How Do You Use a Voltage Tester?


Quick Answer

To use a voltage tester, place both probes of the tester on each wire or connection point. The light on the housing of the tester glows if the component that is being tested is receiving electricity. The light does not glow if there is no electricity flowing into the component.

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Full Answer

Some components in need of testing, such as electrical outlets, don't have traditional connection points to attach the probes. In that case, insert each of the probes of the tester into the slots in the outlet. The light on the tester glows if the outlet is working.

A voltage tester may also be used to test the outlet more thoroughly by pulling the outlet out of the wall completely. Once the outlet is out of the wall, place the probes of the tester on both of the terminal screw connections of the outlet to get a more accurate reading. If the light on the tester glows, it means that the outlet is malfunctioning. This is because electricity is still flowing into the outlet, but it isn't flowing through the outlet to provide power to the electrical devices that are plugged into the outlet. If the light of the tester doesn't glow, that means no electricity is flowing into the outlet at all.

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