Kerry Wong has written an article discussing the measurement of capacitor ESR using a multimeter and a function generator:
Capacitor ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) measurement is very useful in diagnosing issues with power supplies. In linear power supplies, a high ESR filter capacitor may cause excessive ripple current on the voltage rails and can cause the capacitor to overheat due to its increased resistance. In low dropout linear supplies, the ESR of the output capacitors affect the loop stability and excessive ESR in these output capacitors can make the power supply unstable, which in turn can lead to out-of-tolerance voltage being applied to the load and could cause future damages. In switching mode power supplies, the ESR of capacitors are even more critical. In this blog post I will discuss how to measure the ESR of a capacitor using a function generator and a multimeter. A short video on this topic is also included towards the end.
More details at Kerry Wong’s blog.
Check out the video after the break.