How To Check A Capacitor

If you are experiencing problems with your electronic devices, it is possible that a faulty capacitor is the source of the problem. In order to diagnose and fix the issue, it is important to know how to check a capacitor. In this article, we will guide you through the process step by step.

What is a Capacitor?

Before we get into the specifics of checking a capacitor, it is important to understand what a capacitor is. A capacitor is an electronic component that stores energy in an electric field. It is commonly used in electronic devices such as computers, televisions, and radios.

Why Check a Capacitor?

Capacitors can become faulty over time, especially if they are subjected to harsh conditions such as high temperatures or voltage spikes. Checking a capacitor is important because a faulty capacitor can cause a number of problems, including device failure, reduced performance, and even safety hazards.

How to Check a Capacitor

There are several methods for checking a capacitor, but the easiest and most reliable method is to use a multimeter. Here are the steps to follow: 1. Turn off the device and unplug it from the power source. 2. Locate the capacitor on the circuit board. 3. Set the multimeter to the capacitance setting. 4. Touch the multimeter leads to the capacitor terminals. 5. Read the capacitance value on the multimeter display. 6. Compare the reading to the capacitor’s rated capacitance value. 7. If the reading is within the tolerance range of the rated value, the capacitor is functioning properly. 8. If the reading is outside the tolerance range, the capacitor is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Other Methods for Checking a Capacitor

If you do not have a multimeter, there are other methods for checking a capacitor. One method is to use an analog meter to check for a charge/discharge cycle. Another method is to visually inspect the capacitor for signs of damage or leakage.


1. Can a faulty capacitor be repaired?

No, a faulty capacitor cannot be repaired. It needs to be replaced with a new capacitor.

2. Can a capacitor explode?

Yes, a capacitor can explode if it is subjected to high voltage or temperature. This is why it is important to handle capacitors with care and to follow safety precautions when working with electronic devices.

3. How do I know if a capacitor is polarized?

A polarized capacitor has a positive and negative terminal. The negative terminal is usually marked with a stripe, arrow, or minus sign. Make sure to connect the multimeter leads to the correct terminals when checking a polarized capacitor.


Knowing how to check a capacitor is an important skill for anyone who works with electronic devices. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can diagnose and fix capacitor-related issues, ensuring the optimal performance and safety of your devices. Remember to always follow safety precautions when working with electronic devices.