How to Discharge a Microwave Capacitor


If you’ve ever wondered how to safely discharge a microwave capacitor, this article will teach you how to do it safely and properly.

A capacitor can build up an extremely large amount of charge when it isn’t being used, which may lead to an electrical shock or even equipment damage if it isn’t discharged before storing the microwave or replacing the capacitor.

Microwave ovens have been around for decades, and as a result, most modern microwaves have powerful capacitors inside of them to help run the electrical charge that heats up your food.

These capacitors can store energy even after the microwave has been turned off, which makes it dangerous to touch the microwave’s power cord before you discharge your capacitor safely. Here’s how to discharge the capacitor without shocking yourself or your equipment.

How to Discharge a Microwave Capacitor easily

In this section, we will guide you step by step to remove the capacitor safely. But before going to the main point, there are a few things you need to know about safety concerns.

Usually, this is a task for professionals to do. But if you are confident that you can fix some minor issues then before you start repairing the first thing would be discharging the microwave capacitor. And following this article, you will get to know how to discharge a microwave capacitor, but safety always comes first.

The discharge of microwave capacitors can be dangerous. If you want to discharge your microwave capacitor without getting hurt, here are some steps that you can follow:

  1. Unplug it from its outlet. Make sure that no one gets hurt because of it,
  2. Remove any metal objects from its surface as these may cause electric shock when touched together during discharging,
  3. Stand on dry ground and away from any flammable objects,
  4. Hold both wires in your hands and keep them apart until they stop sparking,
  5. Keep holding them until there is no more spark,
  6. Then let go of both wires,
  7. Check if there is still an electrical charge inside by touching one wire with a screwdriver,
  8. Touching it will not harm you if there is no charge left,
  9. If there is still an electrical charge, repeat steps 4-8,
  10. When finished, dispose of all materials used for discharging carefully.

Why so many safety concerns?

Before you start, take some time to study capacitor safety and make sure you are familiar with any safety procedures for working with or around high voltage systems.

For example, don’t touch metal tools or other conducting surfaces, as they could retain enough electrical charge to zap you even after disconnecting power.

And be careful not to cause sparks near flammable materials, such as paper products and cleaning supplies.

Finally, wear eye protection at all times while working with capacitors—even when they’re discharged.

What it can do

They can even flip your breakers if you set them on an inadequate circuit with other devices with high-demand of power like the air conditioning or vacuum cleaner.

But what is more dangerous is that microwaves consist of a high-voltage capacitor. This high voltage capacitor holds onto hazardous amounts of electricity even when the microwave is not plugged. This is what makes the capacitor remarkably dangerous because it can electrocute someone instantly. Even days after being unplugged, it can still pass a critical shock that can be life-threatening


A capacitor is useful when it comes to heating your food and making your microwave work properly. But when it comes to repairing your microwave, the capacitor can be the most dangerous thing to deal with. But it is not at all impossible to discharge the capacitor. If you follow all the instructions correctly and take all the safety precautions properly, then you can efficiently discharge a microwave capacitor effortlessly.

Safety warnings

Do not go for discharging a microwave capacitor if you are not confident enough and know how to protect yourself adequately. We will guide you step by step. But our concern is in your safety; hence we recommend that a highly professional should deal with it unless you are confident and know how to keep yourself safe from being electrocuted.

Necessary tools for safety and discharge

There are some simple tools that you will require to take off the microwave case and discharge the capacitor.

  • A screwdriver with a rubber handle
  • A torque screwdriver with a rubber handle
  • Rubber gloves or rubber cleaning gloves
  • A needle nose plier with a rubber handle

Safety precautions

Wear rubber gloves, and you must wear rubber sandals as well to make yourself completely insolated. This precaution is necessary to keep yourself safe from being electrocuted.

Choose your tool

Once you know where the capacitor is you have to choose a tool to discharge the capacitor. Some capacitor has terminal screws at exposure then you will require a standard flat screwdriver. Some have internal terminal screws for which you will need a needle nose plier.

Discharge the capacitor

Now it’s time to discharge the capacitor. If you require a screwdriver, then touch both of the terminals with the screwdriver’s head. Make sure the same metal touches both of the terminals. If you are using pliers, then separate the nose and touch both of the terminals with each nose. Just make sure that electricity can flow between them through an intermediary metal object.

Now wait a few seconds

Wait 4 to 5 seconds. You may see some large sparks or hear some sizzling noise.

Where can I get help if something goes wrong?

Microwaves use high-voltage energy, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. The best way to avoid problems when discharging your microwave capacitor is to have another person standing by as you complete these steps.

If you are uncomfortable or unsure about anything, it’s better to be safe than sorry! You should always consult an expert if you have any concerns.

You can find someone at an electronics store near you who may be able to help—or you can ask your hardware store for assistance.

Just bring in your project plans and they will happily walk you through each step of the process! As long as you plan carefully and take proper precautions, discharging a microwave capacitor is generally quite safe. Just make sure that you know what you’re doing before attempting to discharge one yourself.

Remember: It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Final Tips

Done now, you are safe from the risk of electrocution. And if you have to repair the microwave, you can go on. So now that you all the steps and factors about discharging a capacitor you can be a little bit more confident to do it yourself. But be careful and don’t do it yourself if you are not confident.

Through this article, you probably know the risk factors and the safety precautions about the microwave. Hence we are sure you can be fully aware and responsible.