How to Test a Capacitor Using a Multimeter, an Ohm Meter, and a Volt Meter?

Understanding how to test a capacitor is helpful to be able to maintain the sufficient power performance of electronic components. Capacitors store voltage to be used in an electronic circuit. Electrolytic capacitors are found in transistor power supplies, while non-electrolytic capacitors function to regulate current flow. Here are important testing steps to take to ensure a capacitor functions properly.

Traditional Basic Capacitor Testing Method

  1. Disconnect the capacitor from its circuit.
  2. Check the capacitance value on the capacitor's exterior.
  3. Select a capacitance setting on your multimeter.
  4. Connect the multimeter with the capacitor terminals.
  5. Compare the multimeter reading with the capacitance value.

Various Ways on How To Test a Capacitor

Bad capacitors reveal themselves in obvious ways, such as leakage or when a motor has a slow start. A faulty capacitor might also appear to bulge, which is a definite sign it needs to be replaced. Here are other ways to test a capacitor:

  • How to test a capacitor with a multimeter –

Different testing methods are designed to measure capacitance and resistance. One way to check capacitance is to remove the capacitor from the circuit. Then connect the positive terminal to the multimeter's red probe and the negative terminal to the black probe. Then check the value on the multimeter's display panel in capacitance mode. The value should fall within a certain tolerance range to determine if the device is faulty.

  • How to check capacitor with an ohm meter –

Testing a capacitor can also be accomplished with an ohm meter. While testing a capacitor with an ohm meter is simple, you must still be careful to avoid electric shock. Whenever you deal with stored energy, you must be aware of shock risks. That's why the first step is to unplug the appliance. Set the ohm meter to its highest level, then use a capacitor discharging tool to short the capacitor's terminals. Next, connect the test probes to the terminals. Ideally, the meter immediately goes to zero ohms.

  • How to measure capacitor with a voltmeter –

Another way to test a capacitor is with a voltage test in which you charge the capacitor with a voltmeter. If the voltmeter displays the same voltage, you charged the capacitor too, which indicates the capacitor is working properly.

Allied Components International Can Help You!

Capacitors are important electronic components installed in motors, appliances, and a diverse variety of other electronic equipment. Knowing how to test a capacitor is essential for maintaining the good performance of crucial equipment. A capacitor stores energy until it's needed. Whenever a motor-driven system such as an HVAC unit exhibits low energy, it's time to test the capacitors. Contact us at Allied Components International for more information about capacitors or a wide range of other electronic components.

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Allied Components International

Allied Components International specializes in the design and manufacturing of a wide variety of industry-standard custom magnetic components and modules, such as chip inductors, custom magnetic inductors, and custom transformers. We are committed to providing our customers with high-quality products, ensuring timely deliveries, and offering competitive prices.

We are a growing entity in the magnetics industry with 20+ years of experience.