How to Check for a Broken Wire with a Multimeter

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Checking for broken wires is usually often one of the most frustrating and dangerous things you can ever do. This is because there always is the possibility of you getting electrocuted, so it is always important you take all the necessary safety precautions before you even start your inspection. Therefore, in this article, you will be taken through a comprehensive guide on the steps you need to follow when checking for broken wire using your multimeter.

Whereas you might want to hire the services of an electrician who appear to be more skilled and adept at their work, you might have just packed your wires recklessly thereby causing breakage. Therefore, you should always know that a broken wire that does not have continuity creates a continuation path for electrical power flow. Moreover, the same applies to a car, if it has a broken wire it can stop the flow of electrical current every time the wire disconnects from the other piece of wire it is attached to, and as a result causing permanent damage to your car.

Therefore, you should check whether your wires are in good shape. Additionally, the fact that you bought them when they are in good shape does not guarantee you that they will not get broken later in the future. Therefore, how do you check for a broken wire with a multimeter? Well, read through this article and you will get to learn of the specific procedures you need to follow.

Have the right tools with you

A multimeter is essential for checking for a broken wire. Furthermore, you also require a wrench, flashlight as well as flashlight where necessary. Thus, for this test to be successful, you only need these handy tools, and you are all set.

Good understanding of the basics

Before you attempt to solve the problem, make sure you have a clear understanding of it and having basic knowledge about electricity and all it entails is essential. Moreover, you should know that electric wires are resistors as well as conductors of electricity. Therefore, the resistivity of the wire usually varies and also depends on the type of the wire in length as well as its thickness. Typically, power flows through the wires as electrons move through it, so the formation of resistance due to colliding with ions in the conductor.

Carry out a continuity test

The easiest test you can ever perform is running a continuity test in long wires but first before performing the test ensure you turn off the wire’s power source. This is basically for your safety reasons, so you must overlook this critical step. Consequently, using your multimeter, run a test for power, resistance as well as the voltage in the wires, switches, circuits and electrical connections. Additionally, make use of your multimeter to detect the wire’s resistance. With this, you will be able to determine whether the wire has an issue or it is working just fine hence the complete flow of power through your wires.

Ensure the multimeter is set to the correct settings

Make sure your multimeter settings are in ohms. The maximum scale of measurement of a multimeter is an open-loop (OL), and at this particular point, it measures the air resistance between the two leads. However, some multimeter may require you always to dial the continuity button.

Furthermore, some multimeter usually has two wires, each with a ballpoint pen end, with black standing for negative while red for the positive wire. Therefore, connect your probe wire to the multimeter by inserting black test lead into COM jack as well as the red test lead into a v jack and ensure they are correctly fixed in.

Carry out of the test using a multimeter

Before running your text on your wires, make sure you have set your multimeter to 200 ohms. Nevertheless, you should know that the range you set would most likely determine the resistance of the constituents you are running the test on. Therefore, high ranges are suitable for testing a maximum resistance while on the other hand, when testing components for minimal resistance, you need to set a lower range. This is important for determining continuity in the long wires.

After ensuring that your multimeter is set to 200hms, you should then do a test of resistivity between your two probes so that when you add them up, the reading totals to 3 0hms or a figure close to that. The reason for this is mainly to ensure that continuity runs in the probes. While running the entire process, it is recommended that the circuit supplying the electricity to the wire is switched off.

Additionally, you should also remove all the components that might have a connection to it, the likes of your switches or bulb sockets. Then take out your long wire and connect your probes to every end although you do not need to follow the order of placement.

However, your readings need to be low to proof that your wire is in good shape due to a continuous flow of current in your wires. This is also an assurance that your cable is not broken at any point and that the whole circuit is complete plus the switch has been turned off. If you run a test using your multimeter and it reads ‘1’, then there is a breakage in your wires that needs immediate fixing for it to work effectively.


If you were looking to learn how to check for a broken wire with a multimeter, then you now have an idea of what you need to do having read this insightful article. Therefore, thanks to this valuable information, you now have the basic and necessary knowledge required to guide you when checking for broken wires using a multimeter.

As a result, you no longer need to hire a professional for simple issues, thereby saving yourself a lot of money. However, you should always confirm that everything is in the right place once you are done inspecting for broken wires to avoid any unforeseen accidents as well as damages.

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