How to choose a multimeter?

Electrical testing and measuring instruments have become crucial in ascertaining the effectiveness, operation and administration of electrical systems. For efficient functioning of electrical systems, a routine check on electrical equipment is required. Therefore, it is important to conduct diagnostic tests using instruments, such as multimeters, to ensure smooth functioning of electrical systems.

What is a Multimeter?

A digital multimeter is one of the most widely used electronic testing equipment. It is versatile and combines the effectiveness of various instruments such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, and ammeters. These multimeters find application in quality control, design, maintenance, diagnostic and electrical servicing. Digital multimeters measure direct current(DC), alternating current (AC)AC voltage, DC voltage, and resistance. There are some advanced digital multimeters which can measure capacitance, temperature, and pressure as well.

Things to consider while choosing a multimeter:

* Resolution: Resolution refers to the precision of measurement taken by the multimeter. A multimeter’s resolution is quantified in terms of digits and counts. Digital multimeters are classified by their display of a number of counts or digits. Multimeters with 3 ½-digit meter can reflect three digits starting from 0 to 9 and one-half digit. Some advanced versions of digital multimeters are capable of offering higher counts within the purview of digit range.

* Accuracy:Accuracy is important in electrical readings. The accurate degree to which a multimeter can exhibit measurement is crucial to testing effectiveness. Accuracy is described as a percentage in electrical readings. The accuracy of one percent of reading indicates that for 100 volts reading, the real or actual voltage reading is in the range of 99 to 100 volts.

* Autoranging: Autoranging, also known as dialing, gives users the freedom to shuttle between varying degrees of measurement scales without compromising on the quality of reading.

* Root Mean Square: While choosing a digital multimeter, it is important to check whether the multimeter is a true root mean square or not. True root mean square enables a multimeter to read non-sinusoidal AC signal with accuracy. A general multimeter would show incorrect readings when used to read non-DC signals or pure sine wave AC signals.

While working with AC and DC currents, it is important to exercise caution and follow manufacturer's guidelines diligently to avoid hazards.

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