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How to Use a Multimeter

How to Use a Multimeter

When equipment fails, boat owners often say they don’t know anything about electricity. They won’t touch any of the wiring. This is unfortunate because a majority of the time, faults are caused by loose connections, corroded wiring or blown fuses—all things that are simple to troubleshoot.

The trick is being able to “see” why the electricity is not flowing. It’s important to know what to look for. Adding a multimeter to an onboard toolkit is key to understanding what’s happening.

This battery charger will charge the battery fully when the probes are touching the negative and positive outputs of the battery, and the meter is set to DC voltage. We’ll confirm this at the battery posts.

Max Parker

Electrons: A look at the physics

Power is needed to produce electricity. This can be an alternator, solar panels or charger that charges a battery with direct-current power. Alternating current can also be generated from generators or inverters.

DC energy, unless it’s intended for propulsion, is generally low voltage: less than 24 volts. If it’s less than 50 volts, DC is considered non-lethal, although it can cause…

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