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All You Need To Know About Relays, Functioning And How To Detect A Faulty One!

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Converting small electronic input into a high-current output is not a juggler’s game. The circuits must operate various standard appliances and vehicles efficiently. Many circuits manage these conversions by using relays, which is an indispensable component in electronic equipment.

Relay Defined?

Relays are electric switches deploying electromagnetism to convert small electrical stimuli into larger currents. These conversions take place when electrical inputs activate electromagnets and form or break existing circuits. By using invalid inputs to power stronger currents, relays effectively act as a switch or an amplifier for an electric circuit, depending on the application.

Why Use a Relay?

Relay are highly flexible components that are equally effective in complex and straightforward circuits and can be used in place of other forms of switches.

Switching Level of Current

One of the most common scenarios demanding relays is when an application needs to switch from high to low current within the same circuit. Relays provide the necessary magnitude to convert a current from one form into another.


  • Any application using a relay can be beneficial for the appliance.
  • Relays reduce the requirement for high-capacity wiring and switches, that can be expensive and consume space.
  • Switching to relays reduce the size or weight of the casing.

How to Identify a Faulty Relay

Sometimes, relays can fail like any other mechanical component. But it is relatively easy to identify a faulty relay using a multi-meter. You need to first locate from where the circuits enter and exit the relay. You need to locate an area marked with pins. After identifying the point, use a multimeter to measure the voltage at each point.

Following are the troubleshooting steps:

  • Look for voltage at points where the relay is plugged-in. If there is none, check switch or the fuse for any defects.
  • If the voltage at the connection point is average, use the continuity function on multi-meter to ensure adequate ground connection on the opposite side of the relay.
  • If you do not get to see any problem, check for voltage at a point where the relay is connected with battery or another power source. If the voltage is missing, there is a problem with a fuse or circuit breaker.
  • Ensure a proper connection exists between the relay and the equipment by using the continuity function of the multimeter. If the connection exists, and the steps did not suggest a malfunction, then simply replace the relay.

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