Sunday, April 18, 2010

Testing a Triac

Testing a Triac

These two testing procedures are for use with a digital multimeter in the Ohm's test-range. Testing procedure was actually designed for testing inside micro-waves (magnetrons), but should be no difference in any other circuit. Test in- or out circuit.

A Triac is an electronic switch or relay. Triacs come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Check the standard terminal designations in the picture below which shows most of the types of triacs that are commonly used in microwave ovens, along with their standard terminal designations.

Located either externally or fixed within an appliance or equipment, the triac operates when it receives an electronics "gate" signal from the control circuitry. It then switches to its closed or "on" state, thus providing for example, a voltage path to the primary winding of the H.V. transformer in a microwave oven and so activating the cooking controls. Or used in a laboratory water-bath which needs to be kept on a specific temperature. The probe-sensor, which is immersed in the water, keeps track of the temperature and sends a gate signal to the triac to either switch on the heating or cooling elements. Most of these probe sensors only contain one or more diodes of the general 1N4148 or 1N914 types.

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