as well as the black probe on the next component lead. The multimeter acts as if it was a cord in your circuit. If you disconnect the multimeter, your circuit won’t function.

Before measuring the current, make certain that you’ve plugged in the red probe in the best port, in this instance µAmA. In the instance listed below, the very same circuit of the previous example is utilized. The multimeter is part of the circuit.

Test Continuity

If there is very reduced resistance between two factors, which is less than a couple of ohms, both points are electrically attached and you’ll hear a continual audio. If the noise isn’t constant or if you do not hear any kind of noise at all, it suggests that what you’re testing has a damaged link or isn’t connected in any way.

WARNING: To be able to evaluate continuity you need to shut off the system! Turn off the power supply!

Touch both probes with each other as well as, as they are attached, you’ll listen to a constant sound.To examination the continuity of a cable, you simply require to connect each probe to the cord tips.

Continuity is a fantastic way to evaluate if 2 SMD pins are touching. If your eyes can’t see it, the multimeter is normally a fantastic 2nd testing source. When a system is not functioning, continuity is another point to help repair the system.

  • Establish your multimeter to the continuity setting making use of the selection knob.
  • The readout on the display will quickly check out “1”, which implies that there isn’t any continuity. This would certainly be proper because we haven’t connected the probes to anything yet.
  • Next, make certain the circuit is unplugged and also has no power. After that link one probe to one end of the wire as well as the other probe to the other end– it does not matter which probe takes place which end. If there is a complete circuit, your multimeter will certainly either beep, show a “0”, or something apart from a “1”. If it still reveals a “1”, then there’s a trouble and your circuit isn’t total.
  • You can likewise check that the continuity feature works with your multimeter by touching both probes to each various other. This completes the circuit as well as your multimeter ought to let you recognize that.

A continuity test informs us whether two things are electrically connected: if something is continuous, an electric current can flow openly from one end to the various other.

If there’s no continuity, it implies there is a break someplace in the circuit. This could suggest anything from a blown fuse or negative solder joint to an inaccurately wired circuit.

Altering the Fuse

Among one of the most typical mistakes with a new multimeter is to measure current on a bread board by probing from VCC to GND. This will quickly short power to ground with the multimeter triggering the bread board power supply to brown out. As the current rushes via the multimeter, the interior fuse will warm up and afterwards stress out as 200mA moves with it. It will certainly happen in a flash and with no real audible or physical sign that something is incorrect.

Bear in mind that measuring current is done in collection (disturb the VCC line to the breadboard or maybe microcontroller to be able to measure current). If you attempt to measure the current with a blown fuse, you’ll possibly see that the meter checks out ‘0.00’ as well as that the system does not turn on like it ought to when you attach the multimeter. This is due to the fact that the internal fuse is damaged and functions as a busted cord or open.

To alter the fuse, discover your handy dandy mini screw chauffeur, as well as start getting screws. The components and also PCB traces inside the multimeter are created to take different amounts of current. You will certainly harm as well as perhaps wreck your multimeter if you mistakenly press 5A through the 200mA port.

There are occasions where you need to measure high current gadgets like an electric motor or burner. Do you see both locations to place the red probe on the front of the multimeter? 10A on the left and mAVΩ on the right? If you try to measure greater than 200mA on the mAVΩ port you run the danger of blowing the fuse. Yet if you use the 10A port to measure current, you run a much lower risk of blowing the fuse. The trade-off is sensitivity. As we spoke about above, by utilizing the 10A port and knob setup, you will only be able to check out down to 0.01 A or 10mA. The majority of systems make use of more than 10mA so the 10A setup and port works all right. If you’re attempting to measure extremely reduced power (micro or nano amps) the 200mA port with the 2mA, 200uA, or 20uA might be what you require.


You’re now ready to use your digital multimeter to begin measuring the globe around you. Really feel cost-free to begin utilizing it to address many inquiries. A digital multimeter will address lots of concerns regarding electronics.

A multimeter is actually a vital device in any kind of electronics lab. In this overview, we’ve shown you #main_kws:t#. You’ve learned how to measure voltage, current as well as resistance, as well as just how to examine continuity.