What is the Symbol for AC Voltage on a Multimeter?

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Are you one of those who are new to multimeters? Maybe you recently purchased or are planning to purchase one and are fully unfamiliar with how it works. You have not utilized particular settings and would like to understand which multimeter symbols symbolize which functions and how they differ from one another.

You might be a college or university student preparing for your exams but frustrated about some symbols that present on a digital multimeter, especially the AC voltage symbol. 

Good for you because this guide got you covered. Sit tight and buckle up because we will bring you a comprehensive explanation of symbols on a multimeter, along with a quick explanation of their function. This guide will also take a quick peek at how you can read a multimeter on your own. 

The Importance of Understanding the Different Symbols on a Multimeter

You may never have thought this, but testing with the wrong multimeter settings could be problematic both for the multimeter and the user using it. For instance, maybe you are checking the continuity, but your unit is currently on the volt measurement mode. That type of scenario can possibly be extremely risky. 

So, if you are a total newbie, pay attention to this guide! 

But do keep in mind that all other units of multimeters available in the market have the same functions signified by the same symbols with a bit different in the overall layout. Thus, learning such symbols will be a lifetime knowledge for you.

Take note as well that one can only activate yellow-colored symbols by pressing the shift button. Press the button and set the dial to your preferred parameter. 

What’s the Symbol for AC Voltage on the Multimeter?

Now, answering this question, what’s really the symbol for AC voltage? An alternating current voltage or ACV often is symbolized with a capital V along with a wavy line on top like this V~. This setting is used to quantify the voltage from AC sources, which is quite much anything that plugs into an outlet and power coming from the outlet itself. 

Nonetheless, voltmeter symbols are typically categorized by a capital V inside a circle. That is the setting you will utilize more often than anything else, and it measures the object’s voltage that you are trying to work with. 

Depending on where you live, you can measure AC volts of between 100 and 240. Whether you are testing inside your home or on job sites, you would often be measuring AC voltage. 

Other Symbols You Need to Know

Apart from AC voltage, you will also find other symbols on a multimeter. Some of them include but not limited to:

  • Hold Button – It holds or locks the multimeter reading and enables you to see the exact reading.
  • DC Voltage – It is symbolized with a capital V and has three hyphens on top of it. It allows you to test small electronic circuits, indicator lights, and batteries.
  • Shirt Hertz – It’s labeled Hz and tells you the frequency of the circuit or equipment. 
  • Current Jack – This is the red jack with a symbol of A above it and used to measure currents with either a red lead or clamp attachments.
  • Common Jack – This is represented with COM written on top of it and used with black test leads.
  • Continuity – The button of this resembles a group of close-end parenthesis in a row. It looks like a sound symbol. Continuity is an efficient way to determine open or short circuits.
  • Shift Capacitance – It’s represented with a two letter Ts facing one another. This is used to measure capacitance.
  • AC Millivolts – Looks like an mV symbol with a squiggly line above the V. It’s used to measure smaller circuits. 

How Do You Use AC Voltage on a Multimeter?

Before you start using a multimeter to test an object, make sure you practice all the important safety precautions to prevent any injuries. Don’t touch the tips of the test leads, and ensure you place them in the right positions. 

Here are the tips you need to keep in mind if you’re testing the AC voltage of an object with a digital multimeter.

  1. Set the multimeter in the correct range. It must be above the value you like to test. The range of volts is indicated as V- and you must point it at six hundred. 
  1. Attach the black lead in the common port. Other users often call it the common terminal.
  1. Be extra careful when connecting the common probe. Connect the red test lead to the VΩmA if you like to measure voltage. We don’t recommend connecting the red test lead to 10ADC. Doing so will wreak havoc to your appliances. So, make sure you put your red test lead in the proper port. 
  1. Check the live and ground wire. Now, attach the black test lead to the live wire and attach the red test lead to another livewire. Press hold on your multimeter if you like to hold the reading for a while. 
  1. Remove the test leads after you efficiently measured or tested AC voltage. Begin by detaching the red test lead and followed by the black test lead. 

Final Thoughts

The information and the steps above helped you understand the symbol of AC voltage in a digital multimeter and also helped you learn how to test one. As you can tell, testing for AC voltage does not need to be challenging or complicated. 

Above are some of the basics, but make sure you read over the manual of your multimeter for any specifics. This post is intended to be your starting point to get you up and running. 

It does not matter at all if you are a newbie or an advanced user in the field of multimeter testing. You can also test batteries following the same process. Just keep in mind that it’s essential to understand how to read the results shown on your multimeter display.

We hope you find this article educational and helpful at the same time, and that it  has helped you in one way or another.

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