To see if power is at this site

What settings do I put on the MULTIMETER to see if their is electricity running through hanging wires that was attached to a overhead light?

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If you don't know how to use a multimeter, then please call an electrician. You could get seriously injured or even die when working with electricity and you don't know what your doing.


Thanks so much! And yes, I will also call an electrician.. Thanks again!


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@landman177 ,Daniel, One thing to remember is the wire may also be switched, so you would have to be careful of that fact. If not comfortable tracing the wire to it's origin, perhaps seek the aid of an electrician.

Go to part 3 of the first link below to see how the analog meter is used to see if there is voltage present at the wires. 2nd link also shows how to use a analog meter. Good luck.

I hope this helped you out, if so let me know by pressing the helpful button.

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Yes, remember even if switched, it should be treated as being 'live' until proven otherwise, especially when dealing with older or unknown wiring. You don't know what someone else may have 'incorrectly' done to the wiring.



jayeff, that was my point, Am I missing something?


Hi @lpfaff1


I guess that I was just reinforcing it.

Just pointing out that even if it is 'switched' (passes through an On/Off switch) it still could be live. Don't assume.

Mains power is unforgiving.

Have seen 2 cases in my lifetime where experienced electricians (who should've known what they're doing!) were complacent about procedures, they were both extremely lucky to get away with just a back injury (flung from a ladder) and temporary flash blinding (later established that the active and neutral were reversed when normally only the active is passed through an On/Off switch).


jayeff, Thanks! Absolutely correct, have witnessed it myself. Not a nice experience when you have to knock a person off a live wire on a damp floor with a board. He said he had checked the wire also with his tester, my reply was did you turn it on! He was truly grateful to get off that wire.


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Yes, please listen to @jayeff . Working on mains voltage when you don't know what your doing is a recipe for disaster.

For a non-intrusive way to test for live wires, I recommend this tool:

You can use in wall plugs, hanging wires...pretty much anything.

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Daniel Hutchens will be eternally grateful.
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