A continuity tester is a tool used to determine if a circuit breaker is working properly. Electricity requires a continuous path to be able to function. If there is an obstacle along this path, the electricity will not work. A continuity tester can help determine whether electricity will be able to flow. Continuity testers check the wires and cords of circuit breakers to be sure that electricity can get through. An internal battery located inside the tester sends electricity through a prong and down the wires. There is a prong on the other end, and if it receives the electricity—if the path remains unbroken—the tester either lights up or buzzes. If it does nothing, there is something blocking the electricity in the circuit breaker. To use a continuity tester, unplug the cord from the electrical receptacle and turn all switches on. A tester should come with an alligator clip, which must be attached to a prong on the cord before connecting the tip of the tester to the other prong. The tester will then light up or buzz if everything is working properly. If this does not happen, disconnect the cord from the appliance being tested and test both wires. If they both work fine, the problem is with the actual appliance. Continuity testers cost around $5 US Dollars (USD) and can be purchased in hardware stores. They come with a battery, a test probe, a test wire and an alligator clip. The test probe is typically connected to the end of the battery encasement, while the test wire and alligator clip connect at the other end. When using the continuity tester circuit, the current must be turned off to properly determine if any electricity is being carried from one end to the other and to determine the problem spot if it is not. A continuity tester should only be used when the appliance is unplugged and the circuit power turned off, or serious damage could occur to the person testing it. A voltage continuity tester is another way to determine if a circuit breaker needs to be replaced. Also called a multimeter, this tool works by using the volts AC mode and connecting a hot prong with the screw on the circuit breaker. This is an easy way to determine if the breaker is generating power, and a voltage and continuity tester can identify complicated electrical problems. Overall, continuity testers are useful tools to have when testing electrical appliances and circuit breakers. Whether the source of the problem is a broken appliance or faulty circuit breaker, a continuity tester can quickly determine why the electricity is not being generated properly. A continuity tester is an item of electrical test equipment used to determine if an electrical path can be established between two points; that is if an electrical circuit can be made. The circuit under test is completely de-energized prior to connecting the apparatus. The tester consists of an indicator in series with a source of electrical power - normally a battery, terminating in two test leads. If a complete circuit is established between the test-leads, the indicator is activated. The indicator may be an electric light or such a device might also be fitted with a buzzer. This led to the term "buzzing out a circuit" (which means to test for continuity). A buzzer and battery are conencted to test leads, and if the wire or device between the leads has electrical continuity, the buzzer will sound. Auduible continuity buzzers or beepers are built into some models of multimeter. A popular design has the tester combined with a standard flashlight. A TRS connector or jack plug in the rear of the unit permits a set of test leads to be plugged in effecting a quick conversion between the two applications. For situations where continuity testing must be done on high resistance circuits, or where delicate conductors and sensitive components that might be damaged by excessive current are present, a low voltage, low current device must be used. These typically use an op-amp and watch batteries to drive an LED as an indicator. These testers can be exquisitely sensitive; for example they will indicate if the test points are taken by both hands. There are times when a simple continuity test fails to reveal the problem. For example, vibration-induced problems in automobile wiring can be extremely difficult to detect because a short or open is not maintained long enough for a standard tester to respond. In these applications a latching continuity tester is used. A more complex device, it detects intermittent opens and shorts as well as steady-state conditions. These devices contain a fast acting electronic switch (generally a Schmitt trigger) forming a gated astable oscillator which detects and locks (latches) the indicator on an intermittent condition with a duration of less than a millisecond.
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