Selfregistering voltmeters indicate at any moment the potential difference in every tank, and therefore give notice of short circuits occurring at any part of the installation.
Voltmeters may be divided into two classes, (a) electrostatic, (b) electrokinetic.
Electrostatic voltmeters are based on the principle that when two conductors are at different potentials they attract one another with a force which varies as the square of the potential difference (P. D.) between them.
In the case of high tension voltmeters, the movable plate takes the form of a single plate of paddle shape, and for extra high tensions it may simply be suspended from the end of a balanced arm; or the movable system may take the form of a cylinder which is suspended within, but not touching, another fixed cylinder, the relative position being such that the electric forces draw the suspended cylinder more into the fixed one.
Another class of voltmeters comprises the electrokinetic voltmeters.