Last Updated on September 18, 2020
Whether you qualify as a professional electrician or you just enjoy doing things on your own, you certainly come across measurements left and right. Being precise and keeping things simple is definitely a priority. Certainly, there must be a tool that helps, right? Well, a multimeter might be the tool that you are looking for, but keep in mind that there are various kinds that serve different purposes.
Multimeters come in handy when there’s work to be done including electricity. Combining all the key measurements in one tool simplifies an electrician’s job significantly. The multimeters today tend to have voltmeters, ammeters, and ohmmeters all packed in a single unit that can easily fit in any pocket.
Today we will take a look at one of Southwire’s multimeters that is a part of the lineup MaintenancePro which is frequently mentioned when talking about household use. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best model they have to offer!
Rugged meter with CAT IV 600V / CAT III 1000V
Warranty: 2-year manufacturer warranty
High-resolution colored display
Rechargeable Li-on battery
The MaintenancePro lineup from Southwire gives professional-grade experience with simplicity even for people who want to do things on their own
Let’s begin with the design. Southwire has really outshined the competition with the 15190T multimeter at a very competitive price point. The first thing which stands out instantly is the color LCD display on the front. The bright LCD display is visible even with daylight shining directly on the screen. Wrapping around the screen is durable shock-resistant housing covered with rubber that helps when gripping the unit itself. Below the screen, you will see a few buttons that help with navigation. This multimeter comes with multiple useful features so Southwire has made sure to make it as user-friendly as it can be. Moving further down you will find the core of any multimeter. There is a physical switch that powers the device on and also allowing you to switch between various modes and features that this multimeter comes with which we will later cover.
As a part of the MaintenacePro series from Southwire, the main selling point for this multimeter is it’s connectivity features such as being Bluetooth ready. To pair the multimeter with your phone you need to download Southwire’s MApp mobile app available on both IOS and Android. Bluetooth is extremely helpful when you have jobs that require you to be in multiple places at the same time. The multimeter allows you to get real-time graphs and measurements on your phone even if the multimeter isn’t in your close distance. (1, 2)
The MApp mobile app from Southwire is made to simplify your work. Southwire has made sure the mobile app is very functional and easy to use. With the mobile app, you get the comfort of starting recordings on the multimeter with just a single click on your phone. Besides taking measurements, you can add notes, GPS location, and photos to further describe the work on the specific location. Southwire has also made it easy for electricians to share their collected data through an email service directly from the mobile application. To further understand how the mobile app works, Southwire has provided a quick rundown of the mobile app and its features.
Functions & Features
Now, let’s take a look at the core functions of the 15190T MaintenacePro. The multimeter comes with 12 functions and can measure quite a few things. Start with AC voltage, DC voltage, AC current, DC current, AC + DC, 4-20Ma, Duty cycle, Frequency, Capacitance, Continuity, Resistance, Temperature. Seems quite a lot for a tool that you can carry around everywhere. Well, it’s not just that. This device also features TrueRMS ( Root mean square) which means it can accurately measure sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal ac waveforms.
The multimeter can view multiple readings simultaneously, giving you the minimum, average and maximum values on a real-time graph. Another neat feature Southwire has thought about is that you can zoom in on the graph to get specific data for that exact time frame. Well, what about if you need to monitor for a longer period of time? The recording feature allows you to check and identify problems throughout the entire recording. You can check both the AC and the DC current, and it’s particularly useful to catch up or down spikes of electricity.
Southwire has proved that thair MaintenancePro series is very rugged and safe to work with and the 15190T model is no exception. The device is rated for CAT III up to 1000 volts, and CAT IV to 600 volts. If you aren’t an electrician you might not be familiar with the categories, but the safety rating is really important to understand. Basically, these tools are rated on their ability to withstand a voltage spike, which is applied through a specified level of resistance. Click the link if you want to further understand categories and ratings on electrical tools. (3)
As you can imagine, having to store data of measurements can be quite useful. Whether it’s to compare data from a previous measuring or just to better explain the issues to your client, having access to data stored on the multimeter is bound to be helpful. Built-in memory allows you to store measurements and recordings, which you can view directly on the multimeter or you can later download them in the mobile app. You can also take screenshots of the display with just pressing the F1 SAVE soft key.
The 15190T multimeter Southwire has provided us has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. If you frequently use the multimeter, having a built-in battery is a lifesaver. You don’t need to carry around batteries and swap them out constantly. The only downfall is that you can’t use the multimeter when it’s charging. This is not all bad since you can get a quick charge of about 10 minutes and continue to use it for a couple of hours. Quick charge is very important if you use this tool on a work site. As there is no official statement on the battery life, after using the multimeter and going through reviews we can say that the battery life on a full charge is about 11 hours. To charge the device, you need to take the leads out, since the device charges through the plugs of the leads.
When you receive the Southwire multimeter, the package contains more than just the unit itself. Out of the box, you get a battery charger, an extra rechargeable li-on battery, canvas bag, test leads, temperature probe and socket, a magnetic hanging strap, and an owner’s manual. You never know when an extra battery might come in handy, so we applaud Southwire for including one. The magnetic strap helps when you need to multitask while taking measurements. It’s very convenient to have the meter hanging on metal surfaces.
Upon finishing up our detailed review, we can safely say that multimeters from Southwire can be considered as one of the best multimeter in the market nowadays. Their MaintenancePro series is really build to give the professional or non-professional user a very simple and useful experience. Their catchphrase goes: “Built for durability, built for reliability, built for work” and we totally agree with them.
The range of multimeters is quite massive, and knowing how to pick one can be tricky, especially if you are one of those handymen and not a certified electrician. Well, the 15190T model overall has the key features of any digital multimeter with added connectivity features such as Bluetooth. If this is something that you think might help you, we definitely recommend giving it a go. Even if you don’t tend to use any of the smart features, the multimeter is still a great pick up.
If we ignore the price, yes, you might find better units with more accurate readings and more features to help you do your job better, but what it comes down to is finding the perfect balance and we believe Southwire has been able to do so.
You can check other multimeters we’ve reviewed such: Ames Multimeter Review, and Power Probe Multimeter Review. And I suggest also, that you browse our learning articles for more reads about multimeters. We hope this helps you!
(1) IOS – https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/what-is-ios/
(2) Android – https://www.android.com/what-is-android/
(3) categories and ratings – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSljFPO7mH0