How To Test Capacitor Using Analog Multimeter [3 Quick Steps]

Capacitor are types of electrical components used for energy storage in a form of electric charge. They are essential for serving different functions in various electronics and electrical circuits. There are various functions of capacitors including discharging and charging that is directing into the circuit through the capacitor plate. Therefore knowing how to test capacitor using analog multimeter is extremely important for the perfect operation of your electronics.

They are segments of the motors of heaters, refrigerator compressors, and air conditioners. Accordingly, they are available in various types including non-electrolytic and electrolytic. Electrolytic is useful with the vacuum pipe electricity distribution of the transistor while non-electrolytic model is useful for DC surges regulation. The electrolytic damages are due to falling short by extra discharging of electric current. On the other hand, the failure of non-electrolytic is due to frequent leakage of the energy stored.

Capacitance Test Safety 

Safety is a major concern in the process of measuring capacitance since a number of electrical instruments are capable of sourcing power levels and hazardous voltage. Accordingly, it is likely to output the levels of hazardous even if the system fails to indicate the presence of hazard. 

These power levels and high voltage facilitate the need for operators protection against dangers caused by power levels and voltage fluctuations. It is important for the test system designers, installers and integrators to take the responsibility to put protection for maintenance and operators in place and effective. There are various ways of ensuring safety when carrying capacitance measurements:

Cover the device fully

Covering the device under test is necessary for every electrician during maintenance and operating a capacitor. The entire closing of a capacitor helps in protecting users against any flying debris.

Design test fixtures.

Designing fixtures used for testing is another important precaution that operators require to take into consideration. Proper modification of test fixtures prevents the electricity operators from direct contact with hazardous circuits.

Double insulation

Double insulation is the next way of ensuring safety of electricians dealing with electricity. All electrical connections that operators can touch directly should be insulated doubly for effective capacitance test. Accordingly, double insulation of electrical appliances ensure that operators have protection when measuring and testing capacitance even if there is failure of a single insulation.

Use reliable switches

Reliable switches are important for putting power off when there is power leakage to prevent accidents from taking place. The operators should use switches of high reliability and fail-safe interlock in disconnecting sources of power when the cover of a test fixture is open. Besides, electricians should use automated handlers to prevent them from accessing the internal part of the test fixtures.


Training is one of the major aspect for every individual dealing with capacitances measurement. The provision of proper training to all operators of the system helps in understanding all potential hazards and formulating protective mechanisms against injuries.

How to Check a Capacitor?


Checking a capacitor is one of the best ways of ascertaining the amount of electric charges stored for specific purposes. There are different kinds of electronic and electrical materials available in the market that are useful for checking capacitors. Since some of these components are very sensitive to the spiking of voltage, the voltage swings can also make capacitors to be sensitive. 

For this reason, they increases chances of damaging this device permanently. Therefore, carrying out a capacitor test is crucial for checking the workability of the capacitor.

Test a Capacitor

A multimeter is a device found in many electronic shops and used by electricians in determining electricity capacitance. The process involves using a charging device with a recognized current to quantify the resulting voltage followed by capacitance calculations.

There are many challenges that occurs in the troubleshooting of electrical and electronics while testing a capacitor. Testing a capacitor involves various methods including analog and digital multimeter, voltmeter, ohmmeter mode, and traditional sparking multimeters. The major aim of testing capacitors with these methods is to ascertain their status if they are in good condition or damaged. The major focus in this section is to show you how to use Analog Multimeter for testing a capacitor.

Test a Capacitor using Analog Multimeter

Just like the digital device, analog multimeter is also important for testing resistance, current, and voltage. When testing capacitors through voltages, ohmmeter, and amperes, you should use the following steps.

Detach the capacitor

Detaching the capacitor from the board and discharging it is the first step of testing a capacitor. Select the highest range if of the analog multimeter comes with numerous Ohms ranges.

Probes connection

Connect the probes of the device to the terminals of capacitors and examine the readings. The needle movement helps Analog multimeter in displaying their readings and helps to determine whether the capacitor is good or bad.

Record and evaluate readings.

Recording and evaluating the capacitor readings is the next step in the process of capacitor testing. The evaluation of the reading showing less resistance is an indication of short capacitors. On the other hand, an evaluation of the reading more resistance indicates that the capacitor is long.

It is important to note that the open capacitors cannot demonstrate deflection over the display of Ohm meter. Accordingly, an illustration of low resistance followed by a slight increase to the infinite direction indicates that the capacitor is in good condition and is the best device for electrical and electronics use.

Final Thought 

The above discussion is simple overview of how to test a capacitor using analog multimeter. It is important to note that the analog multimeter is among the best methods used for determining the workability of a capacitor in the electrical and electronic shops. The discussion above on how to test capacitor using analog multimeter is important for better storage of electric charges. 

Its plates constitute the anode and the cathode where the anode indicates a positive voltage and the cathode a negative voltage. Notably, the positive voltage at the anode terminal helps for checking polarity of a capacitor and electricians can apply the negative voltage to the terminal of its cathode.

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