How to Troubleshoot Metal Detectors

A metal detector lets you search for objects hidden in soil, sand and other places where little metal things can hide, like a grassy lawn or a gravel pit. A metal detector relies on electrical circuitry combined with battery power to function. If your metal detector malfunctions, you'll need to troubleshoot it in order to discern the problem keeping it from operating effectively. A few tools will aid you in troubleshooting the metal detector. You do not need any electrical skills.

Step 1

Remove the headphone plug from the metal detector's headphone jack. Moisten a cotton swab in distilled alcohol. Insert the swab in the jack and twirl it around to remove loose dirt and other contaminants. Remove the swab. Wipe the headphone plug with a clean cloth. Insert the plug into the metal detector's headphone jack, then remove it. Repeat this two more times to clean out the connection so that you can hear the metal detector beep when it locates a metal object.

Step 2

Moisten a cotton swab in distilled alcohol. Rub the sides of the toggle switch affecting the scrolling on the LCD screen with the swab. Shake a can of electrical lubricating spray for five seconds. Place an end of the included plastic straw in the can's nozzle. Hold the free end of the straw against a side of the toggle switch. Spray a one-second burst of electrical lubricating spray into the seam of the detector where it meets the switch. Repeat this on the other side of the switch. Wipe excess spray from around the switch with a clean cloth. Flip the toggle switch between its two positions a few times.

Step 3

Moisten a soft cloth in tap water. Twist the cloth between your hands to remove excess water. Wipe the now damp cloth against the surface of the LCD screen twice to remove the static charge that is keeping the meter from functioning.

Marshal M. Rosenthal

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."