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Electrolytic Capacitor Have The Highest Failure Rate

By on March 30, 2008


I have replaced more electrolytic capacitors than any other electronic components in electronic repair. The reason why it has the highest failure rate was because electrolytic capacitors contains electrolyte (one kind of chemical) and this electrolyte can dry up and will leak when it is overheated by higher voltage than the capacitor itself can handle. Resistors do not have life span not like electrolytic capacitors. E-caps got to be use fresh once they are out from the factory! If you keep the e-cap for too long, the electrolyte in it will dry up and cause many troubles in electronic circuits.

blue esr meter

It is wise to invest on ESR meter which can test e-caps in or off board. Although some e-caps shows leaking underneath, the esr meter may still test good on such capacitor. This is because the leaking of electrolyte haven’t reach to a level where the ESR meter considered it as bad cap. The more you use ESR meter the more you would understand its capacibilities. If you haven’t buy any of the esr meter, you may get one by clicking here.



  1. Stephen

    November 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    what mathematical formula did you use to be very sure that e-caps has the highest electronics failure rate

  2. admin

    November 24, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    HI Stephen,

    No mathematical formula. Just base on my 20 years experience in electronic repair. I came across lots of caps failure especially e-caps.


  3. html tools

    March 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Capacitors are used in various ways, with some of them designed for high-frequency circuits. Others are made specifically to handle larger amounts of voltage. Capacitors of various sizes and designs are used to tune radios, in clocks and electronic counting devices, in sensitive medical equipment and even in cars and electric vehicles.

  4. haitham

    March 30, 2012 at 9:29 am

    could u explain the many types of capacitors ?
    or the most common used and it;s application ?

    • Jestine Yong

      April 1, 2012 at 9:45 am

      HI Haitham,

      I suggest that you search from the internet because it has much more better answer. My site is only majoring on electronics repair and do not cover much on the theories. If you would like to buy a book on basic electronics I suggest that you get Bernard Grob's Basic Electronics from as I found this book to be very good.



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