Most homes have 220- volt electrical outlets for heavy-duty electrical devices, the refrigerator, dryers, and window unit air conditioners.
Therefore, if your dryer, for instance, is not getting your clothes dry, this could most likely mean that it is not getting a sufficient amount of power to perform the task.
Because of this, you will be forced to spend so much extra money on your monthly bills of electricity than you would have expected.
How do you check 240 volts with a multimeter?
Turn the dial of your multimeter and set it to120 volts. Insert the metal tip of the red probe into any of the slanted 120-volt slots and slip the black probe’s metal tip into the middle (ground) slot. Your multimeter should read approximately 120 volts AC. If it does not, then that circuit is defective.
Steps for running a test on your 220v outlet using a multimeter.
- While running this particular test, exercise safety measures because you will be performing this test on a live outlet. Therefore, you have to make sure that you hold both your multimeter probes in one hand, and by doing this, you will safeguard yourself from the possibility of getting electrocuted. You should never allow the metal pieces of your probes to get attached, as this could lead to it causing a hazardous short circuit.
- Get to understand your outlet geography. You must note that an outlet contains three slots. One is neutral, one is hot, and finally, the other one is for the ground. The ground wire has a ground ½ circle, the neutral one has a more extended slot on the left, and hot is known through the short place on the right.
- Ensure that you find the circuit breaker’s exact location for the 220v outlet in the significant circuit panel, which is usually found in the utility room. Your panel’s door is a label of your circuit breaker; hence, the 220v outlet is prone to being a maximum two-pole breaker.
- Switch on the energy on your multimeter and set it to measure voltage. Subsequently, switch the multimeter’s selector knob on your AC side and choose the approximately known voltage settings to match the outlet voltage. The figure you choose ideally be between 220 to 240 VAC, so you should select your alternating current in symbols (AC) to work on your meter. The wave line usually represents this, while the direct current, in the symbols (DC) function, has a dashed and solid line.
- Plug your two tester lead into your multimeter. In the negative blackjack, which has a minus sign, insert the black lead, while in the red positive with a plus sign, insert the red lead. These jacks are colored for easy identification and ensuring the right connections are made.
- Plug your two test leads into your two slots of the outlet. In case you have an outlet that is three-prolong, your two slots will probably be slanted, and as for a 4-prolong outlet, the well-known two hot slots will have two outside slots that are vertical. Once correctly plugged in, your voltage reading value should be between 220-240 volts.
- Plugin the black test lead into a neutral slot and your red test lead in the hot slot. This also applies to 3, and 4 prolong outlets; neutral usually prolong L-shaped. Consequently, read the value being displayed, and it needs to be between 110 to 120 volts. After that, place the red test lead into the hot slot and the black test lead into the one that is neutral. The reading value displayed needs to be between 110 to 120 volts. Once you are done, remember to remove your test leads from your outlet and switch off your multimeter.
- After running the text on your 220V outlet properly using the multimeter and obtaining significant results that give you a go ahead, it is appropriate that your plugin your dryer cord into your outlet, as it is now ready to start functioning effectively. In case the readings do not match the required volts, do not attempt to plug in your dryer since you are likely to experience electrocution.
How to Test a 240-Volt Circuit
- Observe your 240-volt wall outlet and learn its configuration. A 240-volt wall outlet commonly has three openings: two identical slots slanted at 45 degrees (sometimes vertical) and one middle slot lower than the two vertical slots. Each of the two vertical slots carries 120 volts, while the third or middle slot connects to the ground.
- Turn the dial of your multimeter to a range of 240 volts AC, and attach the black and red test probes to your multimeter. Remember never to touch the probes’ metal tip when they are in use to avoid electric shock.
- Slip the metal end of one test probe into any of the slanted 120-volt slots and slip the other test probe’s metal end into the next identical slot. Look at the reading displayed by your multimeter. The two 120-volt circuits connected to your multimeter are producing a total current of 240 volts. Your multimeter should display a reading of approximately 240 volts; if it doesn’t, one or both circuits might have a problem.
- Turn the dial of your multimeter and set it to120 volts. Insert the metal tip of the red probe into any of the slanted 120-volt slots and slip the black probe’s metal tip into the middle (ground) slot. Your multimeter should read approximately 120 volts AC. If it does not, then that circuit is defective. Perform the same procedure on the other 120-volt slot to find out if that circuit is working.
How to Test 240-Volt Receptacles
- Unplug the electric range or clothes dryer from the receptacle to be tested. To gain access to the receptacle, you will have to move the appliance away from the wall. In the case of a clothes dryer, be careful not to damage the vent tube.
- Plug the test leads that came with your digital multimeter into the meter. Turn the meter on, and set the function switch to the “AC Volt” function. If you have an auto-ranging meter, the meter will select the appropriate voltage range. If you have a manual meter, set the “Function/Range” switch to the “500 Volts AC” position.
- Place one of the test probes in each of the vertical slots on the receptacle’s left and right sides. The meter should display a reading between 220 and 240 volts on the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) if both hot wires have voltage on them. If the meter displays 0.000 volts, go to the next step.
- Take a reading between each phase-wire slot, the vertical slots on the left and right, and the system ground, the half-round slot. Usually, there will be 110 to 120 between a phase wire and ground. If you get this reading between one phase-wire slot and the ground but not between the other phase-wire slot and ground, the problem is an open phase. If the meter indicates an open phase, proceed to the next step.
- Check the circuit breaker or fuses. Many homes still use fuses instead of circuit breakers, and one fuse can blow while the other one remains viable. If one fuse opens while the other one remains viable, you will get an open phase reading. It’s possible that you have a defective wire or receptacle but not likely. If you have a double-pole circuit breaker, reset the breaker by switching it off and then back on. It’s possible that one pole tripped open while the other remained closed.
- Take a reading between each phase wire slot and the neutral wire slot at the top of the receptacle. The meter should display 110 to 120 volts between each of the phases and the neutral. If you have 220 to 240 volts between phases but 0.000 volts between the phases and the neutral, you have a neutral wire.
If you were looking to learn how to test a 220v outlet using a multimeter, reading through this article has provided you with all the essential insight you need. Therefore, you can successfully carry out this test, and all you need is the right knowledge and the appropriate skills to do this.
Thanks to the steps mentioned above, you now have a guide to help you through the entire period of testing, thereby allowing you to get accurate readings that match your outlet values. In case you find it challenging, you should refer to your manual script or consult an expert to help you out.