how to test voltage with a multimeter

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  #1  
Old 03-19-05, 03:54 PM
RobM
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how to test voltage with a multimeter

hey fellas,
My dryer wont heat up and im wondering if its even getting 220v. I just moved to this house and the dryer runs but gets no heat. I checked all the thermostats and fuses on the dryer using ther ohm setting on the meter, all gave me a number.

I want to see if im getting 220v and not just 110v. I thought i would double check with you guys before i get electrucuted.lol. I could stick each connection into the wall plug with the multimeter right???? I feel like im going to get electrucuted trying that so i didnt.

My multimeter is a cheap canadian tire brand for $30, but seems to do the job.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-19-05, 04:06 PM
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If the drum turns, but you get no heat, that's a clear sign that it's getting 120 volts, but not 240 volts, or that the heating element is burned out.

Set your multimeter on the 500-volt AC volts scale (or something above 240 anyway). Attach the two probes to the correct holes for AC voltage measurements according to the multimeter directions. Then stick the two probes in the left and right slots to see if you get 240 volts (more or less). Then check each of the left and right slots against the D-shaped grounding hole (if you have one), or against the center neutral slot if you have no grounding hole. See if you get 120 volts from one or both. Report back with the readings.
 
  #3  
Old 03-20-05, 12:13 AM
RobM
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I turned my meter on the ohm setting and got resistance on all thermostats, fuse and heating coil. I just put one electrode on the in and one the out and i am getting numbers. That would mean there is no break correct?

As far as checking the voltage, im no electrician but sticking 2 prongs into the 240v outlet feels like im sticking a fork in there.lol. Im sure its safe as the probes are insulated in plastic but i never did it before and i dont feel like taking a jolt. Should there be any percautions on doing this?

If its only giving 120v and not 240v what does a guy do to fix this? Thanks, i will post back if im not electrucuted.
 
  #4  
Old 03-20-05, 06:13 AM
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RobM,

Any device that you check with an ohmeter must be removed from the circuit first.
This means that the wires must be disconnected on each switch or thermostat. If you don't, the meter may be reading the resistance in the circuit, not the device you are checking.
"Getting numbers" on the meter is not going to tell you much if a component is bad and you have the meter set to a high resistance level.
For a continuity test you need to set the meter to x1 or x10 or if an auto range meter, make sure the reading isn't in the meg ohm range.

Also, if you are unsure of yourself in checking voltage, I would suggest that you read up about electricity, especially the safety aspect, or hire someone qualified to check your drier.
 
  #5  
Old 03-20-05, 06:21 AM
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Here is a link that will assist you;
http://www.american-appliance.com/se...yer_outlet.htm

On some of the less expensive multi-testers the probes are small so you may have to insert them in at a slight angle to effect contact.
If you find that you have the correct voltage at the receptacle, than you can follow the cord to where it connects to a terminal block in the machine. this should be a screw connection and one may be loose. In following your search, there are high and low limit devices.
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-05, 12:43 PM
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There isn't much we can do to help you until you muster up the courage to conduct the voltage tests. Just be careful and you'll be fine.
 
  #7  
Old 03-20-05, 02:33 PM
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No offense intended here , mate: On another forum I found out that you can buy faucets at Canadian Tire. Now I find out that you can buy electrical test equipment there. Do they sell grocries, as well? Is Canadian Tire your equivalent of WalMart?
 
  #8  
Old 03-20-05, 04:12 PM
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Canadian Tire is coolest store in Canada.
We sell sporting goods, auto parts and service, gasoline, tools, electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, gardening supplies, plants in the spring, painting supplies, Small apliances(TV, Radios, VCRs, bar fridges, NOT large apliances like stove and washer), Sporting goods. We also have our own auto club and run the Auto lub for aother companies like GM.
 

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  #9  
Old 03-20-05, 04:29 PM
RobM
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yes i did check continuity with the wires disconnected so that it was open, i found the problem, its only getting 120v power supply. Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 03-20-05, 04:40 PM
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It's getting 120 on one line, and nothing on the other? Or it's getting 120 on both but nothing between them? How do you propose to fix this problem?
 
  #11  
Old 03-20-05, 05:52 PM
RobM
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Calling my Landlord.
 
  #12  
Old 03-20-05, 08:24 PM
RobM
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Update

Went to use the burner on the stove today for the first time and it isnt working either. I just moved into this house a few days ago (renting). A few nights ago the power went out. I checked the breakers and all was good. So i called the electric company and gave them my address and they said this house has a "power limiter" on the meter outside and it has to be reset outside. So i went out there and pushed the switch back and and power came back on.

The landlord said he never knew anything about this before. He thinks this limiter is the problem to the dryer and the stove. Service man is coming out tomorrow to further investigate. So i guess there isnt any 240v in the house at all. The burners on the stove runs on 240v aswell doesnt it?
 
  #13  
Old 03-21-05, 06:11 AM
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YEs your stove is 240volt same as the dryer. It almost sounds like one of hot legs is out.
I'm interested in this power limiter. Does it have a name or markings on it? It sounds like an exterior disconnect or breaker.
 
  #14  
Old 03-21-05, 03:31 PM
RobM
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Originally Posted by joed
YEs your stove is 240volt same as the dryer. It almost sounds like one of hot legs is out.
I'm interested in this power limiter. Does it have a name or markings on it? It sounds like an exterior disconnect or breaker.
"Hot legs"???? Whats that? Anyways the limiter has no real special markings on it only "To reset pull out and push in" Its just a red sticker wrapped around the shaft of the button.
 
  #15  
Old 03-22-05, 07:27 AM
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The incoming wires from the power company are two hot wires, sometimes called legs. Each wire carries 120 volts alternating current (ac), but they are exactly 180 degrees out of phase with each other. When "added" together they make 240 volts ac. There is also a neutral, or return wire, which goes back to the power company.

In your house you have 120 volt and 240 volt devices. The 120 volts devices can get their power from either of the incoming hot wires. The 240 volt devices must use both of the hot wires to get their power.
 
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