How To Safely Handle or Replace a Capacitor

Motor start and/or filter capacitors can retain a charge for up to 60 seconds or longer after power has been removed from the equipment. Some capacitors may have a resistor across the capacitor that speeds up the discharge.

  • Remove power from the unit and wait 2 minutes before handling the capacitor.
  • Use caution when handling electronic components. 
  • Capacitors can be discharged by placing the leads of a socketed 100 watt light bulb across the capacitor, or with a low resistance high wattage resistor.
  • Discharge can be verified with a DC VOM.
  • Shorting out the capacitor with a screwdriver is not recommended.
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