# How to test a capacitor with Multimeter

#### Byinham

Apr 21, 2023

Do you want to test a capacitor with Multimeter?. You can do it. It doesn’t matter whether you are a newbie or a beginner, This article will guide you in detail about checking the capacitor with a multimeter.

Before we proceed further first of all we will discuss a little about capacitor and Multimeter.

#### What is Capacitor?

A capacitor is a device that stores electricity similar to a battery. But a capacitor discharges in an instant when it reaches its threshold charge. The capacitor is used in almost all electronic devices.

### What is Multimeter?

A  Multimeter is a tool for measuring electrical quantities like resistance, voltage, and current. All these meters (ohmmeter, voltmeter, and ammeter) that measures those quantities are combined to a single meter is known as multimeters.

The dial of a multimeter has these settings to measure

1. DC Voltage and Current
2. AC Voltage and Current
3. Diode testing
4. Capacitance
5. Ohms
6. Temperature

There are two leads of a multimeter. we have discussed in detail How to use a multimeter?.

## How to test a capacitor with Multimeter

There are several ways to test the capacitor using multimeter

1. Testing Capacitor in Ohmic mode
2. Testing Capacitor in Capacitance measurement mode
3. Testing Capacitor in DC voltage mode

How to test capacitor with ohm meter

We will discuss both of them one by one

### 1.    Testing Capacitor in Ohmic Mode

To test the capacitor with multimeter in ohmic mode follow these steps

• #### Remove Capacitor From Circuit

1. Remove the capacitor from circuit. Because we can’t check the capacitor if it is charged or installed in the circuit.
2. Discharge it. The capacitor can be discharged by shorting its terminal. The better way is to discharge it through the load.
• #### Test a Capacitor with Multimeter

If  you are checking the multimeter multimeter always keep in mind that we can only check if the capacitor is completely dead, or not. It will never tell if the capacitor is in good or poor condition.

1. Rotate the Multimeter Knobs to Oms
2. Insert Red probe in red port and black probe in back port of multimeter
3. Connect the positive leads of multimeter with the terminals of capacitor. It does not matter which probe you attach to which terminal.
4. If the meter shows increasing reading starting from zero then the capacitor is working fine.
5. Also, If the meter shows a zero reading then the capacitor is damaged.

How to check condenser with Multimeter?

### 2.       Testing Capacitor in Capacitance measurement mode

If you are looking to check the capacitor with multimeter follow these steps

• #### Remove Capacitor From Circuit

1. Remove the capacitor from circuit. Because we can’t check the capacitor if it is charged or installed in the circuit.
2. Discharge it. The capacitor can be discharged by shorting its terminal. The better way is to discharge it through the load.
• #### Check a Capacitor with Multimeter

1. Rotate the Multimeter Knobs to capacitance measurement mode. This is usually denoted by symbol “F” for farads.
2. Insert the Probes in multimeter.
3. Now, Connect the multimeter probes with capacitor. It doesn’t matter which probe you are connecting with which terminal.
4. If the meter shows value near or equal to rated value which is written on capacitor then your capacitor is absolutely fine. Other wise you need to change your capacitor.

### 3.       Testing Capacitor in DC voltage mode

If you want to test the capacitor in DC voltage mode with multimeter follow these steps

• #### Remove Capacitor From Circuit

1. Remove the capacitor from circuit. Because we can’t check the capacitor if it is charged or installed in the circuit.
2. Discharge it. The capacitor can be discharged by shorting its terminal. The better way is to discharge it through the load.
• #### Testing a Capacitor with Multimeter

1. Charge the capacitor with DC source.
2. When the capacitor is fully charged, disconnect the DC source from the circuit.
3. Set the Multimeter to DC.
4. Insert the black probe in negative port and red probe in positive port.
5. Now, connect the positive terminal of capacitor with red probe and negative terminal with black probe.
6. The voltage reading should be close to the voltage of the DC source.
7. After disconnecting the DC source, check the voltage across the capacitor as it discharges. The voltage should gradually decrease with time.

Always make sure that we should discharge the capacitor before checking it. We have tried to cover every aspect of “how to test a capacitor with multimeter” and look for more and try to add that in next update.

## FAQs: How to test capacitor with multimeter?

Still have not clear here are some frequently asked questions

#### How to test an ac capacitor with a multimeter?

Testing an AC capacitor is similar to DC capacitor. You can test your capacitor using all three methods which we have discussed

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#### By inham

Inhamullah Jadoon is an Electrical Engineer and Co Founder of geekyengineers.com. He has vast amount of experience in the field of Engineering and in assisting Engineers on Software and Hardware issues.