Electric Clamp Meter: The Working Principle & Application

An electric clamp meter is an electrical tester that is a combo of a basic digital multimeter with a current sensor where clamps measure the current and probes measure voltage. The hinged “clamp” jaw integrated into the electrical clamp meter allows users to simply clamp around wires and cables and measure its current without even disconnecting it.

What Do Clamp Meters Measure?

  • Electric clamp meters ca measure continuity, resistance, AC current, AC and DC voltage, and some electrical clamp meter models can even measure DC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance, etc.

  • Generally speaking, they can measure to the nearest tenth of a unit, which makes them perfect for electrical work

Who Uses Electric Clamp Meters?

They are the ideal tool for:

  • Control technicians

  • Industrial maintenance technicians

  • Facilities, building maintenance and HVAC technicians

  • Electricians – in-house and contractors

  • Service organizations

Electric Clamp Meter Use:

Electric clamp meters are used on:

  • Industrial equipment
  • Industrial controls
  • Commercial/industrial HVAC
  • Electrical systems

They are used for:

  • Service – Repairing existing systems when needed.
  • Installation – They are also used for troubleshooting installation problems, supervising apprentice electricians while installing some kind of electrical equipment, as well as when performing final circuit tests.
  • Maintenance – Performing scheduled or preventive maintenance on electro – mechanical systems.

Why Use An Electric Clamp Meter?

Industrial situations often need a simultaneous measurement as part of troubleshooting or maintenance, so technicians need to carry two meters: one to measure electrical current and other to measure voltage. For electricians, an electric clamp meter is a quick and versatile diagnostic tool designed for recognizing why an electrical system or equipment is not properly working.

What To Consider When Buying A Clamp Meter?

  • What measurements and ranges are needed?

  • Is jaw size important for your application?

  • Does the clump meter need protection from moisture and dirt? If so, it needs to have IP or NEMA ratings.

  • What accuracy and resolution are required for your application?

  • What type of accessories are needed? For example, test leads, probes and more.

  • Is it safe for the work you are doing?

Electric Clamp Meter Features:

Whether you decide to buy clamp meter online or not, there are many online store that offer great deals of digital clamp meters for sale. You just need to find the one that offers both quality and affordability. Clamp meters are usually available with lots of features that make it quite simple to take accurate readings and understand the results. However, higher end clamp meters include more advanced functions and that is why are more costly than the others.

  • True RMS – True RMS or root mean square feature, converts AC signals into DC signals of the same value in order to get accurate AC readings.
  • IP rating – Since the properly protected instruments are suitable for use in many environments, Ingress Protection Rating classifies and rates the degree of protection of enclosures against the moisture and other foreign bodies. Another reliable enclosure rating system is the commonly used NEMA rating.
  • PC Interface – In order to easily transfer data from the meter to a computer, clamp meters are increasingly including serial ports or simply said PC interfaces. The most common interfaces include USB, Ethernet, FireWire or RS-232.
  • Data Logger – Data logger is an internal memory that can hold a number of measured values for later recall.
  • Inrush – This feature provides users with an accurate measurement of high current surges.