This meter also has a live wire test function, during which time an LED lights to indicate a live wire. This is a basic clamp meter and therefore does not have the diode testing function, continuity testing, or buzzer. In addition, the DTC version can also measure temperature. Review I bought this because it was going cheap for around five pounds including postage. This must be one of the lowest cost clamp meters I have ever seen and I wanted to see its construction and build.
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And quantifying something is great, too. So I had to buy this clamp meter when I found it on eBay last week. Is it as good as a Fluke? I doubt it. Squeeze the trigger to open the jaws to clamp on to a live electrical wire. Doing that allows you to measure how much AC current is going through the wire. The clamp part is acting as a transformer , where the live wire is like a single winding around the metal core of the clamp.
Current through the live wire induces a current on the other side of the transformer, which is inside the meter. Circuitry inside the meter measures that induced current to tell me just how much power is going through that live wire. How much power is that window air conditioner using? If I clamp around all three at once, I get a reading of zero, since the currents from the hot and neutral are out of phase. You can imagine water flowing in the black is like electrical current.
The sum of the two currents is zero since they are the same in opposite directions. So we place the clamp on only one of the wires. This picture shows a reading of 4. Here the fan is blowing but the cooling part is off. That was fun, but what about my whole house?
How much power am I using everywhere? You probably have a circuit breaker like this in or on the outside of your home. This is the one in my apartment. For safety, the power in your home is divided across multiple breakers. If too much power goes through one of these switches, it will automatically shut off or "trip". This prevents fires and other hazards. The 7 switches in my box are assigned as: Lights Living room and bedroom plugs Kitchen plugs and fridge.
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