Electricity is so dangerous for the human body in some cases, it can electrocute or burn someone in seconds. That’s why we recommend that everyone should get electrical and multimeter safety training first before starting any type of work with multimeters. Following the international electric codes, every outlet and appliance should be properly grounded.
We’ll elobrate everything in easy way on “how to check electrical ground with multimeter”. But before that it will be helpful to learn somewhat about electrical ground.
What is a Ground connection?
Ground or earthing is a process for safety in electrical circuits. It’s a way of current discharge towards the ground if someone accidentally touches any live wire. You should check your house outlet’s grounding with a multimeter regularly to ensure if it’s working or not.
A third U shaped receptacle in every outlet indicates ground connection, but the presence of it is not a surety that the outlet is grounded well. In the absence of a ground whole home or office, electric system, and all home use devices will be vulnerable to shock electric fire. To avoid it, one has to test the outlet with a multimeter.
A multimeter is a helpful electrical tool by which you can check basic parameters like voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and many more. Using a digital multimeter is not very difficult if you have some interest in working with it.
How to check electrical ground with a multimeter
- Turn on your multimeter, insert prongs into the relative banana jack, red lead into V, ohm jack and black or neutral lead into COM jack.
- Turn the multimeter on AC voltage, set it on the highest voltage value for meter’s safety against over voltage.
- Now insert meter testing leads into the outlet’s neutral and live receptacles. Usually smaller receptacle carries live voltage or phase and a larger one is for neutral.
- In U.S. you should get 120v and 220 or 240v if you have a 220v supply.
- Now connect black test lead of the meter with a ground point, when red one is still connected to phase. Now if grounding is working well meter should give voltage reading.
- If you are not getting any reading or a near to zero voltage it means there is no ground.
- If you don’t get a reading, there is a chance that maybe you have a reversely connected outlet. Reversely connected means neutral is mistakenly connected to phase receptacle and phase with neutral.
- For that connect the meter leads again with outlet receptacle in a reverse manner and repeat the above process.
- If still, you are not getting voltage value, then either you have no ground or a fault in it.
- Call an electrician to sort out the issue.
Leo Maxwell is basically an Electrical engineer and hobby tech writer, having 13 years of experience in the electronics and instrumentation industry. He has hands on experience working in various fields like Powerhouses, solar, automotive, and FMCG.
During his career, he has used many power tools and meters in electrical projects. Now his aim is to explain tools and troubleshooting in easy guides to help people. Other then it, leo loves traveling, reading books and DIY tasks.