Can You Discharge a Capacitor Using a Voltmeter?

I got a lot of comments that many of you discharge run capacitors with a voltmeter. I test this method vs. the capacitor discharge tool I created.

Obviously, many of you use needle nose pliers or a screwdriver. While this is widely practiced, it could result in an arc, shock, or damage to the capacitor.

Others have also mentioned that some meters have a Low-Z mode used for low impedance voltage measurement. This mode would discharge the capacitor more quickly than the voltmeter shown.

Click the video to see the result.

—Bryan

Related Tech Tips

Multimeter Categories
Testo 760 Category IV Multimeter I was standing at a booth at the HVAC Excellence Educators conference, and an instructor walks up, grabs a meter, and asks me, “What's the difference between a category 3 and a category 4 meter?” Well, I really wasn't sure, but I knew that the category 4 meter is rated […]
Read more
Reach-In Temperature Controls
  This article is written by Christopher Stephens of JVS Refrigeration in California, with just a few additions by me (Bryan) in italics. Thanks, Chris! Reach-in refrigerators are an interesting side of our industry, often looked at as frustrating and troublesome. Since we usually see reach-ins in kitchens or convenience stores, the refrigerators are never […]
Read more
Mean Radiant Temperature: What It Is and Why We Should Care
Our industry puts a lot of emphasis on the “AC” (air conditioning) part of HVAC. We specialize in maintaining and servicing a wide variety of simple to complex air distribution systems. But we’re really in the business of comfort—human comfort and health, to be precise. So, just how much does the human body rely on […]
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

loading

To continue you need to agree to our terms.

The HVAC School site, podcast and daily tech tips
Made possible by Generous support from