How to Check a Power Adapter with a Multimeter

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How to Check a Power Adapter with a Multimeter

You might have been wondering why your power adapter isn’t quite like the same as it used to be. Perhaps it doesn’t work anymore or you think it’s giving out less charge lately. You might even just want to check if it’s safe to use or not. Whatever your reason may be, only one thing is for sure, you can be able to check your power adapter by using your multimeter safely and you can even do it yourself!

What is a Multimeter?

A multimeter, also known as a volt-ohm meter or volt-ohm-milliammeter (VOM), is an electric tool commonly used by residential or commercial electricians as well as by IT professionals. It helps in determining and measuring the voltage, amps, and resistance across circuits on electrical devices. Detecting the levels of voltage or the changes in electrical currents, this tool can be extremely beneficial to someone who is trying to figure out if their hardware or electrical devices are getting enough current like it’s supposed to or not.

There is a variety of different kinds of multimeters available in the market, so make sure to purchase the right one or most suited for you and your budget. Don’t also forget to check if it works properly or not so you wouldn’t mistake your power adapter to be the one that is not working anymore when in fact, it is your multimeter itself that is malfunctioning. For other information that you need to know, you can ask your electrician or any other professional in this kind of industry. 

What is a Power Adapter?

Most people refer to this as an AC adapter or simply a charger. You can find it almost everywhere in your household. Some of them you might not even be using anymore and are just stacked or piled up somewhere at the corner of your room. While some you just can’t live without because it gives power to your most precious phones or devices and you carry it almost everywhere you go. 

The purpose of your adapters is simply to be the power supply by giving electrical power through currents of your electronic devices such as your mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Without this, you won’t be able to recharge your devices and you might not be able to use them ever again.

Steps in Checking the Power Adapter with Multimeter

1. Disconnect your power adapter

You should disunite at both ends the power adapter that you have and be able to look for any damage or physical breaks in the insulation, housing, or the plug itself. By doing so, you will be able to determine if your power adapter is something you should already discard or be repaired upon by your local or household electricians or IT professionals to avoid any electrical shocks that might happen if you were to check its voltage.

2. Inspect for physical signs of scorch marks

You should bear in mind that signs of deformed parts and scorch marks on your power adapter means that it has already been misused a lot of times or has experienced overheating. An overheated or burnt adapter is advised to be discarded immediately and properly.

3. Connect Multimeter or Voltmeter

You can now connect your multimeter to the outlet of your power adapter that should properly be powering your charger. You should also determine if the outlet that you have is matched to the adapter. This can be done by looking if it is polarized or grounded.

4. Look and read over your power adapter 

Before you test with your multimeter, make sure to read what is required at your power adapter to be able to determine what is the indicated input or output voltages. After doing so, you can now switch your multimeter to the corresponding number or setting that is written over your power adapter. Next, strip off your power, and then you can finally plug in your charger or power adapter.

5. Attach multimeter 

After following the previous step, you can attach now your multimeter to your power adapter and turn its power strip on. If switches are on your charger adapter, then you can switch on instead of stripping it.

6. Read your multimeter 

This is your final step! Be able to read what is indicated in your multimeter so you can determine the voltage that is being given out by your power adapter. If it does not correspond to what should be the right voltage of your charger adapter, then it is advised that you already discard this and buy yourself a new one.

After following the simple steps above, you are now fully aware and equipped on how to check any power or charger adapter that you have in your household! Remember to fully check and test your adapters periodically for the sake of the longevity of your devices because power adapters can sometimes be the reason why they break easily or wear out sooner than you initially expected.

Wrapping UP…

If you are someone who is a beginner at this type of thing, make sure to at least be able to know about the basic electrical principles, electrical safety, and the right handling of your multimeter to avoid any harm or injury that you may inflict on yourself because of lack of knowledge. Also, be aware that your power adapters may have failures because of bad connections, bad wiring, electrical faults, abuse or mishandling, and/or overheating. 

So, take care of your adapters so that you wouldn’t need to waste your money by purchasing more of this when you find out that it is not working as efficiently as it did before. For more inquiries, you can always ask your electrician or IT professionals to better inform you on the do’s and dont’s of proper management of your electrical devices, appliances, and adapters.

About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.