How to check the motor winding resistance

Updated February 21, 2017

An electrical induction motor contains windings, or wire wrapped around a cylindrical shaft. When an electric current flows though the wire, a magnetic field is induced inside the coil of wire. This magnetic field causes a metal bar inside the coil to rotate and power the motor. To operate correctly, the coiled wire should have a predetermined resistance specified by the manufacturer. This resistance allows just the right amount of current to flow through the coil. You should regularly check the resistance of the windings in a motor to be sure its operating at peak ability.

Turn on the digital multimeter.

Turn the measurement setting dial on the multimeter to resistance. The resistance setting is designated by the capital Greek letter, omega. Capital omega is the symbol for the resistance unit ohm.

Touch the red (positive) lead of the multimeter to the positive end of the wire windings around the motor.

Touch the black (negative) lead of the multimeter to the negative end of the wire windings around the motor. The reading that appears on the multimeter screen is the resistance in ohms.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital multimeter
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About the Author

William Hirsch started writing during graduate school in 2005. His work has been published in the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters." He specializes in computer-related and physical science articles. Hirsch holds a Ph.D. from Wake Forest University in theoretical physics, where he studied particle physics and black holes.