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Old 03-20-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


I was testing the drier plug as it seems both driers in two different units in our 4plex is having some issues.

When I tested the drier plug with my multimeter (set to 200+ VOTS AC) I put the one probe on the hot (straight prong) and the other onto the metal plug box (ground). The friggen probe sparked and melted off the end of the probe. What the heck is going on here?

The electrician is coming tomorrow to take a look at the problem. Im just wondering what I did wrong when I was testing the circuit.
Thx

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Last edited by BCanuck; 03-21-2011 at 12:31 AM. Reason: 200+ Volts not AC
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


Amps? Are you sure?

Was the plug partially plugged in when you measured? Explain further.

Were you testing the plug or the receptacle?

Maybe you really had the meter set on amps and performed a voltage test. Not sure what that would do to a meter. Maybe would melt a probe.

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Last edited by jlmran; 03-21-2011 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:22 AM   #3
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


what is the manufacturer and model of the meter?

You should have set the meter to VOLTS
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:29 AM   #4
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
what is the manufacturer and model of the meter?

You should have set the meter to VOLTS

Okay dont flame me too bad but I used a Canadian Tire volt meter. Wished I had a Fluke. The multimeter was set to volts (sorry will correct my original post.

My probes are not long enough so yes, I did have the plug partially plugged in and tested off the driers plug male end. I was trying to actually test the plug to see if it was live. Im half blind now so I know it has power. I didnt check anymore... I think the electrician should take over, but still trying to figure out where I went wrong.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:32 AM   #5
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


I always thought you could test any of the plugs terminals with the one leed on the ground and the rest in each terminal? (one at a time of course)

And also able to test from hot to hot?
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:37 AM   #6
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


Quote:
=BCanuck;613638]Okay dont flame me too bad but I used a Canadian Tire volt meter. Wished I had a Fluke. The multimeter was set to volts (sorry will correct my original post.
don't know what a Canadian Tire volt meter is but if it does what you need, it doesn't matter. No sense in buying a $200+ meter if you don't need a $200+ meter.

since it was set on volts, good.

Quote:
My probes are not long enough so yes, I did have the plug partially plugged in and tested off the driers plug male end. I was trying to actually test the plug to see if it was live. Im half blind now so I know it has power. I didnt check anymore... I think the electrician should take over, but still trying to figure out where I went wrong.
well. I guess you got your answer. Hopefully you are ok. Flash blindness usually goes away after awhile. It's a lot like getting your pic taken, with a real bright flash.

are you sure you had the probes plugged into the proper terminals on the meter?

Honestly, not real sure what happened. You obviously caused a short circuit somehow but it's not real clear how. The only thing I can think of at the moment is you had the leads plugged into the wrong terminal and you got current flow which, with a short like that, would be quite high and could result in melted probes.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:51 AM   #7
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


I am not sure either. I had the plug half out, took the probe and put the first on the metal plate, then the other on the plug. I did not short it (ie. probe from terminal to grounding plate) and my multimeter is still some how working.

I have the positive in the 10A positive terminal and the black in the ground on the other terminal. The other red terminal is for mA and low voltage so its hard to not get it right I think.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


Forgot to add Im a welder by trade so I am used to flashes... actually my contacts with UV blocker have protected me and never got the flash after effects with is great.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:06 AM   #9
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


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Originally Posted by BCanuck View Post

I have the positive in the 10A positive terminal and the black in the ground on the other terminal..
there is your problem. The 10A terminal is for testing current and is limited to 10 amps. You could have had hundreds of amps for an instant doing what you did.

the current measuring system in your meter is a flow through current sensing system. That means it is meant to be placed inline with a circuit to measure the current You had your own little circuit that went from a hot conductor through your meter to ground. The only limitation to current flow was your meter which is very little resistance. That means you had a lot of current flow.

your lead should have been in the V or volt terminal.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:12 AM   #10
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


You learn something new every day! Thanks!! The volt meter on that side of the probe plugin says:
CAT 11
1000V DC
750V AC
200mA MAX

So basically I gave the power almost a direct short with no load. Totally understand that, had a feeling that was the general reason. I know advanced electronics and basic house electrical.

Next time I will connect it to the volt terminal of the multimeter.

Last edited by BCanuck; 03-21-2011 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


I'm not sure I would trust that meter with anything at this point. It could be pretty fried inside and actually be a safety hazard at this point.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:31 AM   #12
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


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Old 03-21-2011, 08:56 PM   #13
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Testing 220Volt Dryer Plug


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
I'm not sure I would trust that meter with anything at this point. It could be pretty fried inside and actually be a safety hazard at this point.
The electrician came today and said both driers happened to have a issue at the same time. Totally coincidental.

As for the meter, I will heed your advice and probably wont use it for high voltage anymore. I will give it a try on low voltage (vehicle 12v etc.)

Thanks for your help!

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