How to Test the Voltage of a Piece of Equipment
Electricity: it’s all around us, and we don’t stop to think about what life would be like without it. It’s an oft-forgotten fact that it was only relatively recently that all homes in the UK had an electricity supply.
Electric power was first used to power lighting in homes in the late 19th century, and even then only in the homes of the very rich. It would be well into the 20th century by the time lighting in homes by electricity became anywhere close to commonplace.
Another curious fact is that the way we generate electricity has changed very little in over 100 years. We use massive power stations burning many different types of fuel to generate power by way of complex machinery, and it is then delivered to the home by an array of cables criss-crossing the country.
The battery is another source of electricity, and one that is widely used. Batteries store electricity for a short period of time – although modern batteries are more efficient – so that we can power a wide variety of portable equipment.
In your home, and in your workplace, you can take a quick look around and see many examples of electrical equipment: computers, lights, heaters, many office appliances, kitchen items such as kettles and microwave ovens, and many more besides.
You can even see people charging electric cars by the roadside. All of these pieces of equipment, from the most basic to the more complex, will deteriorate over time, and it is important that they run at the right voltage, too.
Using a Multimeter
Testing whether your electrical equipment is operating at the right voltage is always important, and will help ensure that you are getting the maximum efficiency from your appliances. It is important to remember, however, that electricity can be dangerous, so if you have any major electrical items that need testing, it is sensible to get the experts in to do the job.
This will minimise the risk of injury and, further to the point, will also ensure that you get your results accurately and quickly, and that your machinery is running as it should.
If you have simple equipment to test, using a multimeter should do the job. This can be done by anyone trained in the use of the equipment, and who understands what they are looking for. A multimeter is designed to offer readings on a variety of measurements, but we are concerned here with measuring A/C voltage – that is, the electricity that is sourced from the mains.
Using a multimeter is simple, but we thought we’d give you a step by step look at what to do:
- Select voltage, this will likely be indicated by a ‘v’
- Set the voltage range – 110v/230v or whatever your device is
- Put black lead into COM jack, red lead into v-Ohm jack, in that order, and then remove in the reverse order
- Now connect leads to the circuit to be tested, black then red
- Take the reading, and remove leads, red then black
It is important that you follow the order given, or it can lead to problems.
If you think that you would rather have someone else test your electrical equipment – no matter how basic or mundane – you can find many people offering such services who will provide a cost-effective and efficient way of making sure your equipment is operating to its best ability – we recommend Powerpoint Engineering.
Check them out now, and get the experts in to run through all your devices on a regular basis.