Aug 24, 2011

How to Test a 220 Volt Outlet

A 220-volt outlet, or double pole outlet is typically used for heavy duty appliances such as air-conditioners, stoves and dryers. Double pole outlets have two power wires that run from the outlet to a 220-volt circuit breaker inside the electrical panel. Electrical outlets can last many years, but wear and tear can cause an outlet to break down sooner or later.Testing a 220-volt outlet is a simple task that can be done with a multimeter, but the task should be done with utmost care. 

Step 1
Turn off the multimeter switch, and plug the probes of the multimeter into into their corresponding slots. The red probe typically goes into the positive slot and the black probe plugs into the negative slot on the multimeter.

Step 2 
Set the dial of your multimeter to the 220-volt AC range. You can set the multimeter voltage range a little bit higher than the 220-volt range, but never set the dial lower than the voltage you are trying to test. Turn on the multimeter and hold one probe in each hand.

Step 3
Insert the metal tip of one probe into one of the vertical slots on the outlet. Insert the tip of the second probe into the other slot lying parallel and opposite to the first slot. The two vertical slots on a 220-volt AC outlet each have 110 volts of electricity. The U-shaped opening lying below the two slots contains the grounding wire. Do not allow any metal part of the probes to come in contact with your body or with each other.

Step 4
View the multimeter reading. A 220-volt outlet will generate a reading of approximately 220 volts, plus or minus a few volts depending on how far your home is from the electric transformer mounted by your utility company on a nearby utility pole. Pull the multimeter probes carefully out of the each slot.


Working with electricity is dangerous, call a licensed electrician if you do not have the necessary experience and training. 
Never touch the metal tips of the prongs because they are live.

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