Using multimeters is not much difficult even for newbies but there are some important saftey precautions that everyone should follow while using them. Especially when you are not experienced there’s a chance of a mishap when trying to do it without necessary safety measures. Dealing with electricity is always dangerous regardless of low and high voltage systems.
In a survey, it was revealed that a large number of electricians and technicians admitted that they were not using multimeters and other tools in the proper way they were supposed to do. Everyone should attend some safety training before doing work related to electricity.
Learn Deeply before using Multimeters
Our advice as an electrical works agency to you is clear and sound that every one of you whether electricians, diy enthusiasts, or newbies should learn safety guideline and tips mentioned on digital multimeter manual before starting work on live circuits. Even for dead or nonpowered systems, we should do the same procedure to become habitual to it.
Learning is the most important part of safety both for equipment and humans. We may take an example here that if we have a clamp amp meter, some old analog multimeter, and digital multimeter. Now, these three types of devices are apparently same but have a different ways of use. We should know that how to calibrate a multimeter, how to adjust for voltage, current range. A small mistake can lead to a heavy loss at any time.
Multimeter and Equipment inspection
Make it your habit to check your instrument physically before going to work every time. In meters check testing leads, they should be fine and intact for better results. You may also conduct a self test by connecting meter’s leads with one another and checking continuity.
Also, analyze the unit or equipment where you are going to conduct tests. Check if there is known damage, leakage, crack, or any other type of issue. Because a faulty unit may deteriorate meter’s readings or cause misunderstanding which results in wastage of time and money.
Right tool for right job
A smart work is obviously a better work always, for that one should use right one tools and instruments. In the case of electrical tasks a right multimeter is a vital part of troubleshooting operations, first of all, you should use fine quality reliable, and calibrated multimeters.
As we know that clamp meters are used for checking high value current, so don’t take risk of using digital multimeters even for a slightly higher value of amps.
Same as if you have to test 400, 600 v systems your meter should have a dedicated range for that or an auto ranging ability otherwise you may fry your tool soon. For electronic ac/dc circuits meter must have the required resolution of micro or milliamp/volts parameter for best results.
Utilizing safety equipment properly can assure a safe operation of using multimeters. While playing with electricity wearing this equipment should be our most concerned matter. Every electrical tech worker should wear safety shoes, helmets, protective gloves, and other necessary equipment in order to prevent misfortunes.
Without gloves and shoes workers always will be at a high risk of getting shocked whenever exposed to a system having 50 or higher volts.
Before doing work on mcc panels or outlet supply boards make sure that power has been cut off. For that, you should use a volt tester or a non contact voltage tester to identify any type of ghost or stary voltage presence in the circuit. So now tester is also is a type of safety equipment here.
CAT Safety ratings
Multimeters are built to withstand a particular value of voltage spikes and current. They made some categories for multimeters so we can decide which one is suitable according to load values of the system. CAT ratings are divided into four groups CAT I, CAT II, CAT III, and CAT IV.
It’s compulsory to verify a meter CAT rating before using it. For general home use on 110, 220v systems you may go for a multimeter having a lower rating but for industrial and other professional applications a high rated multimeter is recommended.
These ratings are mentioned near to jack on fluke multimeter or other company meters, you should first check them and verify that either it’s enough or more for a system parameters.
Never work alone
For electrical workers, it’s a piece of important advice by us that they should not work alone. We are saying after our experience that working alone on electric equipment may be harmful sometimes. Having a partner with you assures that if any type of misfortune occurs he or she can save you by some efforts like de energizing the system by pushing the emergency off button and calling some life saving rescue teams.
There’s a common perception among electricians that lowers voltage means no danger, it is totally wrong. Any value of voltage more than 50v can produce shocks. We generally don’t put much attention to safety guidelines and do things as per our routines. Doing things unprofessionally maybe save some time but it’s lethal in long run.
There are many uses of multimeters having danger levels according to them, but if we are applying safety guidelines well and stay vigilant then the ratio of any mishap will be minor.
Here we’ll also like to advise you not to buy cheap quality multimeters for sake of money. Always go for reputed and reliable company meters and research well before buying them. Quality multimeters are good both at accuracy and safety matters.
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.