How to Discharge the Capacitor on a Microwave

November 19, 2020
Microwave Repair

When it comes to microwave repair, it is generally recommended that you leave the repair of this small appliance to the professionals. Unlike other, larger appliances, even if you unplug a microwave, it can still hold a deadly charge in its capacitors. The amount of power needed to fuel a microwave is a lot, so it typically stores up power and amplifies it for use. As such, in order to safely repair many parts of it, you need to first discharge the capacitors.

Warning: The voltage in a microwave can cause injury or death, only attempt if you have previous experience or training.

There are two ways to discharge a capacitor. The first is rather simple. If you leave a microwave unplugged for several days in a row, the charge will naturally dissipate. However, that is typically a bit of a wait that people aren’t willing to endure.

The other option is to discharge the charge manually. Using a screwdriver with an insulated handle, essentially you touch the tip to a capacitor and drag it slowly towards the one across from it. This creates a short circuit that results in the electricity being discharged. You may need to do this multiple times. If it is successful, you will hear a pop when the short circuit is completed. It is pretty loud, so don’t be surprised.

Once this short circuit is done, it is now as safe to work on your microwave as any other appliance so long as you keep it disconnected from the power. While repairs like replacing the turntable motor are perfectly safe without discharging the capacitors, doing repairs on the capacitors, high voltage diode, or magnetron will all require a discharge.

Repairing a microwave can be complicated and dangerous. If you aren’t comfortable performing the discharge of electricity, contact us today to see what Central Valley Appliance Repair can do to help you get your microwave and all your other appliances fixed up fast.


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