Continuity Test

This is a quick audible alarm test using a digital multimeter to determine whether an electrical circuit or wire is complete or broken.

This test can be applied to a circuit as a whole or in sections—on individual components or sections of wiring. A break in continuity can be caused by mechanical damage, corrosion of components, or simply a switch being left open.

Follow these steps to complete the continuity test procedure with an autorange digital meter:

  1. Make sure all power is off in the circuit you are testing.
  2. Set the selector dial to Ω (audible alarm symbol).
  3. Connect the test lead and probes on the load terminals as shown (Figure 5). The audible alarm will indicate continuity without a need for taking your eyes off the work.
  4. Touch the probes together to check the leads, connections, and battery life. The audible alarm should sound. With the leads apart the meter should display OL or I, depending on the manufacturer.
  5. If this is the last test you are doing, turn the meter to “off” and store it in a safe place.


Figure 5: Wiring for a Continuity Test

Diagram illustrating the wiring for a continuity Test