It’s that time of year again. All of those DIY home projects have been piling up. Some of them you love. Others, you avoid.
They may take hours, primarily because you don’t have the tools the experts do.
But that can change now. You don’t have to be an electrician to use a multimeter. In fact, once you learn the basics, it’s one of the easiest tools to use.
Let’s find out why this is a must-have tool in your toolbox and the many ways you can use it to save time and money by doing it yourself.
1. It Takes the Guess Work Out of Many Home Projects
When you don’t have the right tools, you do a lot of guesswork when doing things around the home or business.
This not only increases your chances of making a serious mistake, it takes a lot more time.
Not unlike a screwdriver, stud finder or level, a multimeter is a tool you need in your toolbox.
2. It Saves You the Expense of Hiring a Professional
How many times have you hired a professional for a project? They pull one little tool out that you didn’t have. And they’re done in minutes after it took you hours of trying before you called a professional.
It may have only taken a few minutes. But you’re still on the hook for $75 dispatch fee plus an hour of work.
With a multimeter, you can do many of the things professional electricians do yourself.
As a bonus, how many of your friends and family members will also be saved this expense because you have this handy device?
3. It Saves You the Expense of Throwing the “Wrong One” Away
The multimeter is a gauge. We’ll go into its specific functions a little later. When you have the right tool measuring things you avoid waste.
You don’t accidentally throw something away that was functional. You don’t waste time installing something that doesn’t work.
4. Anyone Can Use One
These devices are very easy to use. And they’re fun to learn.
They can seem a little intimidating at first. But you’re probably only going to use for 3 primary functions, measuring:
These will become more clear as we go through our list.
We wouldn’t recommend a child use it. But any responsible adult can pick one up and learn to work with it in a few minutes.
Now, if you could just get a reliable lie detector for your toolbox.
5. They Help Keep You Safe
The multimeter helps measure electric current. Knowing if a current is present and how strong it is will help you avoid a shocking mistake.
When you use this device as instructed, it helps keep you, your family and your home safe.
Now let’s get into the most likely ways you’ll use this device.
6. You Can Test Batteries
You’re removing batteries from a device. You suddenly get interrupted.
Absentmindedly, you accidentally put the old ones back in the box. Or you forget which ones are the new ones.
Now you’re facing a dilemma. You don’t want to accidentally throw away good batteries. And you don’t what to mismatch or put dead batteries into the device.
The multimeter has two little probes that allow you to quickly determine the voltage in the batteries to get rid of the duds.
7. You Can Check Out Extension Cords
Extension cords can be very dangerous. You expect them to last for decades or more.
They may look fine. But over time, they can corrode.
You can test the continuity of the current moving through the extension cord by inserting one probe into each hole of the receiving end of the cord.
Carefully touch the other probe to the corresponding prong on the other side.
Is the current continuous? If not it’s time for a new cord.
8. It’s the Easiest Way to Get Rid of Old Lightbulbs
This one will only work if you still have incandescent bulbs. It’s less reliable for CFLs and LEDs.
Put one prong into the groove of the light bulb screw and the other onto the metal tip at the base of the bulb.
Check that the current is continuous. If it is, the device will make a sound.
9. It Helps You Spot a Hot Wire
When a fixture or appliance stops working, you have to wonder: Is it the fixture? Is it the switch? Or is the power failure somewhere else in the house?
Use the multimeter to figure out what the culprit is so you don’t make any unnecessary purchases.
10. It Locates That Bad Switch
When you’re changing out switches, it’s a project. You don’t want to accidentally install a bad switch. Even if the switch is new from the store, it could be faulty.
What a waste of a Saturday afternoon!
With a fluke multimeter, you can test the switch to avoid the hassle.
Simply apply the probes once again. Adjust the settings and instantly know for sure if you’re working with a dud.
Multimeter: A Must-Have Tool in Your Toolbox
A decade or so ago, you may have thought you could be without a level or a stud finder. Now, these tools are in every serious homeowner’s toolbox.
There’re probably in yours.
If you don’t have a multimeter, you could be wasting a lot of time and money when there’s a simple fix. This meter takes the guesswork out of DIY projects. You can know for certain the voltage, continuity, and resistance in electrical devices.
Stay safe by testing switches and cords before they cause a problem. Stop throwing perfectly good lightbulbs and batteries in the trash because you accidentally mixed them up.
Anyone can learn to use this handy tool and it’s fun.
To learn more about helpful apps and devices, follow our blog.