How to test an inductor

Written by owen e. richason iv
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How to test an inductor
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Inductors are electronic devices typically comprised of tightly wrapped coils. These coils are wrapped around a metal or air core. Inductors are measured in henrys (H) and are akin to capacitors. Inductors are found in many electronic devices, chiefly radios, and regulate the magnetic field created by electrical currents. Like all electronic components, inductors fail over time. Testing an inductor is relatively simple.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Coil or analogue meter

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  1. 1

    Turn on the coil or analogue meter. Allow it to power up and become ready for testing. Set the coil or analogue meter to X1 ohms.

  2. 2

    Power off the electronic device. Leave the coil or inductor in the circuit board. Clamp the meter probes to the sides of the inductor coil.

  3. 3

    Look for a reading on the meter. If the inductor is working properly, the meter will yield an ohms reading, showing "continuity" or current surging through the inductor.

Tips and warnings

  • An inductance meter can also be used to test a coil or inductor.

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