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Old 09-01-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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Oops, I'm sure everyone has done this at least once


Setting the multi meter to amps instead of volts when checking a receptacle.

Yeaah, I accidentally did that today, and well, I did confirm the receptacle worked, and it is the last one that meter will ever confirm to work.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:02 PM   #2
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wow ha ha
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Setting the multi meter to amps instead of volts when checking a receptacle.

Yeaah, I accidentally did that today, and well, I did confirm the receptacle worked, and it is the last one that meter will ever confirm to work.
Setting the meter to ohms (continuity) will also result in frying if you measure with the power on.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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Some multi-meters can read way over 100 amps. If you overloaded it, it may be fused which is an easy fix.






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Old 09-01-2009, 07:12 PM   #5
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This won't happen with a "real" meter. They have protection built in.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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Red, Welcome to the testing world
If there is no melted plastic,
magic smoke, or a nose wrinkling smell take the back off, and check the fuse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_smoke
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Last edited by PaliBob; 09-01-2009 at 07:15 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Oh there WAS a fuse, but I could not find a replacement, so I had to do the unthinkable and... yeah. Knew it was bound to happen too. The solder sorta acted as a fuse, but was not fast enough.

If I buy a more expensive meter like a greenlee, will they use standard fuses? that was my problem with this one, it was non standard and it was impossible to get a replacement the first time I blew it. I had forgotten to swap to the 10amp terminal when testing amperage correctly when I had blewed the fuse. Oops.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:00 PM   #8
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Multimeters use special fuses that are fast-acting and have the ability to interrupt very large currents without exploding. Many have both a low-current fuse connected to the voltage input and a high-current fuse connected to the 10A input. Some Fluke meters use these Buss fuses. This kind of fuse will probably cost around $8-10 apiece in single quantity and can be bought from an electronics distributor--try Digikey or Mouser if you don't have a local supplier.

Accidents such as the one you experienced are going to happen from time to time. That's why you want to make sure you're using a meter with at least a CAT III 600V rating, with the proper fuses installed. Search Youtube for "multimeter explosion" if you want to see what can happen when a bottom-of-the-barrel meter is used incorrectly.
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