How to Check for 220 Volt Power


Large household appliances such as dryers and stoves often use 220 volts. Also, many commercial applications need more than the standard 110 volt systems. Whether checking for correct voltage or verifying that power has either been turned off or restored, testing 220-volt circuits for power is a simple task when the right tools are used.

Things You'll Need

  • Multimeter
  • Plug the probes into your multimeter. Turn it on. Many meters' probes are color-coded red and black on the meter and the probe wires.

  • Set your multimeter to test for "AC" voltage, or alternating current. Select this with a dial or with the push-button controls. Check the meter instructions to make sure this test is completed correctly.

  • Place one probe against the positive lead or terminal of the circuit you are testing; place the other against the negative. Alternating current can usually be tested with any lead placed on positive and the other placed on the negative with the same results being read by the meter either way.

  • Note the voltage the multimeter is displaying. If the circuit is receiving 220 volts of power, the display should read "220". If the circuit is powered off, the display should read "0".

Tips & Warnings

  • If there's a four-prong plug, test for power on the three similarly shaped terminals. The fourth is a ground, so should not indicate any power.
  • Any result other than "0" displayed on the multimeter means that current is still present in the circuit and that it should always be considered an electric shock hazard.
  • Any circuit, plug, terminal or bare wire should be considered a "live circuit" carrying current until a test can be completed to verify or rule out voltage.

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