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What does Open Circuit Voltage mean?

  1. Sep 5, 2014 #1
    I have a multimeter and for the "ohmeter section" for resistance it goes from a range of

    ~ 200 Ohms to 2000 kilo-ohms

    and then says also....

    Max. Open Circuit Voltage: about 3V
    Overvoltage protection: 250V AC

    Thank you in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    An ohmmeter measures the ratio of voltage to current. It applies the voltage itself. It is telling you that with infinite resistance, it can apply 3 volts. It probably has no practical significance to you.
  4. Sep 5, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Most modern ohmmeters don't have an open circuit voltage that is much over a couple of volts. However, older stuff that used tubes could have an open circuit voltage on the order of 30 volts. This is important to remember if you ever run into one of these. Seems unlikely but never say never.
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