i blew up my cheap harbor freight multimeter, what I do wrong?

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Weaksauce
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Sep 30, 2022
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68
I was trying to measure the voltage from the wall. Had the red probe on black wire(hot) and black probe on white wire(return) . it was dialed to 750 vac. Big zap and both probe melted. what I do wrong?
 

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Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
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Sep 29, 2001
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20,386
thanks. so top hole for dcand middle for ac?
Looks like top is only for measuring DC amps. middle one is for AC and DC voltage, Ohms and DC amps up to 200 milli amps.
Basically, the top post is only for that 10A setting and the middle one is for everything else.
 

auntjemima

[H]ard DCOTM x2
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thanks. so top hole for dcand middle for ac?
No. Top hole is used for testing DC amps.

Only time I've ever used the top was in a vehicle where I was putting the multimeter in series with the battery to test parasitic draw.

You'll almost never use it, that's where your issue came from. If it was a good multimeter it would have just blown the fuse and that was it, shouldn't have melted anything.
 

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
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My boss did the same thing earlier this week. It was some cheap no name multi meter too.
 

Darunion

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 6, 2010
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Honestly you can usually find cheap used fluke meters on ebay for a decent price. Yea, you were plugged into the port for measuring current which basically turns the probes and wires in a short circuit which can only handle 10AMPS, which your wall outlet is either 15-20Amp so it blew the meter. As said most good ones are fuse protected and the wires are usually rated to handle much more than that.

If you are just checking if something is live or not, highly recommend getting an outlet tester. They are quicker and less prone to human error, i even default to using that before a multimeter.
 
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Mr Evil

Limp Gawd
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Everyone who has used a multimeter very much will have done this (tried to measure voltage when the probes are in the current position) at least once. I've done it several times myself. When it's a proper meter with a big fuse for the 10A range, replacement fuses can cost more than an entire cheap multimeter.
 

Darunion

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Everyone who has used a multimeter very much will have done this (tried to measure voltage when the probes are in the current position) at least once. I've done it several times myself. When it's a proper meter with a big fuse for the 10A range, replacement fuses can cost more than an entire cheap multimeter.
I can honestly say i have NEVER done that. My bane is voltage measurements and the probe tips touch eachother. meter survives but i destroy what im workin on haha.

my fluke screams bloody murder if there are probes in the current socket and it is set on voltage.
 
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cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
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Aug 16, 2004
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15,456
I've never fried one of the cheap HF meters.

They are great for basic stuff.

Then again, I grew up knowing how to use a multimeter. Probably started using one around age 8 or so.

Only time I have seen on fried is when a family member was trying to test voltage and had the dial 180 off because they stopped marking the little arrow on the dial.
 

cdabc123

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I've never fried one of the cheap HF meters.

They are great for basic stuff.

Then again, I grew up knowing how to use a multimeter. Probably started using one around age 8 or so.

Only time I have seen on fried is when a family member was trying to test voltage and had the dial 180 off because they stopped marking the little arrow on the dial.
Ive had 2 just die. Not due to user error. Although I bought both of those with the $1 multimeter coupon they used to have so I cant complain for what I got
 

xx0xx

Gawd
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Oct 20, 2005
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765
I've never fried one of the cheap HF meters.

They are great for basic stuff.

Then again, I grew up knowing how to use a multimeter. Probably started using one around age 8 or so.

Only time I have seen on fried is when a family member was trying to test voltage and had the dial 180 off because they stopped marking the little arrow on the dial.

Been there :ROFLMAO: I didn't fry mine but I sure did stare at it for a long time wondering why it wasn't working, then realized I had the dial reversed. Oops.

Cheap meter helped me fix a mechanical keyboard so it more than paid for itself
 

toast0

2[H]4U
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Jan 26, 2010
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2,179
You guys are awesome! i feel like a dumb dumb for hooking up the meter wrong =p

Stuff happens, at least it was a cheap meter (although a really nice meter might protect itself, a medium cost meter would probably blow up too)
 
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