# How To Measure Amperage

If you’re working on an electrical project, you may need to check the amperage or how much electricity is flowing through the circuit.If you want to know if something is pulling more energy than it should, you might need to measure the Amps.If you’re trying to determine if a component in your vehicle is draining the battery, measuring the amperage can be useful.If you use safety around electrical components and have a multimeter, it’s easy to measure Amps.

### Step 1: If you want to know the maximum power of your battery or breaker, you need to check it.

Before attaching your multimeter to the circuit, you need to make sure it is rated for the number of Amps traveling through that circuit.You can find the maximum Amp on the back of the device or in the instruction manual for most power sources.Do not attempt to test more currents than the highest dial setting if you want to check how high the dial goes.The maximum current is also known as the maximum Amps.

### Step 2: If your multimeter isn’t rated high enough for the circuit, use a plug-in clamp.

The accessory can extend the range.Plug the leads into the multimeter and attach the other end to the circuit in the way you would attach a multi meter.The hot or live wire is usually black, red, blue, or some other color except white or green.When you are using a multimeter, it doesn’t become part of the circuit.

### Step 3: Push the probe into the sockets on the multimeter.

The probes that came with the meter should have a red and black one.One end of the probe has a plug in it.The black probe should always be plugged into the COM sockets.If the port isn’t marked with “COM”, you may see a negative symbol.When you measure the current, you’ll have to hold your leads in place.Attach them to the circuit, freeing up your hands.Both types of probes will connect to the meter in the same way.

### Step 4: The red probe should be placed in the sockets labeled “A.”

Depending on the functions of your meter, you may have several places where you can plug in a red probe.The port is marked with the letter A.There are two sockets with an A, one labeled as 10A and the other labeled mA, both of which are designed to measure current up to 10 Amp.To make sure you don’t overload the meter, select the higher A or 10A setting if you’re not sure which one to use.You could see ports labeled V for voltage or for ohms.You can ignore these for the test.

### Step 5: The meter has either AC or DC current on it.

Unless your meter is designed to only be used on AC or DC circuits, you need to choose which one you’re testing.If you’re not sure, check your power source again for that information.The voltage should be listed as well.AC, or alternating current, is used in items like household appliances and electric motors, while direct current is utilized in battery-powered motors and devices.Unless there’s a transformer that converts electricity to DC, the power in a residential setting is going to be AC.

### Step 6: The dial should be turned to an amplifier setting that’s higher than what you’re measuring.

If you want to test the maximum currents, you should look for a dial on your meter that is higher than the number.If you want to be safe, you can turn the dial all the way to the maximum, but you may not get a reading if the current is too low.You need to turn the dial down if that happens.If the current is stronger than you thought, setting your meter to handle more Amps will help protect against blowing the fuses.You could destroy the meter if the current is too high.You don’t have to manually adjust a dial if the dial is auto-ranging.If this is the case, you won’t see a dial with the settings, and the meter will be labeled as auto-ranging, or you can see it on the display.

### Step 7: The power to the circuit needs to be turned off.

If your circuit is powered by a battery, it’s a good idea to take the negative lead out.If you have to turn off the power at a breaker, you should turn the switch off.Attach the meter to the circuit.

### Step 8: The power supply has a red wire.

To complete a circuit, you need to test the amount of current flowing through it.The first thing to do is to shut off the power to the circuit and then remove the positive wire from the source.You may have to cut the wire with wire clippers to break the circuit.If you see a cap where the power source meets the wire going to the device you’re testing, you can remove it and untangle the wires from around each other.You can connect the wires by clips.The black wire doesn’t need to be plugged in.The black is negative in an alternating current circuit, while the hot wire is positive.

### Step 9: The ends of the wire should be removed.

You’ll need to wrap a small piece of wire around the multimeter prongs or expose enough wire to make them secure.If the wire is insulated all the way to the end, you can squeeze your wire clippers just enough to cut into the rubber insulation.Pull the clippers away from you to remove the insulation.If you accidentally cut into the wire, you can try again.You need to remove the end of the wire from the power source and the device you’re testing.

### Step 10: Wrap the positive wire around the multimeter.

Wrap the exposed end of the red wire that’s coming away from the power source around the multimeter probe or use alligator clips to connect it to the wire.Attach the wire securely to make sure you get an accurate reading.The meter just needs to complete the circuit if you connect the positive probe to the power source or device.It’s fine if you can attach the wires the other way.Attaching the positive wire first will help prevent a short if the negative wire touches a ground.If the reading has a negative sign in front of it, it means you put the leads on backwards.Fix it by reversing the leads.

### Step 11: Turn on the circuit if you connect the multimeter probe to the remaining wire.

Attach the positive wire from the electrical component you’re trying to test to the multimeter probe.When you touch the black probe to the wire, the power will be restored.Turn the power back on if you turned it off.This is the end of the wire you disconnected from the power supply.If you’re testing in a car, don’t start the car or try to turn on any fans, lights or anything else, as you could overload the meter.

### Step 12: As you read the meter, leave the probes in place.

You should see a number on the digital display when the meter is in place.This is the amount of current you have.For the most precise measurement, leave the probes on the circuit for at least 60 seconds to make sure the current is stable.If the reading is less than the sensitive setting, the meter should be disconnected and the red probe moved to a different area.The current of the circuit you’re testing will be shown in this reading.That’s the amount of electricity that can flow through that current.