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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default for those of us who use multimeters (we all should) ...

    I've been reading a multi-page article in my IAEI News about multimeter accidents, injuries, and deaths from multimeter misuse (or using the wrong multimeter in the wrong location).

    This is the gist of the warnings: If the multimeter you are holding fails for any reason (could be operator caused, could be age, deterioration, moisture, etc.) there is a good probability that the multimeter failure acts as a short across whatever you were measuring - with one lead connected to one side, the other lead connected to the other side, the meter fail and shorts out ... you might as well be holding a piece of copper wire between the two things you were measuring.

    That short can lead to an arc or arc flash, burning your hands, clothes, etc., not trying to be scary of anything, but there have been many, many, many cases of such happening.

    The meter you use needs to have the correct CAT I, CAT II, CAT III, or CAT IV rating for the area (not just what you are measuring, but what is around that area and what is supplying that area).

    Here is some good information, descriptive drawings, and examples of the different CAT areas in which different CAT rating meters should be used.

    http://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/e...ter_Safety.pdf

    and

    Anatomy of a high quality meter

    Most of what we would normally check would be CAT II or CAT III, however, many of us stray into CAT IV (basically when you use your meter outdoors to measure the things we might measure)

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    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: for those of us who use multimeters (we all should) ...

    Jerry, good info. I guess this means I should replace my 30+ year old Radio Shack analog meter with the taped up leads. But it has been such a good meter

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: for those of us who use multimeters (we all should) ...

    We had an electricain very badly burned because he had replaced the special fuse in his meter with a normal fuse. Set the meter to amps when it should have been volts and it blew up.

    He was off work for about 6 months.

    Always be very careful around electricity.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: for those of us who use multimeters (we all should) ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
    Set the meter to amps when it should have been volts and it blew up.

    David,

    The two most common causes of meter failure are:

    - using the wrong scale (such as amps or ohms instead of volts)

    - switching scales while energized

    He was off work for about 6 months.
    He was one of the lucky ones - he got to go back to work ... he got better.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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