There is some benefit in monitoring 120 volt panels with regards to voltage. For instance, if a piece of electronic equipment is not working right, you can determine where the problem is by checking out the panel to see if it is truly giving off true 120 volts. By doing this, you can tell if the problem is with the voltage provide or with the equipment itself. But, how do you monitor the voltage of your 120 volt panel. It is easy; simply install a voltage meter on the panel. Here are the steps to make it so.
- Cut the power. Prior to installing the meter, you will definitely need to cut the power going into the 120 volt panel. There should be a lever that you can simply manipulate to cut the power. Do not proceed until power has stopped running into the panel.
- Size up the meter. Since you will be mounting the meter onto the panel, you will need to measure its dimensions (minus the mounting holes) relevant to the panel in order to drill the holes needed to mark for the cuts. Use a marker or pencil to dot the holes that you will need to drill. These holes will be the basis for cutting the panel. In essence, you will be cutting a rectangular piece of the panel in order to insert the meter in.
- Make the cut. Drill the holes and use a jigsaw to cut through the panel. The metal blade of the jigsaw should slice the metal panel straight through. Follow the dots and cut a straight line to each of them. Once completed, remove the panel and place the meter through.
- Mount the meter. Once the meter is in place, drill 4 more holes on the panel where the mounting holes of the meter will be aligned. Once that is done, mount the panel by screwing the mounting holes into the panel holes you just drill. Tighten the screws and the meter should be suspended in place.
- Cut the wires. You will need two pieces of wire, one black and the other white. Measure the distance from the input terminals of the meter to the input terminals of the 120 volt panel. Cut the wire with the specified lengths. Strip the ends of the wire about an inch in order to expose the copper material inside the insulation.
- Connect the wires. Start with the stripped black wire and connect one end to the input terminal of the meter. The other end should be connected to the input terminal of the 120 volt panel. It has a black wire that you can use to connect it. Connect both wires together by soldering the black wire coming from the meter to the black wire on the 120 volt panel. Once that is done, proceed with the white wire. Connect one end to the meter and the other to the input terminal at the 120 volt panel. Solder to the white wires together to secure it.
Double check the wiring and the mounting of the meter before turning the
power back on. Once everything is set to specifications, reconnect the
power to the panel and inspect the meter. It should display 120 volts.