How to test for continuity with a digital multimeter

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Steps for measuring continuity.

How to test for continuity

  1. Turn the dial to Continuity Test mode ( continuity ). It will likely share a spot on the dial with one or more functions, usually resistance (Ω). With the test probes separated, the multimeter’s display may show OL and Ω.
  2. If required, press the continuity button.
  3. First insert the black test lead into the COM jack.
  4. Then insert the red lead into the V Ω jack. When finished, remove the leads in reverse order: red first, then black.
  5. With the circuit de-energized, connect the test leads across the component being tested. The position of the test leads is arbitrary. Note that the component may need to be isolated from other components in the circuit.
  6. The digital multimeter (DMM) beeps if a complete path (continuity) is detected. If the circuit is open (the switch is in the OFF position), the DMM will not beep.
  7. When finished, turn the multimeter OFF to preserve battery life.

Continuity testing overview

Reference: Digital Multimeter Principles by Glen A. Mazur, American Technical Publishers.

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Digital Multimeter Fundamentals

An in-depth look at an indispensable tool

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