The continuity of wires affects the flow of electricity that moves through circuits so people have to take it into account before using any wire. For short wires, homeowners should be able to get an idea about the continuity via visual inspection, circuit test, etc. However, things may get a wee bit tricky once it comes to long wires due to the length of the wires, obstacles, reach and others. Naturally, how to check continuity in a long wire is a topic that attracts a lot of attention from those planning to build new circuits.
A Guide On Checking Continuity In Long Wires
So you need to check the continuity of a long wire but have no idea what needs to be done? Then this article is what you need at the moment. Down below is everything you must keep in mind while determining whether the continuity of a long wire is good.
Multimeter: The Ultimate Tool
Designed from the ground up to measure all sorts of electrical properties, multimeter proves handy in multiple applications and continuity test is a prime example. Thanks to the no-nonsense operation, you don’t have to be an electrician in order to use a multimeter. In addition, by using a multimeter, you could grasp the continuity of a long wire in a matter of minutes. That is by all accounts a big plug plus if you have a tight schedule.
Breakdowns Of Results From Multimeter
As you use the multimeter to test the continuity of wires, you have to keep an eye on resistance (Ohm). For your information, resistance readings change between good and bad wires.
In wires that have good continuity, the resistance readings tend to range from 0 to 0.5 Ohm. A number of multimeters on the market nowadays also let out a “beep” sound when they display the resistance readings of wires with good continuity. If you hear a “beep” sound from the multimeter but the resistance reading is higher than 0.5 Ohm, the continuity of your wire is barely acceptable. In the case that you don’t hear anything and the resistance reading is infinity, you have a compromised wire.
Addressing Compromised Wires: Advice
Overall, knowing how to check continuity in a long wire should let you conduct a continuity test with relative ease. If there is nothing wrong with the continuity of your wires, feel free to use them as you see fit. Nonetheless, if your wires happen to be compromised, you have two options at your disposal
- Replace the wires: Don’t have the time on hand to mess around compromised wires? Then your best course of action is to pick up new wires from the stores. Wires cost little so you would be able to squeeze them into your spending plan.
- Repair the wires: In the case that you have the right tools and materials, you may try repairing compromised wires. Assuming that you manage to locate the break in the wires, you could proceed to patch it up using wire cutter, electrical tape and alike. Noteworthily, the process is kind of labor-intensive and the result is inconsistent (multiple breaks can occur on the wires and patching on means little).
Keeping The Wires In Top Shape: Tips And Tricks
All wires eventually fail but if you look after your wires, it’s possible to preserve their continuity for years to come. Implement the following measures and you should have an easy time ensuring a continuous flow of electricity in your circuits.
- Avoid overloading the circuits: In overloaded circuits, the amount of electricity moving through the wires is higher than usual and that leads to excessive strains. Thus, it’s suggested that you split appliances across the circuits to even the loads. By keeping the circuit loads moderate, you could get the most out of your wires. Additionally, with the loads among the circuits staying at reasonable levels, the odds of breaker tripping, fuse blowing, … would reduce.
- Remember to keep water away: Water and electricity don’t mix well which is why you have to put distance between wires and water sources. For wires in locations such as the kitchen, shower and so on, you must take precautions to prevent water from coming into contact with them.
- Deal with compromised wires immediately: If left unaddressed, compromised wires inevitably create a wide range of problems in the circuits and many of them can damage good wires over time. As a result, it’s imperative to learn how to check continuity in the wires (long as well as short). By conducting continuity tests from time to time, you should be able to identify and deal with compromised wires before troubles manifest. As always, depending on the situation, you may replace or repair wires with bad continuity.
How long do wires last?
In layman’s terms, plenty of factors (load, elements, maintenance, …) influence the lifespan of wires but in ideal conditions, wires could last for several decades. However, you should still check up on the wires of your circuits now and then to detect compromised wires.
Which brands make the best wires?
Different people often have different preferences so homeowners tend to be at odds about the best wires for residential circuits. That being said, if you want to get your money’s worth, you should go for wires made by Romex, Southwire, GS Power, Philatron, etc. While wires of the mentioned brands receive complaints from customers on occasions, they nonetheless prove superior to those from lesser-known names in various aspects. Also, popular brands usually possess a well-trained customer service that provides homeowners with adequate post-purchase support.
Is it possible to recognize compromised wires via visual inspection?
All in all, it’s ill-advised to rely on appearance to decide the continuity of the wires. In a lot of cases, wires could become uncompromised with their insulation remaining more or less intact. Because of that, once it comes to the continuity test, you should stick to the multimeter to make a wise conclusion. The resistance readings that the multimeter displays would tell you everything you must know about the continuity of the wires.
Hi, I am Matthew Thompson. I have a special love of repairing house and taking care of my small garden. From 2015, I decided to write more about home improvement, repairing – fixing anything in a common house to help people understand & know how to upgrade their own one. With 7 years working in writing for home & garden, I am really happy if any one could drop a comment about my knowledge.
It could be not correct in your case but if you let me know, I am willing to update my article with your recommendation.