How to Take an Amp Reading on an Electrical Motor


Electrical circuits can often develop problems. Parts of the wiring may have been broken, one of the components might have burned out or the power source itself is no longer viable. If this happens to an electrical item with moving parts, the first place to check is the electrical motor. This is the main component of the system and, if it's faulty, the most expensive and difficult to replace. The best way to check if something electrical is not working is to check the amp reading, and the best way to check the amp reading is with a multimeter.

Things You'll Need

  • Multimeter
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Allen key
  • Purchase an analog or digital multimeter from your local hardware store. A good one can be purchased for about $15 to $20.

  • Remove the casing of the electric motor, if required, using the appropriate tools. These might include a screwdriver, a wrench or an Allen key.

  • Set the multimeter to the right reading, usually indicated by an "A" for amps, and the right range, which will depend on the device being checked. Some multimeters will not need to have the range set.

  • Attach the clamp clip lead for the multimeter to the "COM" plug and the red wire lead to the "VΩmA" plug. The other plug, labeled "10A," is not used for this.

  • Attach the clamp clip lead to the input cable on the motor and in turn test the output cables with the red lead to see if the current is flowing. If the amp reading shows the motor is faulty, replace it. If the motor is still working, the problem is with another component.

Tips & Warnings

  • An analog multimeter will work fine if you are just checking to see if the motor is still working. If you need an accurate reading of the amperage, a digital one is superior.
  • You are dealing with an electrical device, so be careful not to electrocute yourself.

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  • Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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