symptoms of electrical problems in the home
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symptoms of electrical problems in the home

Do you have lights in your home that dim when the refrigerator kicks on? Have you ever felt a slight shock when you touch your stove with wet hands? These are just two situations that should be looked at by an electrician. I didn't give any attention to the lights that were dimming in my laundry room when I turned my dryer on. A few months after I had noticed it, we had a small electrical fire in the ceiling. To find more home electrical symptoms that shouldn't be ignored, visit my website. Here, you will find symptoms, problems and solutions for each.

symptoms of electrical problems in the home

An Essential Electrician's Tool: The Multimeter

Emily Ford

If you are thinking of taking training classes to becoming an electrician, one of the most important tools you will learn how to use is a multimeter. A multimeter lets you do things like check to see if there is electricity running to a device, determine how many amps are being produced by an electrical motor, and measure the strength of the current flowing through wires. If you are a thinking of becoming an electrician, here is how to use the multimeter to measure:

Direct Current (DC): Direct current is used in many electronic components found in businesses and homes. Direct current means the electricity only flows in one direction. To measure the direct current, the first thing you should do is connect the wires for the negative and positive probes to the multimeter. The negative probe, which is colored black, is plugged into the jack labeled "COM". The "COM" setting is for the neutral or grounded wire. The red prong should be connected to the jack labeled "V" for voltage. Turn the dial on the multimeter to the DC voltage setting. Put the black probe on the negative terminal on the device you are measuring and the red probe on the positive terminal. The voltage reading will appear on the monitor.

Alternating Current (AC): An alternating current is commonly found in homes and businesses to power appliances and lights. To measure the AC current, you put the probes into the same jacks as you did for measuring DC voltage. The only thing you have to do differently is set the dial on the multimeter to the AC voltage setting. Place the probes on the terminals and measure the voltage. The AC voltage setting will not measure the DC voltage and vice versa with the DC setting measuring the AC voltage. If you get a "0" reading, check to make sure you have the dial on the right setting.

Resistance: You measure the resistance of things like a transistor or bulb to determine if there is something in the line that is blocking the flow of electricity. To measure the resistance, keep the negative probe in the "COM" jack, and place the red probe into the "Ohm" jack. Turn the dial to the ohm setting on the multimeter. Put the negative probe on a wire leading away from the device you are measuring and the red probe on the wire leading to the device to measure the resistance.

Current: You want to measure the flow of electricity to determine if an electrical device is getting enough electricity. To measure the current, the negative probe still remains in the "COM" jack. Place the red probe into the "AMPS" jack. Make sure you turn the dial on the multimeter to the AMP setting. You have to splice the red, or positive, wire coming from an electrical motor to check the electrical current. Cut the wire in half and trim the insulation from both ends with a wire cutter. Put the red probe on one end of the spliced wire and the black probe onto the end of the other half of the spliced wire – this will restore the connection between the motor and the device it is powering. The current reading will appear on the monitor.

You should take the time to practice measuring electricity with a multimeter so you can develop a good working knowledge of how to operate one before your training classes begin. For more information, talk to a professional like Royal Plus Electric.