How to Use a Digital Multimeter Safely

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Digital multimeters are one of the most used tools in most electrician’s tool kit. Like any electrical equipment, their use comes with risks. Even qualified electricians can make minor mistakes that lead to using their digital multimeter in an unsafe manner. So, how do you use a digital multimeter safely? Here are 4 top tips.

1. Use the correct voltage rated equipment

Each multimeter has a category rating which specifies the voltage limit which it can handle. It’s important that you are aware of your equipment’s rating and that you never use a multimeter or probe that is rated less than the voltage of the equipment you are testing. A likely outcome of this mistake could be arc flash, a serious and dangerous electrical flashover.

2. Inspect and calibrate your equipment

Before each use, you should inspect your equipment for cracks, faults or deterioration. It is especially important to look for any frayed or exposed wires. Along with inspecting your equipment, it is recommended that you have it calibrated by experienced technicians on a regular basis. Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal perform multimeter calibrations and keep a record of each check, so you’ll always know when the next one is due.

3. Wear PPE on every job

PPE is essential for safety in any task and it’s a necessity for any work involving electrical equipment. Ensure you’re wearing the appropriate PPE for the job such as insulated gloves, and using other required PPE, such as insulated mats.

Digital multimeters also provide warning signs and symbols to show you if you’re at risk of overloading their capacity. While using your multimeter, keep an eye out for these alerts. If you notice any warnings – stop work immediately and assess what may be the issue. You may also wish to have your equipment calibrated at this stage, to ensure you haven’t done accidental damage and it is still fit for the job, reading accurately, and most importantly – safe. 

4. Be aware of your environment

There are various environmental hazards you should check for such as flammable dust or vapours. You should also avoid using this equipment in humid or damp environments, and also very cold environments. In some of these situations, condensation can form inside an instrument which can then cause a short when used on high currents or voltage. Be aware of any condensation or fog on the screen as a clue that there may be moisture within the instrument.  

Stay safe with the experts at Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal

Safety at work is the number one priority in any business. Whether you’re in the electrical, mining, oil and gas or many other industries – Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal are your partner in safety and compliance. With our inspection, HV testing and calibration services we can ensure your equipment is prepared for any job. Call 1300 662 119 within Australia or 0800 123 682 in New Zealand for more information and to book our services. You can also send a message via our contact form.

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