How to Discharge a Microwave Capacitor


A microwave oven is an essential machine in our kitchen. Microwaves make our busy life a lot easier than we think. In this modern time, there is no restaurant or household where you won't see a microwave. And as the use of microwave is so common then repairing microwave that is not heating must be a common factor.

Many of us may not know that there is a high voltage capacitor inside a microwave that serves a microwave big time but can be very dangerous. To repair or to even diagnose or to solve problems regarding heating up, we need to discharge the high voltage capacitor. And in this article, we will tell you "how to discharge a microwave capacitor" safely without harming yourself or anything else.

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 few things you need to know as 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.

Why so much safety concerns?

At first, you will need to insolate yourself. Then you can think about dealing with the capacitor. Keep in mind that a microwave oven is a strangely a critical device, not for of the microwaves. Microwaves usually take a lot of electricity to operate.

What it can do

They can even flip your breakers if you set it on an inadequate circuit with other devices with high-demand of power like the air condition 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 make 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 instruction 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 your self safe from being electrocuted.

Necessary tools for safety and discharge

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

  • A screwdriver with rubber handle

  • A torque screwdriver with rubber handle

  • Rubber gloves or rubber cleaning gloves

  • A needle nose plier with rubber handle

Safety precautions

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

Disassemble the microwave

The way to disassemble the microwave may vary from one another. There are instructions available in the microwave manual. Usually, you may have to take out a few screws and take off the casing from the back, but if it differs then read the manual carefully to disassemble the microwave.

The microwave must be unplugged

It is essential to unplug the microwave much before you disassemble it.  Unplug it from the wall and make sure it is connected with an external power source.

Remove things from microwave

Remove the rotating plate and the gliding roller that enables the plate to ratite or else these things may dispatch from their slots and damage the microwave while disassembling.

If you have a top grill behind the door, you will have to remove the top grill as well. The grill rack is usually fixed with the screws. Remove the screws to detach the grill rack. Move the grill rack little left and lift it and take it out from the slid.

Remove the bottom panel

Close the microwave after taking out the top grill. Flip the microwave and unscrew the bottom panel by removing mounting screws. Keep the bottom panel out of your way.

Take off the case from the body

Now remove all the screws from the side and outside the case. You will then find the case a bit lose. Now you can lift the case from the body. Be careful you should not damage any cable, wire or any parts of the microwave. Put on gloves and locate the capacitor.

Put the gloves on because now you will be looking for the capacitor. You may have to move wire and cables hence you have to put your and inside interior where few things can be sharp so better to put on your gloves. 

Capacitors of microwaves are not always located at the same place. Look at the manual to find it. Or you can also look for two screwed wire one red and one white. The capacitor in most microwaves has a metal slot inside which you can find the capacitor.

Don't start touching random things inside because you know how bad a capacitor can be. So read the manual and try to locate the capacitor.

Choose your tool

Ones 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.

Ensure safety

Make sure you put on the gloves, and all your tools have rubber handles.

Discharge the capacitor

Now its time to discharge the capacitor. If you require a screwdriver, then touch both of the terminals with the screwdrivers 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.


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 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.

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