How to Test Multimeters

Test your multimeter if it doesn't seem to work correctly.
••• Digital Multimeter image by TekinT from

A multimeter is a tool that is used to take measurements of electrical circuits. No matter what type of multimeter you own, you can probably test resistance and voltage with it. When your multimeter seems like it is not working correctly, there are a number of things you can do to test it. If your multimeter fails any of these tests it is probably defective and will need to be replaced.

    Set your multimeter to the lowest setting for resistance (the word "ohms" or an "Ω" symbol can also denote resistance). Touch the red probe to the black probe. Check the display to make sure that it reads "0," as there should not be any resistance between the two probes.

    Find a resistor of known value. Purchase one from a store that sells electronics components if you don't have one handy. Set the multimeter to the correct factor of 10; set the multimeter to the 100Ω mark to test a resistor known to be a 500Ω resistor, for instance. Place one probe at each end of the resistor. Check the display to make sure it shows a value very close to the resistor value. Perform this check with more than one resistor if the multimeter does not measure the first resistor correctly.

    Purchase a new 9V battery. Turn the dial on your multimeter to set it to measure voltage rather than resistance. Place the red probe against the positive terminal of the battery. Touch the black probe to the negative terminal. Ensure that the multimeter provides a reading of 9V or very close to it.

    Replace your multimeter if it fails any of these tests.

    Things You'll Need

    • Multimeter
    • Resistor of known value
    • 9V battery


    • If your multimeter will not perform any functions at all, check the inside of the battery compartment or case for a fuse that might be blown.

Related Articles

What Are the Applications of a Multimeter?
How to Test an SCR With an Ohmmeter
How to Test DC Motors
How to Use a Multimeter for the Beginner
How to Test a Diode Rectifier
How to Test Resistors in a Circuit
How to Check if a Diode Is Bad
How to Regulate DC Power With Resistors
How to Test Diodes in Circuit
How to Troubleshoot Single Phase Motors
How to Use a Cen-Tech Digital Multimeter
How to Test a Thermistor
How to Calculate Milliamps
How to Test a Potentiometer
How to Build a Gauss Meter
How to Measure Current With an Oscilloscope
How to Use a Resistor for 12 Volt to 5 Volt
How to Connect an Ammeter
How to Read an AC DC Adapter

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!