Multimeter Reading Keeps Jumping: What to Do?

Multimeter Reading Keeps Jumping: What to Do?

If you’re having issues with your multimeter reading jumping around, there are a few things that could be causing the problem. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the potential causes and what you can do to fix them. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is a Multimeter?

A multimeter is a device used to measure electrical values, including voltage, current, and resistance. It can also be used to test continuity or resistance of wires or components in an electronic circuit. Multimeters are used by professionals such as electricians, technicians, and engineers to diagnose problems with wiring and other electrical equipment.

What Is a Multimeter?

Multimeters usually consist of three parts: a selector switch for selecting the type of measurement, a display that shows the result of the measurement, and various probes or leads for connecting it to circuits or components under test. The reading displayed on the meter is affected by factors like voltage drop across components in the circuit being tested. If this reading keeps jumping around unexpectedly it could indicate a problem in the circuit itself. [1]

Multimeter Reading Keeps Jumping: What to Do?

When a multimeter reading seems to be jumping or fluctuating, it can be difficult to determine the cause. To troubleshoot, you should first check that all connections are secure and properly connected. If this does not resolve the issue, then you may need to investigate further.

The most common causes of a fluctuating multimeter reading is due to a bad connection or loose wiring in the circuit. In order to investigate this possibility you will need to thoroughly inspect all of your connections and wires for any signs of oxidation, corrosion, fraying or breaks. Replacing faulty wiring and ensuring tight connections between components can often remedy this type of issue.

If there appears to be no physical damage or broken wiring, then you may need to check for electrical interference. This could be caused by other components in the circuit, or even a nearby appliance such as a microwave. To test this, try unplugging any other appliances and testing with just the multimeter connected.

If the reading is still fluctuating then you will need to look into other potential causes.

You should also ensure that you are using a quality multimeter that is calibrated correctly for the type of measurement you are attempting to take. Poor quality multimeters or those not properly calibrated could give inaccurate readings which can lead to unreliable results.

In some cases, fluctuating multimeter readings can be due to environmental factors such as high humidity or temperature changes over time. In these instances, rechecking the connection or wiring will not help and you may need to consider other solutions such as using a shielded cable or switching to a different type of multimeter.

Multimeter Reading Keeps Jumping: What to Do?

If you are still experiencing issues with your multimeter readings then it is best to consult an experienced technician for further assistance. They will be able to diagnose any potential problems and provide recommendations for resolving them. With the right tools and knowledge, most multimeter related issues can be effectively resolved quickly and safely. [2]

Reasons Why Your Multimeter Keeps Jumping

Reason #1 Low battery

Your multimeter’s battery is low, so the result on its LCD screen keeps jumping. This is one of the most common reasons why your multimeter reading jumps around. To fix this issue, you may need to replace the battery with a new one.

Reason #2 Incorrect connection

If you are using a test lead while taking readings, make sure that it’s connected properly and firmly at both ends. An incorrect or loose connection can cause the multimeter reading to jump erratically.

Reason #3 Unstable power supply

If your multimeter has an AC (alternating current) input jack and you have plugged in an external power source into it, make sure that the voltage supplied is stable across all cycles. A fluctuating voltage from an external power supply can result in erratic readings.

Reason #4 Poor quality components

Finally, if your multimeter is regularly giving you inaccurate or jumping readings, it may be due to poor quality components used for manufacturing. If this is the case, then it’s recommended that you replace the instrument with a better quality one.

By troubleshooting any of the issues mentioned above, you should be able to fix any problems related to your meter’s reading jumping around. However, if none of the solutions seem to work, then it’s best to seek professional help and have your multimeter checked by a qualified technician. This will ensure that your device is functioning properly and deliver accurate readings every time. Once the problem has been resolved, perform regular maintenance on your multimeter to ensure that it provides accurate readings whenever you need them. This will also help you extend its life and make sure that it works correctly for a longer period of time. [3]

How Can You Ensure Accurate Voltage Measurements With A Multimeter?

To ensure accurate voltage measurements, there are a few key steps to keep in mind when using a multimeter.

First, make sure you have selected the correct range for the voltage measurement; this will help prevent overload and incorrect readings.

Second, use an appropriate probe tip size for the measurement.

Third, be sure to not touch any exposed contacts or terminals with your hand as this can create current leakage and affect the reading.

Finally, always take multiple readings at different points in time before concluding your results. Taking into account all of these factors will help you get more consistent and reliable readings when taking voltage measurements with a multimeter.

In addition to tips on measuring voltage accurately with a multimeter, it is important to understand what to do if your multimeter readings are jumping. If you find that your multimeter reading keeps jumping, it could be a sign of a number of problems such as faulty wiring or loose connections. [4]

How Can You Ensure Accurate Voltage Measurements With A Multimeter?

If this is the case, it’s best to inspect the connections and wiring before attempting any further measurements; if there is any corrosion or build-up present, clean them off as well. Additionally, ensure that the circuit is powered correctly and check for any voltages on other parts of the system. Once these steps have been taken and all appears safe, then reattempt taking voltage measurements with a multimeter to ensure accurate results. [5]


Why is my multimeter not reading correctly?

If your multimeter readings are jumping around, it could be caused by a number of things. It is likely that you have a problem with the connection between the multimeter and the device or circuit you are trying to measure. Check for loose connections, damaged wires, or corroded contacts. You may also need to check for interference from nearby power lines or other electrical devices in your area. In some cases, the battery in your multimeter may be dead and need to be replaced.

How do I fix my multimeter if it keeps jumping?

First, make sure all connections are secure and that none of the leads are frayed or damaged in any way. Also check for any visible signs of corrosion on contact points. If needed, clean any corroded contacts with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. Then check for any nearby electrical sources that could be causing interference and try to minimize their impact. Finally, if the problem persists, replace the battery in your multimeter with a fresh one.

Can I calibrate my own multimeter?

Yes, you can calibrate most digital multimeters yourself by following the instructions provided in the manual or on the manufacturer’s website. However, this is generally not recommended unless you are experienced with electronics repair and calibration. It is always best to have a qualified technician perform calibration on sensitive instruments like multimeters.

Is it safe to use my multimeter on AC circuits?

Yes, as long as you follow the safety precautions outlined in your multimeter’s instruction manual. Before connecting to an AC circuit, make sure that the multimeter is set to the proper voltage setting and that you are using a high-impedance input mode. It is also important to wear protective equipment such as rubber gloves and safety glasses when working with electricity.

Is it normal for multimeters to drift?

Yes, some drift of readings is normal over time due to temperature changes and aging components in the device. The amount of drift should be within accepted tolerances outlined by the manufacturer’s specifications. If your readings are drifting more than expected, you may need to have your multimeter calibrated or serviced by a qualified technician.

What causes false readings on a multimeter?

False readings can be caused by several factors. Poor connections between the leads and the device or circuit you are measuring, interference from nearby electrical devices, or a dead battery in the multimeter can all cause false readings. In addition, if your multimeter is not properly calibrated it can lead to incorrect results.



If your multimeter reading keeps jumping, the problem may be caused by one of several factors. Check for bad connections and make sure the probes and leads are making good contact with the terminals or components you’re testing. If all of these elements check out, it’s possible that the readings are being affected by external electromagnetic fields or other environmental noise sources. You can reduce interference from these sources by using shielded leads, relocating your work area away from strong radio frequency transmitters, and verifying that nearby appliance motors aren’t causing any electrical noise. Once you have addressed potential causes of interference and checked for faulty equipment, you should be able to get accurate readouts from your multimeter again.