How to Test an Inductor Using a Digital Multimeter

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

So, you bought a new inductor and want to know if it works? Or you have a broken inductor and want to know why it’s broken? One of the most useful devices in any engineer’s or hobbyist’s toolkit is a multimeter. A digital multimeter is the most common device used to test inductors, like the good old need of a multimeter.

x
What to Do with a Raspberry Pi 4

Testing an Inductor

You have a digital multimeter, you have an inductor, and you want to test the inductor. Instead of trying to explain how to test an inductor using a digital multimeter by boring you with a bunch of electronics theory, we’ll just tell you the steps to do it and what you’ll see on the digital multimeter display.

Using a digital multimeter to test an inductor is a two-step process:

  1. You need to determine the inductance of the inductor using the multimeter’s resistance function. 
  2. You have measured the inductance; you can use the multimeter’s diode test function to verify that the inductor is free of shorts.

Testing an inductor using a digital multimeter is a great way to make sure that an inductor is producing the values it is supposed to. It is also a great way to confirm that your inductor is working properly before you install it in a circuit. There are several ways to test an inductor, but the one I prefer is the “no load” test. You can conduct this test using a digital multimeter, but you will need to have a separate test probe or make sure your multimeter has an additional lead.

Knowing More About Inductor

In electronics, inductors (also known as “coils”) are used to create circuits that offer resistance to changes in current and voltage. They usually consist of a wire coil of a few turns of wire and are used in AC circuits since they offer non-linear resistance. They are used in many different circuits, by themselves or in conjunction with resistors and capacitors.

The magnetic field an inductor creates is used to filter out high-frequency noise from electronic circuits by acting as a low-pass filter. Inductors are used in a wide variety of electrical and electronic devices, from analog to digital and from industrial to consumer-grade. The most common use of inductors is in radio frequency circuits, where inductors are used to tune antennas.

Inductors are used in a wide variety of electronic circuits. They are typically used to block DC (Direct Current) but allow AC (Alternating Current) to be passed. It is important to understand inductors and their role in the circuit before making a measurement. The resistance of an inductor is not evident through the leads and is not generally an important test. When testing an inductor, you want to know the amount of DC resistance, the amount of AC resistance, and the inductance value.

The Two Values

Inductors are probably the most commonly used electrical components in electronics: they allow current to flow without any resistance, and they block DC and AC currents. There are two values of inductors that are frequently used: 

  1. High-Value Inductors – High-value inductors are used to perform high-frequency filtering. A good high-value inductor is made with thick wire, and it has a low resistance. These are designed to handle larger currents than conventional inductors. In some cases, high-value inductors are designed to handle a given current from a voltage source with a lower voltage than would be possible with a conventional inductor.
  2. Low-Value Inductors – They can be used to make various low-frequency filters, and those with a high-value inductor can be used to make various high-frequency filters. They can also be used to control the flow rate of DC current or to increase the output power of the electronic device.

What Are Inductors Used For?

Inductors are coils of wire that generate magnetic fields. These are components that store energy in the form of a magnetic field. The most common use of inductors is in AC power circuits, where they limit the rate of change of current—this is called impedance. The rate of change of voltage is similarly affected by an inductor. However, it has the opposite effect: inductors oppose an increase in voltage and act as a resistor to reduce the voltage.

Here are the things where inductors are evident and are used for:

  • They are used in any circuit that uses alternating current to power loads, like motors, LCDs, and speakers. 
  • They are also used in circuits that deal with high-frequency signals, like radio transmitters and receivers. 
  • Other than that, inductors are used in a wide variety of different applications, such as in electric motors, transformers, electromagnetic relays, and power supplies. 
  • They can be used to filter out high-frequency noise from signal circuits. However, this noise will be present in the form of a voltage drop across the inductor, and we will be able to measure this voltage with a multimeter.

Inductors are very common in electronics and can even be found in many household appliances, like TVs and microwaves. They are used in many products, from microwaves to cell phones, and have different uses in each. A cell phone might use inductors to tune the signal from its antenna, while a microwave induction heating system uses inductors to create a magnetic field that heats food without the need for a hot plate. 

Things to Avoid When Testing Inductor

A common mistake when testing a small inductor using a multimeter is to measure its inductance without first disconnecting the leads of the inductor from the circuit. This mistake is particularly likely when you are using a multimeter that isn’t digital (i.e., it has a needle that moves around the dial) rather than a digital multimeter. When doing a continuity test on a circuit, you will usually get a reading that shows the circuit is not complete (or open-circuit) when in fact, it is.

There are many things that can go wrong with your multimeter—and most of them will get you the incorrect result. The key to getting the correct measurement is to avoid the common pitfalls and to do this. You need to understand how an inductor works. To do this properly, you need to ensure the multimeter you are using is accurate, calibrate it regularly, and understand the factors that affect your measurement.

Special offer for our visitors

Get your Soldering Iron Guide For DIYERS

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions