How To Test A Light Socket With A Multimeter: Testing Light Socket Using A Multimeter & Continuity Test

Testing Light Socket Using A Multimeter & Continuity Test

An easy way when it comes to testing a light fixture is to get rid of the bulb before replacing it with one that you know is functional. If you don't have a functional bulb available, then the best option is to use a light socket tester or test the fixture using a multi-meter. There are two methods to check a light fixture with a multi-meter, one of which needs the power to be on and another you can do keeping the power off. The first test is known as a Voltage Test, which you perform with the help of a multi-meter set in order to calculate AC voltage in the 200-volt range. The second test is known as a Continuity Test in order to check the resistance betwixt the light fixture terminals, and for this test, you set the multi-meter to calculate resistance. You perform a continuity test keeping the power off, however, it isn't conclusive except if you disconnect the fixture.

Voltage Test Using Multi-meter

Every home need to have a multi-meter, due to the reason that it can help identify the nature of problems with all kinds of electrical fixtures, not only light bulbs. A typical multi-meter consist of a large number of dial settings, and if you are doing a light bulb socket voltage test, make sure to set the meter to a voltage range suitable for household circuitry. Due to the fact that residential circuits operate at 120 volts, the best setting is generally 200 volts. Some multi-meters distinguish betwixt DC and AC voltage, with the latter being entitled either as VAC or as V with a wavy line over it. You are calculating AC voltage, so choose VAC. After selecting the voltage setting, place, fit, or push the black lead into the common port (COM) and the red lead into the mAVO port, pull out the bulb, turn on the power and you are ready to test:
  • Take hold of either lead on the metal socket casing.
  • Touch the bulb at the underside of the socket with the other lead.
  • Record the reading & if it is somewhere close to 120 volts, the fixture is good. If you get a reading of zero or one notably less than 100 volts, the fixture is bad.

The Continuity Test

Electricians use a continuity test in order to ascertain or establish if there is a break in the circuit, so that the fixture must be isolated from power to get a reading. For a plug-in lamp, you can just unplug it, however, if you are testing a wall or ceiling fixture, you need to disengage it from the circuit after you turn off the power. A continuity test calculates resistance (O), and a suitable meter setting is a mid-range value, or about 2kO.
  • Touch one lead to the ground screw or ground wire on the disengaged fixture.
  • Touch the other wire to one among the socket itself or to the bubble at the underside of the socket. It is best option to do two separate tests, one for the socket and other for the bulb at the bottom.
  • Keep note of the meter reading & if it is close to 0, the fixture is good. If the meter jumps completely to the right or reads OL, which means open line, then the fixture is bad.
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