How to Make Sure Speaker Wires Are Not Short Circuited

by David Robinson

Speaker cables usually contain two separate wires that are insulated from each other. If the two wires come into electrical contact with each other, they create a short circuit, so it is a wise precaution to confirm that the wires are not short circuited before you connect them to any equipment. Use a digital multimeter to do a continuity test and establish whether the two wires are in electrical contact. This is an effective way to make sure that they are not short circuited.

1

Disconnect the speaker cable from the speaker and the audio appliance, if it is already connected, so that neither end is attached to audio equipment.

2

Switch on the digital multimeter and select the "continuity" option.

3

Attach one of the meter probes to the exposed end of either of the two wires. It doesn't matter which of the wires you use for this purpose.

4

Connect the other probe to the end of the second wire and observe the meter display. Any reading of infinite resistance or "no continuity" confirms that the speaker wires are not short circuited.

Tip

  • Using probes fitted with crocodile clips makes it easier to attach them to the wires.

Warning

  • Never perform a continuity test on wires that are connected to audio equipment. The results will not be reliable, and the test voltage may damage the equipment.

Items you will need

About the Author

David Robinson has written professionally since 2000. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society. He has written for the "Telegraph" and "Guardian" newspapers in the U.K., government publications, websites, magazines and school textbooks. He holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in geography and education and a teaching certificate from Durham University, England.

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