You Are At: AllSands Home > Howto > How to use a volt ohm meter
To test the voltage on an appliance you will need a VOM, or volt-ohm meter. This is a small machine that tests continuity and voltage. The VOM works by passing a current through the component being tested to gauge the amount of resistance in the circuit. This read out is what you are interested in. Each part or appliance will need a certain voltage. If the reading is incorrect, you will know there is something wrong with that part.

Before you run a test, you will need to tell the VOM what kind of test you are running. It has several settings. Many VOM's set this automatically. Others are manual. Each appliance will need a specific setting. Make sure you read a manual before testing something. You will need to set the meter to tell the machine if you are testing something on AC or DC power, alternating or direct current. You will also need to tell the machine what range this appliance has, so it knows what the machine's voltage is supposed to be.

To test an appliance, first, make sure the appliance is unplugged. Then, place both probes on the ends of the circuit. If you need to use you hands, you can find probes that clip on. Either way, all you have to do is place the probes in contact with the ends of the circuit, then read the screen. It is that simple.

Finding where to connect the probe is the challenge. If you are testing the appliance's motor, plug it in to the motor, if you are testing the plug, place the probes on the prongs. You get the idea. This is how you can test parts within and appliance. Of course it is best to test the appliance from the inside out, so you avoid disassembling the appliance if it is unnecessary. Test the outlet and cord first. Then disassemble the appliance and test its parts.