Capacitor Problem?
Try These Tricks Of The Trade!

The capacitor is a very simple and inexpensive refrigeration part.

In most circumstances I replace the cap if I even think there may be a problem.

Sure, there are meters that can be used to properly diagnose and troubleshoot them, but why bother.

I don't even own one!

Occasionally I use the ohm function on my multimeter.

I may want to know if the cap is charging and discharging.

Here's how I check.

First, I always discharge any capacitor before proceeding.

Then I set the meter to kilo-ohms and place the leads on the terminals.

If the cap is shorted, the reading goes to near zero, it's bad.

If the cap is charging and discharging, I can watch the resistance go up, then back down.

Then I reverse the leads and reapply them to the terminals and once again see the resistance go up and then back down.

While it doesn't give me specific information, it's good enough for me.

What do I do if I don't have the correct cap?

I try to build one.

Remember, paralleling caps makes their rating the sum of each invidual rating.

A 30mf cap paralleled with a 15mf cap is equal to a 45mf cap.

Not sure what I mean by paralleling?

Simply put a jumper wire from each set of terminals on one cap to the other set of terminals on the other cap.

That's paralleling. It has gotten me out of many binds over many years.

I always try to install the correct cap when I obtain one. It looks professional and doesn't confuse any technician that may be following after me.

After all they may not know these tricks of the trade!

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