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How do I tell if my multimeter is dead? Answered

I was trying to measure current, then voltage and - basically I had no idea what I was doing and soon everything returned zero.

Opened it up, dont see the wire in the fuse anymore.

It was rated 250ma 250v 5Ø 20mm.
The shop I went to did not have it so I settled for a generic looking fuse rated at 250ma.

The multimeter still shows 0 for all the batteries I've tried.

Is it time to get a new meter or find a proper fuse?


If you are new at using meters, you should not ever place the meter in any amps range. This includes placing the red probe in the amps jack (dont do that). If you follow this tip, you will not as likely burn out a meter. Then when you get some experience and you learn how to properly use those ranges, then you may attempt it. I think most people of experience using meters will say they rarely use any amps range anyway. Just stick to VOLTS and OHMS ranges for a few months.

Check the fuse again. NEVER EVER measure across a battery in "current" mode, ONLY measure voltage.

The only fuse that should fit will be a 20mm fuse. What have you put in ?


i fused the original fuse. on its cap it reads 250mAL250v.
the back of my multimeter says the replacement is 250ma 250v 5Ø 20mm.

I have been reading up and yea, i realized my grave error.

the things i did (, embarrassingly,) include:
attempting to measure current from 240v mains (direct from live and neutral wires)
attempting to measure current from 12v DC transformer (direct from V+ and V- outputs)

my new fuse is 20mm, at 250ma. it has no rating for voltage.

now that i have put it in, the meter can be turned on. however, it simply shows ' 0.00 ' in both DC and AC voltage metering and ' 1 . ' the 'buzzer' mode thing doesn't work anymore.

time for a new meter?

PS: i was using a transformer 240AC -> 12DC and using it to pass current through a 28AWG teflon multi strand aluminium wire to generate heat. I thought there would be no harm in connecting it as such since the difference is just the wire - there are no components.

in the future, how should i connect the multimeter to measure current? how should i connect it?

i heard i have to measure in series. which is the right way to measure?

V+ - multimeter (amp) - load - V-
V- - multimeter (amp) - load - V+

Is the battery in the meter flat?

Generally they are quite robust and protected by the fuse.

I have blown mine several times usually by forgetting to return the leads to the volts position from current.

On the good side a new meter isn't all the cost;y these days if you don't need a pro job.

Definitely not. Mines supposed to have a batt low indicator light up if its ever low, so yea..

You are probably in new meter territory.

For a last, forlorn, hope, open the meter and look at the PCB, it is vaguely possible you can see blown parts or tracks, which you might repair.

To measure current, you must
  • Always, always always know what current level you are expecting.
  • Always know that  that is within your meter's range.
  • NEVER put the current meter directly across a battery, powersuppy, transformer and ESPECIALLY not the mains.
  • If you HAVE to measure a current outside the range then make a current SHUNT from a piece of heater wire of known resistance. Measure the voltage with the VOLT range of the meter and calculate the current.

Yea, I checked the manual only after I've killed it. Sigh

Aye, alright thank you for your reply.

Well i guess it's definitely not an issue of incorrect fuse rating anymore, or is it?

No, sorry.

"the things i did (, embarrassingly,) include:
attempting to measure current from 240v mains (direct from live and neutral wires)"

Is the electronic equivalent of "I stabbed him, poisoned him, shot him and then drowned him - is he dead ? "


6 years ago

edit: the meter CAN be turned on even without a fuse inserted.