How to Check and Change the Capacitor of a Dryer

Jul 25, 2023, 11:41am

The capacitor in a clothes dryer plays a role in starting the appliance. It starts the motor, then stops when the device reaches the desired speed. It acts as a reservoir of electricity which helps the engine start.

The capacitor is therefore often the cause of failures linked to motor starting, such as:

  • The dryer does not start.
  • The drum does not turn.
  • The laundry is still damp after operation.

It is possible to test this part to verify that it is faulty, then to replace it if necessary.

The condenser is often behind a hatch, at the bottom of the device, on one side.

The capacitor in a dryer is an essential component of the motor circuit. It provides the necessary starting torque for the dryer’s motor to begin running. If the capacitor becomes faulty, the motor may not start, or it may have difficulty starting, leading to issues with the dryer’s operation. Checking and changing the capacitor is a relatively simple process, but it requires some basic tools and knowledge of electrical components. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of checking and changing the capacitor of a dryer.

How to Check and Change the Capacitor of a Dryer

Step 1: Safety Precautions

Before you begin any repair work on your dryer, prioritize safety. Ensure the dryer is disconnected from the power supply by unplugging it from the electrical outlet or switching off the circuit breaker dedicated to the dryer.

Step 2: Locate the Capacitor

The capacitor is usually located near the dryer’s motor. To access it, you may need to remove the dryer’s back panel or, in some cases, the dryer’s front panel.

Step 3: Check the Capacitor

Once you have located the capacitor, you can check its condition using a multimeter. A multimeter is a tool that measures electrical voltage, resistance, and continuity.

  1. Set your multimeter to the capacitance setting (usually denoted by “CAP” or the symbol for a capacitor).
  2. Discharge the capacitor to ensure there is no residual charge. To do this, use an insulated screwdriver to short the terminals of the capacitor.
  3. Place the multimeter probes on the two terminals of the capacitor. The reading on the multimeter should gradually increase and then stabilize. If the multimeter shows no reading or a very low reading, the capacitor may be faulty and needs to be replaced.

Step 4: Remove the Old Capacitor

If the capacitor is indeed faulty, carefully remove it from its position. It may be held in place with clips or mounting brackets.

Disconnect the wires connected to the capacitor by gently pulling them off the terminals.

Step 5: Install the New Capacitor

Position the new capacitor in place, aligning it with the corresponding holes or slots. Secure it in place using the appropriate clips or mounting brackets.

Step 6: Reconnect Wiring

Carefully reconnect the wires to the new capacitor. Make sure each wire is attached to the correct terminal.

Step 7: Reassemble the Dryer

With the new capacitor installed and the wiring reconnected, it’s time to reassemble the dryer. Replace the dryer’s back panel or front panel if you had to remove it.

How to Check and Change the Capacitor of a Dryer

Step 8: Test the Dryer

Before pushing the dryer back into its designated spot, perform a test run to check if the new capacitor is functioning correctly. Turn on the dryer and observe if the motor starts and operates smoothly.

Step 9: Final Adjustments

If the dryer’s motor starts and operates properly during the test run, your capacitor replacement is successful. If there are any issues, double-check the installation and wiring connections and make any necessary adjustments.


Checking and changing the capacitor of a dryer is a manageable task that can resolve motor starting issues and ensure the proper operation of your appliance. By following this step-by-step guide and using a multimeter to check the capacitor’s condition, you can successfully replace the old capacitor with a new one, providing the necessary starting torque for the dryer’s motor. However, if you encounter any difficulties during the process or have concerns about handling the repair, it’s always best to seek assistance from a professional dryer technician. With the new capacitor in place, your dryer’s motor should start and operate smoothly, ensuring efficient and effective drying performance.