How to Test a Switch With an Ohm Meter

by Contributor
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Mary K. Lynch

This article discusses how to test a switch with an ohm meter. Photos show how to connect the ohm meter to the switch for testing.

Step 1

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Verify ohm meter operation. Turn on the multimeter. Select the ohm meter function. Set the resistance range to 'x1.' Skip this step if the ohm meter has 'autorange' capability.

Step 2

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Insert the leads into the meter Touch the probe tips together to verify that ohm meter is functioning. With the probes touching, the meter should display 1 ohm or less. A high reading or no reading means that is something wrong with the meter. Go back and check the setup or get another meter.

Step 3

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Connect the red lead to one of the terminals on the switch. Connect the black lead to the other terminal on the switch. Put the switch into the ON position. The meter should display 1 ohm or less, meaning the switch is 'ON.'

Step 4

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Put the switch into the 'OFF' position. The meter should display 'OL' or a very high resistance, meaning the switch is 'OFF.'

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Operate the switch on and off for a few more times. If the meter display changes from 'ON' condition to 'OFF" condition, the switch operates normally. If the display does not change from 'ON' to 'OFF' condition, then the switch is defective. Purchase a new switch to replace the defective switch, then throw the defective switch away.

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