Clamps measure current. Probes measure voltage. Having a hinged jaw integrated into AN electrical meter permits technicians to clamp the jaws around a wire, cable or different conductor at ANy purpose in an electrical system, then live current in this circuit while not disconnecting/de-energizing it.
Beneath their plastic moldings, arduous jaws contain solid solution iron and a square measure designed to discover, concentrate and live the magnetic flux being generated by current because it flows through a conductor.
- Current-sensing jaw.
- Tactile barrier (to protect fingers from shocks).
- Hold button: Freezes the display reading. Reading is released when the button is pushed a second time.
- Dial (aka rotary switch).
- Backlight button.
- Min Max button: On first push, the display shows maximum input. On subsequent pushes, minimum and average inputs are shown. Works in current, voltage and frequency modes.
- Inrush current button.
- Zero buttons (yellow): Removes dc offset from dc current measurements. Also serves as dial’s shift button to select yellow functions scattered around the dial.
- Jaw release lever.
- Alignment marks: To meet accuracy specifications, a conductor must be aligned with these marks.
- Common input jack.
- Volts/ohm input jack.
- Input for flexible current probe.
Originally created as a single-purpose check tool, fashionable clamp meters supply additional activity functions, bigger accuracy and in some cases specialized activity options. Today’s clamp meters embody most of the fundamental functions of a digital multimeter (DMM), like the flexibility to live voltage, continuity and resistance.
Do you know that clamp meters have become popular tools primarily for two reasons?
- Safety: Clamp meters permit electricians to bypass the old-school methodology of cutting into a wire Associate in Nursing inserting a meter’s take a look at leads into the circuit to require an in-line current mensuration. The jaws of a clamp meter don't bit a conductor throughout a mensuration.
- Convenience: During an activity, it's not necessary to shut off the circuit carrying current—a massive boost in potency.
Clamp meters square measure most popular for measurement high levels of current. DMMs cannot live ten A of current for over thirty seconds while not risking injury to the meter.
Clamp meters provide a minimum current vary of zero A to a hundred A. Many models have a variety up to 600 A. Others go up to 999 A or 1400 A, and some plug-in clamp accessories such as the iFlex® can measure as high as 2500 A.
Clamp meters square measure used on industrial instrumentation, industrial controls, residential/commercial/industrial electrical systems, and commercial/industrial HVAC.
They are primarily used for:
- Service: To repair existing systems on associate degree as-needed basis.
- Installation: To troubleshoot installation issues, perform final circuit tests, and supervise apprentice electricians whereas putting in electrical instrumentality.
- Maintenance: To perform regular and preventative maintenance in addition to system troubleshooting.
Three types of clamp meters exist:
- Current electrical device clamp meters: live solely AC (ac).
- Hall impacts clamp meters: live each AC and electricity (ac and dc).
- Flexible clamp meters: use a Rogowski coil; live ac only; smart for activity in tight areas.