A $5 Harbor Freight meter!? Heck 6, they give them away quite often. They even work
Since this thread has already hit a sandbar I figured it couldn't hurt to add this. I used a high end Beckman for many, many years. I purchased it in the 80's and proved to be a reliable tank but it did finally give up the ghost a couple years ago. Now being retired and not using a meter as much I purchased a $30 brown thingy from Lowes. With just occasional use I never seemed to have issues with it. For some reason shortly before we moved from Florida I checked the voltage on our house down there. It read 156/285. I knew that wasn't right but I was so involved in the home search and multiple trips to Indiana I just put it away and forgot about it. Our new place here in Indiana has some issues with the electrical and one day I pulled it out only to find the voltage here was reading in the same vicinity. Ain't no way!! I checked to see if it was still in warranty and discovered it was about a month out. A $30 meter isn't worth much effort but I decided to send the manufacturer an email. I even inquired about getting it calibrated. They said there was no calibration procedure for that model and told me to return it to Lowes for replacement even though it was just out of warranty. I did just that and had the email in hand to show them. What a runaround. At that time I just had a temporary Indiana driver license as i waited for the permanent one in the mail when they asked for my ID. They said that was no good. I explained to them that my temp license was good enough to get me on an airplane so why wasn't it good here. Nope. Frustrated i just said something about giving my future business to Home Depot and walked out. I sent another email to the manufacturer and they said that was ridiculous and immediately sent me a shipping label to send it back to them. Whew! long story to get to the short point. While I was waiting for the replacement I still needed a meter to check what could be a serious issue with the house that concerned me. They I saw that HF dad a coupon for a free digital meter. What the heck, I went and got one. I guess my point is that even a cheapo can do the job for you. I now have a new $30 cheapy that works right but the free HF cheapo helped me out when the first cheapy failed me.