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Electrolytic Capacitors Is Our Good Friend?

By on October 6, 2008

e-cap

I got an email that stated “Electrolytic capacitors is our good friend”. I was curious as why the sender sent such a sentence then he continued to reason to me behind the meaning. He mentioned this because “electrolytic capacitors has helped him to earned lots of money because lots of electronic equipment broke down was caused by bad electrolytic capacitors.”

Yes it is true especially nowadays lots of electronic equipment comes with cheap electrolytic capacitors and  easily turn bad when exposed to too much stress, heat and etc. There was one brand of a 15″ HP LCD Monitor where 9 out of 10 problems was caused by bad electrolytic capacitors. He further mentioned in his email that ” although there are lots of bad electrolytic capacitors in circuit board, if one does not have the ESR meter, the electronic repairer will have a hard time finding it out!”

That was also true of what he had said. If we as an electronic repairer and does not own any ESR meter, we will definitely have a hard time to locate problems in electrolytic capacitors. So is Electrolytic Capacitor your good friend?

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4 Comments

  1. Paul Sulwer

    September 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    LOL, I read the title and was like WHAT? But then I read the part “electrolytic capacitors has helped him to earned lots of money because lots of electronic equipment broke down was caused by bad electrolytic capacitors.” and it makes more sense that way!
    I usually determine bad caps by whether or not they're bulging or leaking. Are you saying that many caps have failed without showing any physical signs, so their integrity can only be determined with an ESR meter?

    Thanks

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  2. Paul Sulwer

    September 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    PS: Can ESR be read with the capacitor still installed?
    I know capacitance is sort of a hassle because you have to remove the component, so I think it doesn't get tested a lot of times for that reason.

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  3. admin

    September 19, 2011 at 4:02 am

    HI Paul,

    Yes you can test the ecap ESR value on board.

    Jestine

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  4. admin

    September 19, 2011 at 5:55 am

    HI Paul,

    Yes many bad caps did not show any sign of physical damage.

    Jestine

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