How To Identify Starting And Running Capacitor

Hey there, fellow running enthusiasts! Today, I want to dive deep into the topic of identifying starting and running capacitors. As a long-time runner and electronics enthusiast, I have encountered these components countless times and have learned a thing or two along the way. So, let’s lace up our virtual sneakers and get ready to explore this fascinating aspect of running technology!

Understanding Starting and Running Capacitors

Before we can identify starting and running capacitors, it’s important to understand what they are and how they function in the world of running equipment. Capacitors are electronic components that store and release electrical energy. In running machines, these capacitors play a crucial role in providing the necessary power to start and maintain continuous operation.

Starting capacitors, as the name suggests, are specifically designed to provide an extra boost of power during the initial startup of a running machine. They help overcome the high starting torque required to set the machine’s motor in motion. On the other hand, running capacitors support the continuous operation of the motor by creating a phase shift in the electrical current, which helps maintain the motor’s performance and efficiency.

Identifying Starting Capacitors

Now that we have a basic understanding of starting and running capacitors, let’s talk about how to identify them. Starting capacitors are usually larger in size compared to running capacitors. They are typically cylindrical in shape and can be found near the motor or attached to the motor’s body. They often have a higher voltage rating than running capacitors.

To identify a starting capacitor, you can look for markings or labels on the outer casing of the component. These markings usually indicate important information such as the capacitance value, voltage rating, and perhaps even the manufacturer’s name or part number. It’s important to note that starting capacitors are often rated for intermittent duty, meaning they are designed to handle short bursts of high energy rather than continuous operation.

Spotting Running Capacitors

When it comes to identifying running capacitors, there are a few key features to look out for. Running capacitors are generally smaller in size compared to starting capacitors and can also be cylindrical in shape. However, they are typically lighter and have a lower voltage rating compared to starting capacitors.

Similar to starting capacitors, running capacitors may have markings or labels on their casing. These markings provide important information such as the capacitance value, voltage rating, and other specifications. Running capacitors are designed for continuous duty, meaning they are built to handle ongoing operation for extended periods.


Identifying starting and running capacitors is a valuable skill for any running enthusiast or electronics hobbyist. By understanding the differences in size, voltage rating, and the intended duty cycle, you can easily recognize and distinguish between the two types of capacitors. Remember, starting capacitors provide that initial power boost to get your running machine up and running, while running capacitors ensure smooth and continuous operation.

So, the next time you open up your running machine for maintenance or repairs, take a moment to appreciate the role that starting and running capacitors play in keeping you on the move. Happy running!