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Problem: How Do I Discharge a High Voltage Capacitor

First, Turn off all power to the air conditioner or heat pump unit. Check with a volt meter to make sure the power is off.  The capacitor is discharged by creating a short circuit (direct connection) between the two capacitor terminals and from each terminal to chassis ground (bare metal surface). Please make sure that you are touching the insulated screw driver handle and not the metal part of the screw driver before attempting this procedure.

  1. Do this by touching the blade of an insulated-handled screw driver to one terminal, then slide it toward the other terminal until it makes contact and hold it there for a few seconds. (Sometimes this can result in a rather “pop!”)
  2. Repeat the procedure to create a short between each capacitor terminal and chassis ground.
  3. If the capacitor has three terminals, use the same procedure to create a short circuit between each terminal and then from each terminal to ground.


Disclaimer: Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. assumes no liability for any incidental, consequential or other liability from the use of this information. All risks and damages, incidental or otherwise, arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein are entirely the responsibility of the user. Although careful precaution has been taken in the preparation of this website information, we assume no responsibility for omissions or errors.

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