In last week’s post on the Black & Decker Power Monitor, we talked about monitoring your power usage. If you want to monitor the power consumption of a single appliance the old-school way — with a clamp-on ammeter — try an AC line splitter like this one from Elenco.
The problem is, you can’t just clamp an ammeter over a power cord and measure how much juice the appliance is taking; you need access to a single conductor to measure the current. That’s where this tool comes in handy — rather than ruin a power cord you can just plug in the line splitter.
Elenco’s AC line splitter works for voltages up to 250VAC and currents up to 15A. Place the line splitter in between the device under test and the outlet. It internally splits off a single conductor so you can clamp your ammeter around it. For greater sensitivity it gives you an option to measure 10x the current. This particular line splitter also provides probe slots for measuring the voltage under load.
Look to pay about $10 to $15 for the Elenco AC line splitter.