Clamp meters are specialised devices that measure current without making physical contact with any surface. As such, they’re safer tools for measuring hazardous high currents.
You can also use a clamp meter to measure voltage and resistance, take continuity checks, and sometimes, make temperature or frequency measurements. They’re such versatile tools that they play a crucial role on many worksites—but they only function at their best if you keep them clean!
Keep reading to find out how to keep your clamp meter spick, span, and in tip-top shape year-round.
What’s better than a cure? Prevention! If you can stop your clamp meter from getting dirty in the first place, you’ll save plenty of time, money, and energy on cleaning woes.
Here are our top maintenance tips:
- Proper tool storage is key—prevent corrosion by always storing your clamp meter in a clean and dry environment.
- Turn off and wipe down the clamp meter after each use with a damp, not wet cloth. Make sure to completely remove any dirt or debris as it can hamper measurement accuracy.
- Avoid placing objects on top of the clamp meter, as it can misalign the jaws, and the magnetic circuit will fail to close.
Because clamp meters are frequently-touched objects used on heavy-duty worksites, they’re apt to damage from oil, grease, and dirt build-up over time. That’s why it’s essential to clean your clamp meter after each use to ensure good hygiene and keep the tool working as expected.
Now you know how to keep your clamp meter in good nick, here are our tips for cleaning them if they do become dirty.
Before you begin cleaning
When you’re working with electrical tools, safety is crucial. To avoid damaging the clamp meter or experiencing an electrical shock, make sure the inside of the casing is always dry.
Before you start cleaning:
- Turn the clamp meter off and remove any test leads.
- Flip the clamp meter over and shake it to loosen any dirt that may have accumulated within the terminals.
Time to clean
Now, you’re clear to begin cleaning. A solution of water and mild detergent will do the trick. Dip a clean microfibre cloth into the solution and ring out the excess water, ensuring the cloth is slightly damp, but not soaked or dripping.
Wipe down the case with the damp cloth. Avoid using any solvents or abrasives here, they could damage the tool, and never immerse the tool in any liquid.
To clean the contacts, you’ll need a clean swab (a standard cotton bud should do the trick) dipped in a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution or a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Never use higher percentage solutions as they could degrade the markings on the tool. Gently wipe over the contacts on each terminal to remove any dirt, grime, and build-up.
To sum up
Clamp meters are essential tools for taking electrical measurements under hazardous circumstances. Make sure to keep your clamp meter clean, dry, and debris-free to ensure optimal performance—but avoid using harsh solvents or excess liquid.