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  1. #1
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Multi-Meter Suggestions

    My electrical multi-meter headed south today. Any suggestions for a good unit that won't break the bank, i.e. <$300?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    My electrical multi-meter headed south today. Any suggestions for a good unit that won't break the bank, i.e. <$300?
    AD,

    Depends on what you are looking for. You can get a standard digital multimeter for $50 - $75 at Radio Shack. Been using mine for several years now. Fluke makes a nice selection of multimeters with clamp-on ammeters. Check out the tool retailers at the left sidebar of Brian's site here.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

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  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    TM: Will it still work east of the Trinity?


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: Will it still work east of the Trinity?

    Yes.....and even East of Dallas County. Maybe all the way to the right coast.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Which one?
    Well, since you are paying for it and I would want you to have the best, then you should purchase the most expensive.

    I would think that any of them would do what a home inspector would need it to do. An expensive one won't provide you any features that you are likely to use. I would choose the most affordable.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Well, since you are paying for it and I would want you to have the best, then you should purchase the most expensive.
    GA: You are too kind.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    I hate to admit it but I've had really good luck with the Cen-Tech stuff from Harbor Freight.

    Harbor Freight Tools

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I hate to admit it but I've had really good luck with the Cen-Tech stuff from Harbor Freight. Harbor Freight Tools
    Who let this guy in?

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    From my not too far past electronics days, I always used Fluke when possible. Not cheap but I always found their equipment to be dependable and accurate. They are also pretty good with maintaining availibility. But for home inspection work where 1% or better accuracy, in my opinion, isn't necessary, I look more at test leads. I don't want cheap leads that are stiff even in warm conditions. They kink and hold folds that hang up on most anything.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    go to ebay you won't have to buy it you can steal it.


  13. #13
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    You guys have given me a list that runs the gamut between what comes for free in a Cracker Jack box to something every Ferrari owner should carry. Can I get a consensus on a moderately-priced, decent unit?

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  14. #14
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Can I get a consensus.........
    Has this ever been the case for any thread ?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    Has this ever been the case for any thread ?
    CM: No, but it never hurts to ask.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Cat IV rated to 600 volts, good.

    Cat III rated to 600 volts, okay, but not as good as the others.

    Cat III rated to 1000 volts and Cat IV rated to 600 volts, better (most HI work would be Cat III).

    No Category rating shown, but at that price it likely is at least a Cat III - but needs to be verified first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I hate to admit it but I've had really good luck with the Cen-Tech stuff from Harbor Freight.

    Harbor Freight Tools
    Does not give its Category voltage rating - would not consider without knowing it is at least a Cat III or IV rated (Cat III MINIMUM for the typical home inspector use, with Cat IV being better for protecting your life).

    Multimeter categories: Multimeter Safety

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

    CAT IV safety rating on new digital multimeters: News from Fluke (UK)

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

  17. #17
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    JP: Now that's what I'm talking about. Thanks.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    AD check out Fieldpiece Instruments. They make a few different multi-meter units. The meters have nice features and have been working good for a few years now. What's even better are all the attachment heads you can buy. The various heads come in extremely handy.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  19. #19
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Oh Boy!

    I will soon be known as "Mr Frugal"

    I recommend and use the ~$18.00 Simpson analogue meter - In the HI industry I assure you you will get far more meaningful results from your measurement - yes, you have to switch ranges and types of measurement, but it is a sure detector of "ground loops" - the digital types are far way to fast and sophisticated, which in turn miss some important measurements that can still be detected with the "slow" analogue type measurements.

    regards - richard


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    You're not there testing or trouble-shooting sophisticated electronics so you don't really need anything more than a cheap multimeter that'll give you volts and maybe ohms. Unless you want to spring for one of those circuit analyzer / tracer devices but at that point, you're going well beyond the call of duty.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  21. #21
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-Meter Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    For you, Aaron, I would recommend one of the Fluke 170 series, preferably a low serial number.
    FK: You mean like 79000000 and below?


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