Have you been in a situation where you were stuck testing a capacitor? If yes, just have in mind that this particular Post, easy tips to test capacitor is for you.
Testing a capacitor is a must thing anyone who dreams to be a pro in an electronic field should know. Why, is because most of the electronic circuits make use of capacitors, and is very important to test capacitors before installing them or troubleshooting a faulty device.
The capacitor is an electronic device that stores power in form of electrical energy. It is an important device in electronics, because of the variety of functions it performs in a circuit
There are so many ways to test if a capacitor is good or faulty, which was simplified in this post.
How to test a capacitor with traditional methods.
Testing a capacitor with this method is dangerous and demands extremely careful while carrying out the test.
NOTE: wear protective equipment like your eye goggle during the test.
Here are steps to follow to test the capacitor using traditional methods.
- Remove the circuit from the power supply and discount one of the legs of the capacitors from the circuit board.
- Discharge the Capacitor by connecting an LED or high resistor across the capacitor terminals
- charge the Capacitor by connecting it across a 230V for some seconds? like 1-10 seconds.
- safely remove the Capacitor from the 230v after being connected to the 230V supply.
- Now short the leads of the Capacitor, by touching the two terminals. Eye goggles should be worn while carrying out the test.
- If the capacitors make a huge spark, it signifies the capacitor is good and ok.
- If it makes a weak spark it Signify the capacitor is faulty and needs to replace.
How to test a capacitor using analog multimeter.
In testing the capacitor using an analogy multimeter, take the following steps to get a good result.
Make sure the capacitor to be tested is fully discharged.
Get an analog multimeter and connect all the probes appropriately.
set and position the metering mode to ohms, and select the higher range of ohms.
connect the probes of the meter across the terminals of the Capacitor. And observe the readings.
if the meter shows a very low resistance when testing with analog, it means the capacitor is short.
If it doesn’t show any deflections on the meter, it means the capacitor is open meaning is faulty.
But when the meter shows a small resistance value and starts to diminish with time.it means the capacitor is ok and good.
Testing capacitors with digital multimeter in ohms mode.
- Remove the capacitor to be tested from the circuit board.
- discharge the Capacitor by connecting an LED or high resistance value across the two terminals of the Capacitor.
- Connect the probes of the digital multimeter properly.
- set the multimeter in ohms or resistance mode.
- Connect the probes to capacitors terminals accordingly (red to positive and black to negative), and observe the readings.
- The meter will display some figure and with seconds will display OL (open line).
- Remove the meter probes from the capacitor and put them back for like three consecutive times, and note down the readings you got the three times.
- If the readings you got from the three measurements are the same, it Signifies that the capacitor is bad and faulty.
- When the readings got are different, it means the capacitor is good.
Testing capacitor with multimeter in a capacitance mode.
this method seems to be easy and reliable but the major challenge with it is that not all multimeters that has the capacitance mode. But those that have the capacitance mode carry out the measurements accurately.
These are the steps to carry out capacitor measurements capacitance mode.
Disconnecting the capacitor from the circuit board is always the first step to take when testing a capacitor.
make sure the Capacitor is discharged properly.
connect the probes of the Capacitor properly and position the knob to capacitance mode.
connect the meter probes to the capacitor terminals.
Once the capacitor is connected to the meter, immediately the value of the Capacitor will be displayed on the meter.
Checking capacitors with simple voltmeter.
- Remove the capacitor from the circuit board and discharge completely.
- check the capacitor voltage as it always is written in the body of the Capacitor.
- Now charge the Capacitor with a voltage lower than the one written in the body of the capacitor. For instance, 16V capacitors can be charged with a 9V DC supply. Connect the voltage supply parallel to the capacitor while charging it. And remove from the supply after some seconds like 1-10seconds.
- connect meter probes and set the meter to DC voltage mode.
- Connect the meter probes to the capacitor immediately it was removed from the DC charging and measure the voltage.
- If the readings in the meter are close to the charging voltage, it means the capacitor is good.
- When the readings are far little to the charging voltage, it Signifies the capacitor is faulty.