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How to discharge a microwave oven's capacitor:
Discharging a high voltage capacitor
Discharging your microwave's capacitor is absolutely essential in preventing injury to your microwave, your tools, and yourself. A capacitor stores large amounts of electricity even when your microwave is unplugged, and it must be discharged before beginning any repair.
A capacitor is discharged by creating a short circuit between each of the two capacitor terminals, and between each terminal and the chassis. The chassis is the metal mounting (bare metal surface) of the capacitor. Read these directions thoroughly before you proceed.
With your microwave unit unplugged, touch the blade of a well insulated screwdriver to one terminal. Gently slide the screwdriver forward until it reaches the other terminal, holding it there for a few seconds. Be aware that this often results in a loud and startling 'POP'.
Repeat this procedure in order to create a short circuit between each capacitor terminal and the chassis (bare metal mounting plate surface). This same method can be applied to a capacitor having three, and not two, terminals.
CAUTION: Your microwave oven is capable of giving you a serious electrical shock, even when it is unplugged. We strongly suggest you seek the assistance of an appliance repair technician when conducting any microwave oven repair.