How to Discharge a TV Capacitor


TV capacitors collect and store electrical energy for later discharge. Capacitors have two plates of material that collect electrical energy. The plates are separated by an insulator that prevents the electricity from discharging. The capacitor delivers a far greater electrical charge than the incoming electrical line provides. Capacitors store energy even when the electrical supply is removed. Discharging the capacitor reduces the likelihood of electrical shock during maintenance and electrical work. Always remove the power source before discharging the capacitor to avoid electrical shorts and component damage.

  • Turn off the Television. Disconnect the power cord. Remove the television cover to access the electronics panel. Move or adjust the television to allow access to the capacitor.

  • Find the two leads leading out of the capacitor. For barrel-style capacitors, the leads protrude from the bottom. Roll-style capacitors have leads protruding from each end.

  • Connect a resister to the capacitor poles to discharge the energy stored in the capacitor. Hold a thick wire by the plastic insulated end. Press the exposed, or stripped, end of the thick wire across the two leads. If the leads are not close together, bend the wire to touch both leads.

  • Hold the wire against the capacitor for at least 30 seconds to drain the electrical charge. The thick wire acts as a resistor. The electrical resistance drains the charge by preventing the full charge to be transferred. Take ample time to ensure that the full charge drains.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wrap a bare wire with electrical tape to create an insulated area you can grip during the discharge procedure.
  • Do not power the TV while discharging the capacitor.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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