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A multitester, also known as a Volt-Ohm-Milliammeter, is a device that can measure current on multiple scales. While voltage testers and continuity testers are sufficient for many diagnostic jobs and are relatively inexpensive, for more critical electrical and appliance troubleshooting and repairs, investing in a VOM is recommended. The VOM is battery powered and should only be used with the current turned off. It is used to check the continuity in a wire or component and to measure electrical current from 0 to 250 volts, AC or DC, flowing through the wire or component.

Multitesters are used with plug-in test leads that may have probes at both ends or a probe at one end and an alligator clip at the other. An adjustment knob or switch is set to measure current on the desired scale, usually ohms. The dial indicates the current flowing through the item being tested.

It is important to keep in mind that a VOM should not be used unless the appliance being tested is unplugged or the power to the circuit is turned off. A VOM is a useful tool for testing appliances because it is used while the power is turned off, eliminating the risk of electric shock. It provides more precise information than the continuity tester and is therefore preferred for testing many components. Reading a VOM is easy, and manufacturers provide complete operating instructions with the meters.

If you’re not sure what tools you need for home repair, check out our guide to Home Repair Tools. For electrical problems, we recommend having a set of Electrical Tools on hand. If you need to determine if a particular component of an electrical appliance is carrying electricity, a Continuity Tester may be helpful.


1. What is a volt-ohm-milliammeter?

A volt-ohm-milliammeter, or VOM, is a multi-functional electrical testing tool that is used to measure voltage, resistance, and current in electronic circuits. It is often referred to as a multimeter, and is used by electricians, technicians, and hobbyists for a variety of tasks.

2. How does a VOM work?

A VOM works by measuring the flow of electrical current through a circuit. It has a set of probes that are used to make contact with the circuit, and an internal mechanism that measures the resistance, voltage, or current, depending on the setting that is selected. The results are displayed on a digital or analog readout.

3. What are the different types of VOMs?

There are several types of VOMs, including analog and digital versions. Analog VOMs use a needle and dial to display the readings, while digital VOMs display the readings on a digital screen. There are also specialized VOMs that are designed for specific purposes, such as automotive diagnostics or HVAC testing.

4. What are some common uses for a VOM?

A VOM is used for a variety of tasks, including testing batteries, checking the continuity of wires and circuits, measuring voltage and current in electronic devices, and troubleshooting electrical problems in appliances and other devices.

5. How do you use a VOM to measure voltage?

To measure voltage with a VOM, you need to select the voltage setting on the device and connect the probes to the circuit. The red probe is typically connected to the positive side, and the black probe to the negative side. The VOM will display the voltage reading on the screen or dial.

6. How do you use a VOM to measure resistance?

To measure resistance with a VOM, you need to select the resistance setting on the device and connect the probes to the circuit. The probes are connected to the two points of the circuit being tested, and the VOM will display the resistance reading on the screen or dial.

7. How do you use a VOM to measure current?

To measure current with a VOM, you need to select the current setting on the device and connect the probes to the circuit. The probes are connected in series with the circuit, and the VOM will display the current reading on the screen or dial.

8. What are some safety precautions to take when using a VOM?

When using a VOM, it is important to take proper safety precautions. This includes wearing protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, avoiding contact with live circuits, and following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

9. How do you calibrate a VOM?

To calibrate a VOM, you need to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves adjusting the zero point and gain of the device to ensure accurate readings. Calibration should be done regularly to maintain the accuracy of the device.

10. How do you choose the right VOM for your needs?

When choosing a VOM, it is important to consider your specific needs and the types of tasks you will be using it for. Factors to consider include the range of measurements, the type of display, the accuracy of the device, and any additional features that may be useful for your specific needs.

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