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How do you use a multimeter to test a resistor?

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Quick Answer

To test a resistor using a multimeter, turn off and unplug the appliance that is using the resistor. Determine the strength and tolerance of the resister, and set the multimeter to an appropriate scale. Connect both probes of the multimeter to the leads of the resistor, and look at the scale on the multimeter to determine the value of resistance. Note that you don't need to place leads of the multimeter on a particular side of the resistor.

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Full Answer

To determine the power of a resistor, find the colored bands on it, and turn the resistor in a way that the bands are on the right. Each color represents a certain value, for example, brown is one, red is two and orange is three. Put the values of two bands together to get a two-digit number. The values of the third band are different — for example, brown is 10, and red is 100. Multiply the two-digit number by the value of the third band to get the strength of the resistor expressed in ohms.

The fourth band is the tolerance band, it indicates how much its actual strength is less than the strength indicated by the three bands. A gold band indicates that the resistor can perform five percent worse, a silver band means ten percent. Before testing the resistor, set the scales to the value that is equal or higher than the resistance of the particular resistor. Be sure to choose the closest value.

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