# Why does my multimeter's overload indicator come on during normal use?

I have a new digital multimeter (Kopp GCM-620) that has auto ranging, and an overload indicator on its LCD.

When testing a mains outlet (the voltage where I live is 230V), the LCD shows a reading around 220V-230V, but the overload indicator always comes on as well.

I'm a bit concerned about the fact that the overload indicator is showing up every time. The multimeter is rated up to 600V AC. Is there any good reason for the overload indicator to be appearing when the voltage readout is far below the voltage range that the multimeter is capable of? Is it possible that the multimeter itself is faulty? Or is this normal on an auto ranging, digital multimeter?

• Nothing to do with electronic design. Question should be closed. – Leon Heller Jan 30 '12 at 21:49
• @mtnorthrop Does the indicator come one when you first connect the meter or does it come on even after it shows the voltage? – AndrejaKo Jan 30 '12 at 22:18
• It comes on when I connect the meter to the outlet, and stays on until I take the leads out of the outlet. – mtnorthrop Jan 30 '12 at 23:10
• @LeonHeller: The site description at stackexchange.com is "Q&A for electronic hardware hacking enthusiasts". This question would seem to fit that description. If the site is supposed to have narrower scope, perhaps that description should be updated to reflect that? – supercat Jan 30 '12 at 23:23

• @mtnorthrop Can you test the multimeter with another voltage source and see if the overload sign stays? After reading the manual, I found this part Overload Indication - This is the display when the input exceeds the display capability of the Meter. If measuring voltage or current, remove the input immediately.. Furthermore, the overload indicator used there is not the standard OL indicator which is usually displayed by multimeters when they switch from lower range to upper. To me this looks like a defective unit. – AndrejaKo Jan 30 '12 at 23:51