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How to Find a Short With a Multimeter

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One function of a multimeter is to check for continuity. Continuity is the transfer of an electrical charge from one end of a wire to the other. If the wire lacks continuity, it has a “short.” A short is a symptom of a break or fray in the wire and prevents an electrical system from functioning properly. Testing for continuity allows you to find the short in an electrical circuit without dismantling the entire system.

Step 1

Turn the multimeter settings knob to “continuity.” The continuity setting is indicated by a small microphone symbol. This setting tests the amount of ohms at one end of a wire in relation to the ohms discharged from the other end. Unequal ohms measurements are evidence of a short in the wire.