test capacitor with ohm meter

Do you want to test the capacitor with an ohm meter?. You can do it. What if I tell you how you can check the capacitor with both ohm meter or multimeter this is icing on the cake. 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 or ohmmeter.

I am using this Digital Multimeter  and I personally recommend you to buy because its accurate, has large display and highly safe. Engineers and Electricians always want to check their circuits with a multimeter. So that’s why we decided to write in detail on checking different components with ohm meter and multimeter.

How to Test Continuity without a multimeter?

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

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.

How to test capacitor with ohm meter

What is Ohm meter?

Ohmmeter is an instrument used for measuring electrical resistance. The measured resistance is expressed in ohms. This resistance can be connected to the instrument in parallel or series. For parallel ohmmeter, the instrument will draw more current if the resistance increases.

How to test capacitor with ohm meter


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Why do we need to Test a Capacitor?

If a capacitor is placed in a circuit charge starts to build upon its plate and once it no longer accepts more charge, this means the capacitor is fully charged. When the circuit needs this charge the capacitor releases this chargeback into the circuit. Charge Releasing will continue until the charge is completely released or the circuit stops demanding. That’s why our capacitor must be working fine.

Now let’s get back to the topic

How to test capacitor with ohm meter?

test capacitor with ohm meter

There are the following steps involved in testing the capacitor with an ohm meter.

1. Remove Capacitor From Circuit

To check the capacitor with an ohmmeter first off remove the capacitor from circuit. We can’t check the capacitor if it is charged or installed in the circuit. Make sure to discharged and removed it from the circuit. The capacitor can be discharged by shorting its terminal. The better way is to discharge it through the load.

2. Test Capacitor with Ohmmeter

With Ohmmeter or multimeter, we can only check if the capacitor is completely dead, or not. It will not tell if the capacitor is in good or poor condition. To determine if a capacitor is functioning at the right value (capacitance), a capacitor tester will be necessary. For checking follow these steps

  • Connect the Probes with an ohmmeter
  • Also, connect the positive lead to the positive terminal of the capacitor.
  • Similarly connect the negative lead to the negative terminal of the capacitor.
  • If the meter shows increasing reading starting from zero then the capacitor is working fine.
  • Also, If the meter shows a zero reading then the capacitor is damaged.
  • Note down the reading.

How to Test a Circuit Breaker with a Multimeter?

You can perform this test either on an ohm meter or a Multimeter. To perform the capacitor test on the multimeter rotate the knob to the ohm setting and follow all the above-mentioned steps.

Always keep in mind never to forget to disconnect the capacitors from circuits. Safety is very important. Besides your after charged capacitor can damage your equipment too.

After reading this article “ How to test capacitor with an ohm meter?” you will be able to test any capacitor. We have tried to cover each aspect of the testing capacitor with ohmmeter and multimeter and will look for more and try to add those in the next update. Have you find any thing interesting or Do you have any question?. Let us know in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

1. How do you tell if a capacitor is bad with a multimeter?

We can check the capacitor with multimeter by two methods.

  • Testing a Capacitor with Capacitance Setting

In this method meter is knob is set on the capacitance and then we connect the leads of multimeter with capacitor and take readings.

  • Testing a Capacitor without Capacitance Setting

we can also test capacitor without capacitance setting. In this method we will rotate the multimeter knob to ohms or we can use simple ohm meter. Now connect the leads with capacitor.

2. What does OL mean when testing a capacitor?

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while testing the capacitor if the capacitance value is within the measurement range, the multimeter will display the capacitor’s value. It will display OL if the capacitance value is higher than the measurement range or the capacitor is faulty.

3. How can you tell if a capacitor is bad?

when we check the capacitor with ohm meter

  • If the meter shows increasing reading starting from zero then capacitor is working fine.
  • Similarly, If the meter shows the zero reading then capacitor is damaged.

while if we check the capacitor with multimeter

  • if the multimeter will display the capacitor value, then its fine
  • Like wise, if the meter shows OL its mean meter is damaged or capacitance value is higher than the measurement range.

4. How many ohms should a capacitor have?

The normal capacitor have a resistance reading between “Tens of thousands or Hundreds of thousands ohm“. But it can never be 0Ω or MΩ. This is the best method to check the capacitor with ohm meter or multimeter having ohm setting.

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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.

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