How to Check AC Voltage with a Voltmeter

What You'll Need
Equipment to test

A voltmeter can test many variables in electronics, such as amps, ohms, resistance and voltage. Voltmeters are frequently used to test the AC voltage for various types of equipment. While voltmeters differ slightly in design and functionality, the process of testing AC voltage is similar for all of them. This guide will show you what you need to know.

Step 1 - Insert the Probe Leads

Insert the probe leads into the appropriate slots on the voltmeter. Place the red probe lead in the slot that is labeled with an "A" or a "V," for amperage or voltage. Insert the black lead into the ground or neutral slot on the voltmeter. It is usually marked with the word "ground" or the abbreviation "GRND."

Step 2 - Turn on the Voltmeter

Turn the switch on the voltmeter to the "On" position.

Step 3 - Choose the Voltage Selection Option

Switch the voltmeter to the "Volts" or "Volts AC" selection option.

Step 4 - Test the Voltage

Place the red probe lead on a live, or hot, wire from the power source on the equipment you want to test. Be sure that the equipment is plugged in and power is being supplied to the test point. Place the black lead on an external piece of metal that is grounded. The number shown on the display is the amount of voltage being passed to the device.