How to Test a Plug Socket with a Multimeter UK?

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A multimeter is a type of electronic instrument that is commonly used by electronic technicians and engineers. It’s also known as a VOM (volt-ohm-milliampere), and it’s an electronic measuring device that can perform multiple measurements in one unit.

It is used to measure the three basic electrical characteristics of voltage, current, and resistance. It can also be used to test the electrical continuity of two points in a circuit. They are available in both analog and digital configurations and can be used for everything from simple testing such as battery voltage measurement to fault detection and complex diagnostics.

Electricians use them to diagnose electrical faults in motors, power supplies, appliances, circuits, and wiring systems. DIYers can also learn how to use multimeters around the house for basic measurements.

Types of Multimeter

  • Analog Multimeter: An analog multimeter, also known as a moving coil device, calculates voltage, current, and other parameters using a microammeter and a needle. With the help of several removable probes, you can easily calculate different quantities by changing the setting of the switch on the meter.
  • Digital Multimeter: The most commonly used test equipment in various industries is a measuring instrument, such as a digital multimeter. It improves accuracy by acquiring multiple signal samples in a shorter period. It also has an automatic ranging feature, which eliminates the need for the operator to manually select the measurement.
  • Fluke Multimeter: This multimeter has several functions. This meter is typically equipped with a large display and is used to calculate resistance and voltage. It is used to change various parameters such as voltage, current, and electrical unit.
  • Clamp Multimeter: This type of multimeter has a clamp feature that calculates amps after the volts are calculated by the two probes. The power consumption can be adjusted by multiplying the voltage reading by the amps. It also includes a bonus feature such as various types of settings. 
  • Autoranging Multimeter: This type of multimeter has a knob in the middle and fewer positions. As a result, it does not control by design to measure, but it is used in simple electronic projects. These tools are highly recommended for electricians and beginners. This meter normally measures only one component at a time.

Advantages of Multimeter

  • The electrical output can be used to communicate with other devices.
  • High Precision
  • Due to the integrated technology, these are less expensive.
  • The output display can be provided automatically.
  • It has auto-polarity capabilities.
  • Due to the high input impedance, there is no effect from loading.
  • At greater viewing distances, a clear reading can be obtained.

Disadvantages of Multimeter

  • The LCD is primarily powered by an external source, such as a battery because once the battery is depleted; the LCD becomes dim and difficult to read.
  • The meter’s limit is 1V, so if it is exceeded, the multimeter will be damaged.
  • The meter must be used following the manufacturer’s specifications and the category rating; otherwise, the meter will be damaged, resulting in equipment loss.
  • Isolation and power supply requirements

Applications of Multimeter       

  • Continuity and resistance testing
  • Capacitance measurements
  • It is possible to identify a faulty power cable.
  • Frequency determination
  • Battery testing
  • The switch can be tested.
  • Diode testing
  • Current measurement in AC/DC
  • Measurement of AC/DC voltage
  • Tests can be performed on old incandescent light bulbs.
  • Timing and frequency measurement
  • A test of an outlet is possible.
  • It’s used in environmental and temperature control applications.

How to Test a Plug Socket with a Multimeter UK?

Step1: Use Right Setting

When testing the electrical sockets in your home, you’ll want to use the VAC setting on the electronic multimeter. Turn on the multimeter and adjust the dial to the proper VAC setting. If your multimeter does not have a VAC setting, it may simply read “Volts.”

Step2: Connect Test Wires

To test the electrical socket in your home, you will use two different wires. One is red and should be connected to the multimeter’s “volts” input. This could be surrounded by a red ring. There is also a black wire that will be connected to the device’s “com” input. To distinguish it as the correct one, it may have a black ring.

Step3: Insert Leads into Socket

After you’ve connected the leads to the multimeter, you can start testing the wall socket. To accomplish this, insert the leads into the socket. When working near electrical sockets, you should always turn off the power to avoid injuring yourself. However, to test the current, the power must be kept on. As you insert the leads into the socket, keep this in mind. It is essential to place the appropriate lead in the appropriate slot.

Step4: Start with Red Lead

Begin by inserting the red lead into the right-hand vertical slot of the socket. Insert the black lead into the vertical slot on the left.

Step5: Check the Reading

Once the leads are in place, you must check the electronic multimeter to see what the reading is. With a standard household current, you should get a reading of 110 VAC or 120 VAC. If you don’t see a reading like this, you know there’s something wrong with the outlet. Remove the black lead from the slot and insert it into the oval slot in the center of the socket. If you do not have a reading, there is a problem with the circuit.

Step6: Remove Leads

Remove the leads after you’ve used your electronic multimeter to test the electrical socket. As important as it is to know which vertical slot to place the leads in, it is also important to remove them in the same order. First, take out the black lead from the vertical oval slot. Then remove the red lead from its slot.

Step7: Replace Socket

If you discover that the electrical socket is not working properly, you will be able to replace it at this time.

You can read our blog on How to Use a Socket Tester?


A multimeter measures various aspects of your electrical system. The use of an electronic multimeter to test an electrical socket is something that any homeowner can do. To test a plug socket, simply follow the steps outlined above.


Yes, a multimeter can be used to determine whether or not a wire is live.What can be measured with a multimeter?

It is primarily used to measure the voltage, current, and resistance, which are the three basic electrical characteristics. It can also be used to check for electrical circuit continuity between two points.

Is it possible to check if a wire is live using a multimeter?

Yes, a multimeter can be used to determine whether or not a wire is live.

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