Introduction: How to Remove the Bleeder Resistor in Microwave Capacitors.


In this instructable, we will discuss how to remove the bleeder resistor from the medium sized metal can capacitors such as those found in microwaves. This will not work for all capacitors. Some have an internal resistance which cannot be removed. The Samsung units, like those pictured below, are known to contain a removable resistor.

Please note that this is extremely dangerous, not to mention messy. If the resistor isn't working in the first place, chances are that the capacitor will already be holding a potentially lethal charge. Removing them ensures that it will be capable of holding a lethal charge. ALWAYS short the terminals before working with a capacitor. This is about as dangerous as climbing telephone poles. I don't recommend that anyone try this. Enter at your own risk!

Step 1: Gather Necessary Tools

Here is what we will need for the task:

0.99 The capacitor(s) you're going to mutilate of course
1. Nibblers or some type of cutting tool (the ones I used were purchased at Radio Shack)
2. RTV Silicone sealant (automotive section)
3. A work surface, preferably outside, that you don't mind getting full of nasty smelling oil and
brake cleaner
4. Brake Cleaner (rubbing alcohol may be substituted, but it won't work nearly as well)
5. Side Cutters
6. Mineral Oil (optional in case too much of the original oil is spilled)

Step 2: Hack Open the Capacitor

The first step is to open the capacitor. Using the nibbler, cut all around the top of the can. Try to keep it upright to minimize the loss of oil. All that is needed is to cut down through the first layer of metal and move to the next spot. Strong hand muscles are definitely a requirement.

Step 3: Pop the Top

Now once you have cut all the way around, the top should just pop right off. Grab the terminals and pull. If it doesn't come off, that means you need to do more nibbling.

Step 4: Remove the Bleeder

If your capacitor is equipped with a standard bleeder resistor, you will find it making a connection between the two terminals just under the "cap". On these it was under the paper flap as in the picture below. These Samsung types use a special high voltage thin ceramic resistor. Either bend it back and forth until the metal fatigues, or cut it out with the side cutters. You can throw them away, but I save them for interesting things.

Step 5: Slop the Slop

Now that the bleeder is removed, add some mineral oil if the oil level fell below the top of the paper down inside. Put the "cap" back on and spray the brake cleaner all over the outside to remove all traces of oil. The RTV won't stick properly if there is any trace of oil on the outside. I alternate between spraying and wiping with Kleenex.

Once it's clean and dry, slop the RTV around the seam to seal things back up. It should look like the picture below. Put it somewhere out of the sun and where it won't be getting hotter to dry. If the temperature of the capacitor increases now, it will force the oil out of the seam and make a channel through the RTV and leak. You might need to brake clean and RTV several times like I did to eliminate all the oil leaks. All done! Enjoy your new extremely dangerous capacitor toy thing. When not in use, you would be wise to keep the terminals shorted with alligator clips or a jumper wire with disconnects on the ends like I have below.