How to Check a Circuit is Dead 

By on

If you want to check a circuit is dead (not live), you should always use the three point method.  First check a known live circuit, then check the dead circuit and finally recheck the live circuit.  Carrying out the procedure ensures that the meter is working before and after testing for the dead circuit.

A few additional measurement tips to make things safe:

  • always connected ground or negative clips first (remove last)
  • hang or rest the test meter (try not to hold in your hand)
  • use PPE - see our PPE Post

 If anyone has other tips to share, please add in the comments below.



Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



UPS Sizing - Rules of Thumb

It wasn't so long ago I was telling someone that I don't use rules of thumb as most things are easily calculated anyhow.   As it turns out I last week...

Calculating Cable Fault Ratings

When selecting a cable, the performance of the cable under fault conditions is an important consideration. It is important that calculations be carried...

Software Usage Guidelines

Using software in our  work is essential for most of us and we are becoming even more dependant on it's use.  While software is a great asset, many times...

Generation of a Sine Wave

A fundamental concept behind the operation of alternating current systems is that voltage and current waveforms will be sinusoidal – a Sine Wave. This...

Lightning Protection and Earth Electrode Resistance

Most installations involve some form of lightning protection system which is connected to an earth electrode.  The function of the earth electrode is to...

Cables for MV Power Distribution - Earthed versus Unearthed Systems

Power cables can basically be classified into earthed and unearthed cables, where earthed and unearthed refer to the application for which the cable is...

How to Check a Circuit is Dead

If you want to check a circuit is dead (not live), you should always use the three point method. First check a known live circuit, then check the dead...

Capacitor Theory

Capacitors are widely used in electrical engineering for functions such as energy storage, power factor correction, voltage compensation and many others...

Frame Leakage Protection

While not as popular as it once was, frame leakage protection does still have some use in some circumstances.  In essence frame leakage is an earth fault...

Equipment Verification (to IEC Standards)

One of the requirements to ensuring that everything works is to have equipment selected, manufactured and verified [tested] to IEC standards. Not all equipment...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note