What is Electrical Continuity? (With Images)

circuit breakers.

Continuity refers to being part of a complete or connected whole. In electrical applications, when an electrical circuit is capable of conducting current, it demonstrates electrical continuity. It is also said to be “closed” because the circuit is complete. In the case of a light switch, for example, the circuit is closed and capable of conducting electricity when the switch is turned “on.” The user can break the continuity by setting the switch to “off”, opening the circuit and rendering it unable to conduct electricity.

Residential electric meter.

For consumers, the most obvious sign that there is an electrical continuity problem with their wiring is when plugged-in electrical devices do not work. However, unintentional breaks in continuity can have more serious consequences, such as electrical fires or damage to electrical equipment, and it is therefore recommended that all electrical wiring be kept in good working order and properly maintained. .

A multimeter can help test electrical continuity.

Various devices are made to help consumers test electrical continuity, from multimeters, which have a wide range of additional applications, to simple testers that light up if continuity is present. These devices use two electrical probes, which form a complete circuit when they touch. Consumers can test the device to make sure it is working properly by turning it on and touching the probes: the meter should read zero or the indicator light should come on, indicating a closed circuit. When the probes do not touch anything, the measured device will read infinity, showing that the circuit is open.

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When testing a circuit for electrical continuity, consumers should first cut power to the circuit by unplugging the device or turning off the main circuit breaker. Failure to do this can result in severe shock. To test electrical continuity, turn on the test device and place a probe across each pole or terminal of the circuit being tested. When testing a switch, for example, if the switch is in the “on” position, the reading should be close to zero, and when the switch is off, the reading should be infinity. A simple continuity tester with an indicator light will light up when the switch is on and go dark when it’s not.

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