Learn how to use your digital multimeter in a practical and safe way, extending the equipment’s life and preventing accidents.
When asked what is a multimeter, answer in the simplest and safest way; is a device for electrical measurements, capable of carrying out electrical measurements, they generally measure the three main quantities of electricity, electrical voltage, electrical current and electrical resistance, using a Voltmeter (for voltage), Ohmmeter (for resistance) and Ammeter (for current) ). There are other measuring equipment not as well known as Analog Ammeter, Analog Voltmeter, Megometer, Wattmeter and several others that measure electrical quantities.
With the following tips, maintaining security in your workplace, taking care of your equipment in the right way will be very simple.
- Never replace the original fuse with a cheaper one: Digital multimeters that meet all specific safety standards have an overload fuse with characteristics specific to the equipment, ensuring that it blows before an overload reaches your hand. Always use the correct fuse in the equipment, if you do not have an extra fuse, do not use wires or pieces of metal for a quick repair as it will not give you the necessary safety, in addition to the enormous possibility of causing a work accident and burning your device.
- Cheap and poor quality equipment: If a multimeter or measuring device does not meet the advertised safety specifications, you could become an accident victim due to lack of safety. Look for laboratory test markings to ensure that the tool meets the standards.
- Misuse: Using the test tool for the wrong purpose can lead to the burning of your equipment and / or incorrect measurements, also putting the professional’s physical integrity and the quality of work at risk. Check the category classification (CAT) for each instrument handled. (after this paragraph we will go through a video about the multimeter category, I will show you how).
- Working on the energized circuit: De- energize the circuit whenever possible, check before entering the intended location if it is really de-energized. NR10 deals with this theme in the following item.
10.2.8.2 The collective protection measures comprise, primarily, the electrical de-energization as established by this NR and, in its impossibility, the use of safety voltage.
The standard also stipulates that all electrical activities have a risk analysis, considering electricity risks such as electric arc and other additional risks. thus ensuring your safety.
- Test the multimeter: Before starting your task, always check how the equipment to be used is working, testing it on a known voltage source.
- How to handle: Try not to hold your equipment with one hand and perform the measurement with the other hand, as in a transient situation this can create a path to earth passing through your heart, hang or rest the meter, when applicable wireless reading to have the multimeter out of your hands and reading the device at eye level. Also use an alligator clip to ground so that you only use one hand to test the live conductor.
- Neglect probes: Probes are a critical component of the safety of your multimeter or measuring device, check that your probes meet the CAT level of the work to be done, look for probes with double-connector insulation. Covered entrance and probe with finger protector and non-slip surfaces, always remember to test the probes at a known voltage before using them.
The probes must be suitable for your multimeter and it is not advisable to use multimeters and probes from different manufacturers when a multimeter or probe is manufactured, many tests are carried out to guarantee the quality and safety of that material, and companies may have different test and quality parameters.
With the above information, understand that cheaper equipment will not always provide work with the same quality, and especially safety, as equipment known on the market and tested in laboratories with quality certificates. To perform quality and safe work, follow the tips above.