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Old 03-21-2011, 07:52 PM   #1
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clamp type digital multimeter???


Ok, I've been posting on the plumbing forum for a while and now I'm starting to work on the electrical.

I have a house full of red and black wires and a few white thrown in for effect. I've discovered that the original electrician ??? ran out of white wire for 120V and decided to use his red and occasionally black wires. Now, I have to determine which are 120V and which are the 240V for the electric baseboard heaters throughout the house. I've got to clean this up. I've got buried junction boxes all over the place and I think in a few spots he split out 240V into a 120V.

I'm looking at picking up

http://www.princessauto.com/workshop...tal-multimeter .

Good, bad, indifferent? Any comments/suggestions?

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Old 03-21-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
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clamp type digital multimeter???


If you're just looking to identify 120V and 240V conductors any clamp meter should do the trick. For $35 I'd say you can't go wrong. That said, I will leave the true responses to others who have more experience than I do!

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:58 AM   #3
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clamp type digital multimeter???


IMO, from using such an animal: That is not a "clamp type multi-meter". That is a "clamp style" circuit load detector for finding out how many amps any certain wire may be drawing on a circuit without having to disconnect the wire at any point. The probes/leads used with this instrument are not "clamp on" either. When this unit is used as a voltage tester the ends of the probes must be held against the conductor(s) to get a reading. Unless you have need of the "amp probe" on this unit, I'd say save some money and buy a nice digital volt/ohm/AC/DC meter.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:44 AM   #4
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clamp type digital multimeter???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
IMO, from using such an animal: That is not a "clamp type multi-meter". That is a "clamp style" circuit load detector for finding out how many amps any certain wire may be drawing on a circuit without having to disconnect the wire at any point. The probes/leads used with this instrument are not "clamp on" either. When this unit is used as a voltage tester the ends of the probes must be held against the conductor(s) to get a reading. Unless you have need of the "amp probe" on this unit, I'd say save some money and buy a nice digital volt/ohm/AC/DC meter.
I've got an antique analog multimeter but I'm less than thrilled at having to take apart wiring without knowing what I'm dealing with. I guess what you're saying is that no matter what, a clamp isn't going to tell me the voltage, only amperage. Back to the drawing board (and Ouija board ;-)

Thanks Thurman
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:09 AM   #5
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clamp type digital multimeter???


If the wire is in conduit, pull it out and pull in the correct colors. Clamp meters are to measure current and will not help you identify anything.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:39 AM   #6
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clamp type digital multimeter???


To get started, it sounds like a non-contact voltage detector, in conjuntion with your "antique analog multimeter", and some wire markers, would do you as much good as anything at this point. They can be decieving at times, but certainly have their place. Shut off all of the breakers, then turn them on one at a time, and see what you find. You should be able to start to see some manner of reason to what you have, and may be able to pull and replace just certain runs. If you have access to both, a buddy and a set of two way radios are also valuable for this.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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clamp type digital multimeter???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Allthunbs View Post
Ok, I've been posting on the plumbing forum for a while and now I'm starting to work on the electrical.

I have a house full of red and black wires and a few white thrown in for effect. I've discovered that the original electrician ??? ran out of white wire for 120V and decided to use his red and occasionally black wires.
Are there red or black wires connected to the neutral bar in the breaker box?
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:54 AM   #8
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clamp type digital multimeter???


One thing we all must remember. We cannot remark wires of this size. They must be replaced or left alone in a non-compliant state.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:22 PM   #9
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clamp type digital multimeter???


J.V., I was only referring to marking wires with the breaker number. From the way it was decribed, it sounds possible that some of the circuits may actually be wired properly, so if he could follow those circuits from one end to the other, device by device, and ascertain that they are done properly, perhaps he would not have to literally yank out all of the wires in the house. Would he?

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