Capacitors by design store energy and in pool motors this energy can sometimes cause dangerous shock even after you have turned off the power to the motor. Before you work on the electrical side of a motor, you should ensure that this energy is dissipated. This guide shows you how to safely short out the residual energy in a pool motor capacitor after the pump power has been turned off. Note: Some motors have two capacitors, a run capacitor and a start capacitor. To be safe, you should short out both capacitors before working on the electrical circuits of the motor.
LOCATE START CAPACITOR - The pool pump Start Capacitor is almost always under the cover on the electrical end of the motor - where the power cord goes in. It provides an extra boost in power when the motor first starts up. The Start Capacitor will generally be rated at 50-400 MFD and 125 or 250 VAC.
SHORT OUT LEADS - In rare cases a capacitor has been known to explode when shorted out. Wear gloves and eye protection and lay a cloth over the capacitor before you short it out. To short the capacitor place an insulated screwdriver across the three leads of the capacitor. Wiggle it around to make sure you contact all three leads.
SHORT RUN CAPACITOR - After you have shorted out the Start Capacitor, repeat the process to short out the Run Capacitor, if applicable.
CONTINUE REPAIR - Once the Capacitor(s) residual energy is released, you can continue work on the motor's electrical circuit.