How to Use Digital Clamp Meter – Expert Guide & Tips

Measuring the current running through the electrical conductor is essential when it comes to considering the safety of the conductor and related electronic tools.

You will find plenty of options to be thought when trying this, and a standard option is by using a clamp meter. A clamp meter is an electrical device that can measure the current on an electrical wire.

But the question,

How to use Clamp Meter during the measurement of the current?

So, without further ado, let’s take a brief look at how you can use a clamp meter and measure the current on the electrical wire.

How to use Clamp Meter?

Step 1 (Purchase a clamp meter and switch it on):

  • Firstly, you need to buy a clamp meter from an electrical store or online shopping site.
  • Now switch on the meter you buy and get rid of the clamp (if connected)

Note: You will find some clamp meters that can measure current and some meters can measure the voltage  

Step 2 (Check by using an electric conductor):

  • Measure the current by using a clamp on the load. You do not need to disconnect the electrical conductor from the circuit.
  • Connect the running electrical tools to the electrical cable to take the reading.

Note: It is advisable to remove the electrical cable from the power plug before taking a reading.

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Step 3 (Select the function & range)

  • Choose the function (AC or DC) & range on the clamp meter by setting the dial. A jaw symbol on display will confirm that the measurement is taken by the meter.
  • Ensure that the current is within the specified range because a higher flow will damage the device.

Note: You should limit the voltage range within 600V when it comes to run the electric conductor. Because the meter cannot measure the current on the conductor if the voltage is high enough, select the high range and lower it as required if you feel doubt about the range.

Step 4 (Clamp the device around the conductor)

  • Open the jaw by using a side lever.
  • Clamp the electrical tool around the conductor and close it. Ensure the electrical conductor is attached to a power source.
  • Now you can see the reading on the meter in seconds.

Step 5 (measure the current by using a line separator)

The device may show you a false reading when measuring current (AC). A higher current supply may damage the device as it fails to show you the reading. You can solve the problem in the following ways:

  • Connect the line separator to the power plug
  • Then join the conductor to the (AC) line separator.
  • Now you can measure the current by clamping the meter to the AC line.

Step 6 (Measure the voltage):=

  • Set up the clamp meter to the voltage sign (V) to measure the voltage on the conductor
  • Use the clamp meter and plug the clamps.
  • Join the black clamp to the COM socket and red clamp to the V/O socket
  • Choose the accurate range and keep the voltage within 600V.
  • Now get the voltage reading by joining the ends of the clamps.
  • See the voltage range on display.

Note: Never measure live wires.

What Is the Difference Between the Digital Multimeter and Clamp Meter?

Digital Multimeter:

  • A digital multimeter is designed to measure current, voltage, and resistance.
  • It is ideal for electric technicians and industries.
  • It works as a ohmmeter, ammeter and voltmeter
  • LCD giving the bright display
  • The easy to read the readings
  • It provides higher accuracy and quality resolution.

Clamp Meter:

  • Clamp Meter is designed to measure the current via a conductor.
  • It offers more accurate readings.
  • Easy and safe to use
  • Handy and portable to use
  • Low maintenance and long life
  • Clamp Meter is ideal for electricians and homeowners.

How a Clamp Meter Can Help with Troubleshooting?

  • Check and measure the current flow by using a clamp meter
  • Connect the clamp over the electric wire and get the AC reading. You can connect several wires inside the clamp.
  • Clamping the meter around electric wires help you to get the accurate measurement. It is significant to measure a single conductor to get accurate readings.
  • Consistently pass a little amount of current and increase it gradually to analyze the problem. Thus you can troubleshoot the problem by clamping the meter around the cables and compare the readings over it.

How to Choose a Good Clamp Meter

1. Accuracy & Precision:

When it comes to choosing the best clamp meter, accuracy, and precision play a significant role. You need to ensure that the meter you choose provides real RMS reading.

2. Environment:

Another most significant feature you need to consider before buying a clamp meter is the environment. It is used for a specific job in particular situations. You should go for a meter that can withstand high temperatures.

3. Functions:

It is useless for an electrician (who works electronic circuits) to have a meter that can measure only AC. So, you need to make sure the clamp meter you buy can meet all your needs.

4. Meter Body:

You should go for a meter that is durable enough to resist shocks and falls as you do not know when it is going to slip from the gloves free hands.

5. Brands:

You will find plenty of brands that are manufacturing clamp meter out on the market. So you need to select a brand that is trusted and accessible to all.

6. Safety:

Choose a meter that allows you to take the measurements safely. You need to ensure that the meter you choose to meet the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard.

Also, you need to select a meter that comes with an environmentally approved voltage rating (480V to 600 V).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Who invented clamp meter?

In 1948, Amprobe invented a clamp meter at first. However, it is continued to innovate & develop.

2. How to Operate Clamp Meter?

  • Turn on the clamp meter.
  • Choose higher scale value to avoid any harm to the circuit.
  • Clip-on the meter around the wire in turn and get the reading

3. Can a clamp meter measure voltage?

Clamp meter measures the current on the electrical circuit. Nowadays, a clamp meter can measure both AC and DC voltage. You can measure the very high voltage with the right meter.

4. What are the standard measurements of Clamp Meter?

Here some of the most common measurements of a clamp meter are including:

  • Alternating current (AC)
  • Direct current (DC)
  • Continuity
  • Capacitance
  • Temperature
  • Resistance

Conclusion

There you have the guide, “How to use Clamp Meter?” If you want to check the electric current in a power line without breaking any circuits, a clamp meter could be the right choice.

It is among the easiest to use a device that is quite essential when working with high power circuits. So, protect your electrical devices against any kind of damage to choose the best clamp meter.

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