How to test ceiling fan capacitor

How To Test Ceiling Fan Capacitor

Having a ceiling fan can be beneficial to your home. While this may not be the most popular opinion, it is important to consider all possible benefits of having a ceiling fan. It can improve the air circulation in the room, helping to remove toxins from the environment. A ceiling fan can also create a comforting breeze, which can help you sleep better. However, a bad capacitor is the most common problem of a ceiling fan.

If you face this issue, you need to diagnose it. Sometimes you can’t understand that the ceiling fan capacitor has gone damaged because it looks like a new one. But you will confirm that the capacitor is bad if you see any signs of burning, melting. Also, notice at the bottom of the capacitor if it is swollen, it is probably damaged.

But, without testing, you cannot ensure that a capacitor is bad or good. To check it, you need a multimeter, and if the reading or pointer doesn’t head towards infinity, this is not a good capacitor.

The capacitor is a vital part of the fan, and it stores the electricity that is needed to power the fan. The capacitor can be damaged due to high voltage exposure or other external sources. When the capacitor is damaged, you should not keep it with your fan. This article helps you how to test capacitors.

Let’s take a look.

how to test ceiling fan capacitor

Method 1: Using an analog multimeter.

If you are new, you can use an analog multimeter, and it is easy to understand to identify a bad or good capacitor.

First, you need to remove the capacitor from the fan and discharge it. A capacitor stores electric charge and needs to be discharged before it can be safely handled. When you connect a battery across a capacitor, if the battery is strong enough, the capacitor will quickly discharge, and you’ll get a spark. Besides, you can discharge a capacitor using a screwdriver. Connect both capacitor terminals with a screwdriver at once.

Now you need to set up your multimeter to test it. Keep it at Ohm mood at height settings. And then connect the capacitor with the multimeter. The negative probe will go to the black terminal, and the positive probe will go to the red terminal of the capacitor.

If it shows a very low reading, that means the capacitor is short. An open capacitor will not show any reading. So, you would not see any movement of the multimeter pointer.

If the meter shows high reading and consciously goes to infinity, this is a good capacitor.

Method 2: Using digital multitester with capacitance mode:

You do not find this mode in most of the meters. So, before buying a multimeter, check the multimeter has capacitance mode. This mode is very easy to understand for anyone. You will find the value in microfarad to this meter. And the fan capacitor labeled the capacitance value is microfarad on the body.

Keep the meter in capacitance mode and then connect it with the capacitor. Make sure the positive terminal is connected to the positive and the negative terminal to the negative. If you see the reading is closer to the actual value mentioned on the capacitor’s body, that means the capacitor is in good condition. On the contrary, if the value is very low, this is not a good capacitor.

How do you understand the capacitor gone bad?

A faulty capacitor can lead to various electrical and mechanical problems with the fan—these range from dimming lights to burning out and more. Symptoms of a bad capacitor include: dimming lights, slow speed on the fan, fan not starting at all, and the fan will sometimes overheat and burn out.

Final Verdict:

Since a ceiling fan capacitor is a cheap component, if you notice any symptom of a bad capacitor, you can change it. To be sure, of course, check it using a multimeter.

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