One of the most common issues encountered with appliances is a bad capacitor. A capacitor is a small device that stores electrical energy and releases it when needed. It is used in many different appliances, including refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines. If you suspect that your appliance’s capacitor is faulty, it’s important to test it before replacing it.
Test Appliance Capacitors with Multimeter
To test an appliance capacitor, you will need a few tools. These include a multimeter, a screwdriver, and a pair of safety goggles. It’s important to wear safety goggles when testing capacitors, as they can release a high amount of energy if they are faulty.
Safety: Do not touch any wires or wiring terminals with your fingers. For safety reasons, always try to use professional help when dealing with a capacitor in a refrigerator or air conditioner as power can still be held in these components and cause electrocution or shock. Proceed with a high amount of caution. Watch the video below first!
Test A Run Or Start Capacitor
Step 1: Disconnect the Appliance
Before you begin testing the capacitor, you must first disconnect the appliance from its power source. This is a safety precaution that will prevent you from getting electrocuted. To do this, unplug the appliance from its power source or switch off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the appliance.
Step 2: Locate the Capacitor
The next step is to locate the capacitor in the appliance. Capacitors are typically located on the appliance’s control board or near the motor. Refer to the appliance’s user manual to determine the exact location of the capacitor.
BE SURE THE CAP HAS BEEN DISCHARGED OF ANY ELECTRICAL POWER THAT IT MAY STILL BE HOLDING BEFORE TESTING IT WITH YOUR METER. USE EXTREME CAUTION.
Once you have located the capacitor, use a screwdriver to remove it from the appliance. Be sure to note the polarity of the capacitor, as this will be important when testing it. The polarity of the capacitor is indicated by a plus (+) and minus (-) sign on the capacitor’s body.
Start Run Capacitor Testing Using A Meter
Step 3: Test the Capacitor with a Multimeter
Now it’s time to test the capacitor with a multimeter. A multimeter is a tool that measures voltage, current, and resistance in a circuit. Set your multimeter to the microfarads setting, and touch the multimeter’s probes to the capacitor’s terminals. Be sure to connect the probes to the correct terminals, as indicated by the plus and minus signs on the capacitor.
If the capacitor is working correctly, the multimeter should display a reading that is within the capacitor’s specified range. The capacitance or microfarads range is typically indicated on the capacitor’s body or in the appliance’s user manual. If the multimeter displays a reading that is outside the capacitor’s specified range, the capacitor is faulty and needs to be replaced.
Testing an appliance capacitor is a relatively simple process that can be done with a few basic tools. You can determine whether or not your appliance’s capacitor is faulty and needs to be replaced. If you are unsure about any of the steps outlined in this article, or if you do not feel comfortable testing the capacitor yourself, it’s best to seek the help of a qualified appliance repair technician. Remember to always wear safety goggles when working with capacitors, as they can release a high amount of energy if they are faulty.