How to Test a Cable with a Multimeter

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Humans never focus too much on the wires and cables around them, do you? Apparently, everyone has had to look at many different elements that they forget to consider the significance of cables and wires. 

However, what you have to understand is the fact that such cables and wires can change your life substantially. Take note that incorrect and wrong wiring in your home or office can result in big disasters. Still, knowledge of other types of cables can guarantee that you use different safety measures at the time when you’re close to such cables in a public space.

Certainly, advanced electricians will probably roll their eyes at this guide, but the rest of you who work in and around cables may need some refresher on the basics. In this post, you will understand how to test a cable using a digital multimeter, learn more about their particular uses, and so much.

If you’re ready to find out more, let’s get started!

What is a cable? 

When two or more wires are bonded or twisted together and covered with a sheath, it’s called a cable wire. It’s utilized for different purposes in various fields all around the globe. You will also find numerous types of cables utilized for different applications.

Keep in mind that cables are utilized for bringing electrical current to homes and industries. That’s one of the most common uses of such wires. It’s installed in industrial areas and buildings for sending power to far distances. 

Such wires are considered as power cables and high voltage cables. Big wires are created by interweaving together numerous tiny wires, making the electrical cable wire much flexible. Such wires could be attached by using cable trays, cable ties, and many more.

You will find numerous types of electrical cables, including:

  • non-metallic sheathed cables
  • metallic cables
  • multicore cables
  • flexible cables
  • twisted cables
  • single cables
  • shielded cables
  • Twinax cables
  • coaxial cables
  • ribbon cables 

An awesome selection of cables is accessible online markets at various rates. You will find a wide array of manufacturers and companies designing and manufacturing a wide array of them that involve rubber silicon, auto, and signal cables. 

You can also see a number of core cables, speaker wires, transparent telephone, parallel, colored wires, and pick up wires. It’s also accessible in numerous colors that can be utilized for domestic appliances, motorized tools, types of lighting installations, and other electronic appliances, among others. 

How to test a cable with a digital multimeter?

Checking for broken cables is normally one of the most complicated and risky things you could ever do in your life. That’s because there’s the probability of you getting electrocuted. That’s why you need to take all the preventive measures before you even begin your inspection.

Using a multimeter is vital for checking for a broken cable. You also need a flashlight and a wrench where needed. You only need these tools for the test to be successful and you’re all set. 

But before you try to fix the problem on your own, it will help if you learn more about electricity and all it entails. Take the time to understand that electric cables are conductors and resistors of electricity at the same time.

Hence, the cable’s resistivity normally differs and depends on the type of length and thickness of the wire. Normally, current flows through the cables as electrons move through them. It then forms resistance because of the colliding with ions in the conductor. 

Here are the steps you need to do to test your cable with a multimeter. Follow all the steps mentioned so you won’t be lost along the process.

  1. First, get your multimeter and set it in the ohms setting. Keep in mind that the maximum scale of measurement of a meter is an open-loop (OL). At this point, it measures the air resistance between two leads. Other meters may oblige you to dial the continuity button at all times. 
  1. Connect the probe wire to the meter by plugging the black test lead into the COM jack, and the red test lead into a V jack. Make sure these are properly fixed. 
  1. Before you start your test on the cables, ensure you set the meter to 200 ohms. Make sure the range you set would identify the resistance of the constituents you’re running the test on. Hence, high ranges are ideal for testing a maximum resistance. Meanwhile, you need to set a lower range if you’re testing components for slight resistance. 
  1. Perform the test of resistivity between the two probes after you ensure your multimeter is set to 200 ohms. While you are doing the process, it will help if the circuit supplying the electricity to the wire is turned off. 
  1. Disconnect all the parts as well, which might have a connection to it, like bulb sockets or switches. Remove your long cable and connect the probes to each end, even though you don’t need to follow the order of placement. 
  1. Your reading should be low to prove that your cable is in top shape because of the constant flow of current in the cables. That’s a guarantee that your cable isn’t bad at any point. Further, it’s evidence that the entire circuit is complete, and the switch has been disabled. 
  1. Do you receive a reading from the meter that reads 1? Then it indicates there’s a breakage in your cables that requires immediate fixing for it to function properly. 

Final Thoughts

Are you searching to understand how to test a broken cable with a multimeter? All the information above just presented you with the things you need to know. Thanks to this valuable info, you now have the necessary and basic awareness needed to help you when checking for broken cables using a digital multimeter.

The good thing about here is that you don’t need to employ a professional for basic concerns, saving you time and a huge amount of money. Nonetheless, make sure you always verify that everything is in the right place after you are done testing for broken cables to prevent any sudden damages and accidents.

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