Start capacitors - how to discharge

camaditz

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
13
Location
Sullivan County, New York
While this isn't really related to a washer, I'm guessing that someone will be able to answer my question. Is it necessary to discharge a 600VAC start capacitor for a 1/3 HP motor in order to switch it with a known good capacitor, for diagnostic purposes? If so, how do I discharge it? I've heard about using a 2 watt 20K ohm wire-wound resistor, but they're impossible to find. If it must be done, can I do it safely by crossing the two terminals with an insulated screwdriver? Thanks for any advice.
 

TechnicianBrian

Appliance Tech
Joined
Nov 16, 2007
Messages
349
Location
Portland, OR
It is always a good idea to discharge any capacitor prior to contacting the terminals, just to avoid the possibility of a shock. Any screwdriver or pliers with insulated handles will do the trick. The Microwave Servicing Disclaimer post from my blog has a video showing a microwave capacitor being discharged. Don't worry if you don't see a spark when you discharge your capacitor as they should discharge themselves. Just better to be safe than sorry.
 
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