How to Read an Ammeter

Save

If you have ever seen an ammeter, it was probably in the movie "Apollo 13." The device might be obscure, but it is an important measuring instrument for electrical systems. It measures one of the two basic aspects of electric current, namely amperage. Reading an ammeter is simple, as is using the data revealed.

The Ammeter

  • Look at the gauge and determine if your ammeter is a normal ammeter or a zero-center one. The zero-center ammeter will have what looks like negative and positive readings on both sides of the zero. This is actually what it does: It reads the strength of the current in both negative and positive polarities.

  • Read the gauge after the ammeter is connected to an electric circuit. How an ammeter is connected varies. A typical example might have screw connectors: Wrap the exposed leads around the positive and negative screws and tighten the screws to clamp the wires into place. With an ordinary ammeter, this connection is enough. The gauge will indicate the number of amps in the current.

  • Note both the negative and positive numbers for a zero-center ammeter. This is useful for revealing the strength of a battery within a circuit. A battery with much higher negative amperage is running on a low charge.

Tips & Warnings

  • With amps and one other number, all three basic numbers needed for describing normal electrical systems can be determined. Those numbers are amps, watts and volts. Use these two equations to determine the missing third number: Amps x Volts = Watts and Watts/Amps = Volts The typical 60-watt light bulb uses 0.54 amps. A laptop computer uses between 0.8 to 1 amps. A power-hungry space heater or hair dryer, on the other hand, can consume as much as 13 to 15 amps.

References

  • Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Connect an Ammeter

    Other People Are Reading. How to Wire a 12V Ammeter; How to Connect Ammeters to Circuits; Print this article; Things You'll Need....

  • Ammeter Vs. Voltmeter

    Ammeter Vs. Voltmeter. ... and it would not be possible to take a reading. Voltmeter. Voltmeters measure the potential difference or voltage...

  • How to Set Up an Ammeter

    Read and study your ammeter manual. Not all ammeters have the same scale calibration or the same types of control knobs or...

  • How to Calibrate an Ammeter

    How to Calibrate an Ammeter. ... Other People Are Reading. How to Calibrate a Digital Multimeter; How to Build an Ammeter; Print...

  • How to Read a Car Battery Gauge

    The ammeter may show an abnormally high reading briefly after starting the engine and the lights and other devices are being powered.

  • How to Use a Clamp-on Ammeter

    Testing electrical alternating current (AC) circuits with a clamp on ammeter is an efficient way for troubleshooting load problems. ... How to...

  • How to Connect an Ammeter on a Bread Board

    To read current in the part of the circuit you ... remove the power and put the positive ammeter lead on the...

  • How to Read an Amp Meter

    An amp meter is a measuring device that measures electrical current between two points; typically through a wire. Current is created when...

Related Searches

Read Article

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!