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Size of Electrolytic Capacitor

By on March 6, 2012
bad capacitor

bad capacitor

Have you ever wonder the quality of the ecap that is smaller than it should be? Recently i bought about 20 pcs of 1000uf 16 volt from a local electronics supplier and at a glance I thought he gave me a wrong capacitor. When i double check the capacitor rating I was surprised that the rating was correct but the size was quite small as compare to a normal a 1000 uf capacitor. At the workbench I took out the 1000uf 10 volt e-cap to compare the size as seen from the photo and it was much bigger than  1000 uf 16 volt!

Actually I’m not so sure about the quality of the 1000uf 16 volt cap but i hope the technology of manufacturing the cap have improved thus making it smaller.  I have installed it into 2 LCD Monitors and so far tested good. Many years ago I could still recall I bought  a batch of 1uf 400v e-cap where the moment i turn the power on it exploded. The result were same after changing few of the 1uf cap. I returned the bunch of the e-caps and the seller gladly replaced them with a better quality caps. In the future if you come across e-caps that “kaput” in few months time or immediately explode then i suggest that you use other quality brand of e-caps.



  1. Boling

    March 7, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Hi Jestine,

    I also often experience the electrolytic capacitors used in some lcd monitors boards are shorter than the one I could buy in the local supplier, so I must install it horizontally instead of vertically.


    • Jestine Yong

      March 8, 2012 at 2:41 am

      Hi Boling,

      Same here and have to think of a way to fit into the small space.


      • deepak

        September 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

        Thanks for your tips...
        I had read some of your books was a great inspiration for fresher in repairing world .I just repaired some smps,ups the main problem that i encountered was after the sm transformer(smps of personal computer) no signal is getting in the multimeter although all things up to the sm transformer was working fine.when i short the green and black wire smps is not starting but +5v standby is coming from the smps main power connector

        • Jestine Yong

          September 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm

          Hi Deepak,

          Try trace from the green wire to see if there is any leaky or bad component.


  2. Galib

    March 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    In this week I have replaced 5 Main filter capacitors . All the capacitors are same color and same design . I think they are from same company . And of course they are smaller than other same value capacitor .

    • Jestine Yong

      March 8, 2012 at 2:46 am

      Hi Galib,

      Hope those caps quality are good and no return call. Go to test the water.


  3. Roberto S.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Yes, you right!
    The bad new capacitors are a problem for technicians repair.

    • Jestine Yong

      March 8, 2012 at 2:48 am

      Hi Roberto,
      If the quality is good even if it smaller than the original one-it is still ok to use it.


  4. Alex Lee

    August 31, 2012 at 1:11 am

    The size of the capacitors depends on the model of the capacitor itself even though from the same manufacturer. For example, given the same 1000uF 16V capacitance the Panasonic FM series capacitors are much taller (10x20mm) compared to Panasonic FK series which is  more compact (10x16mm). Both models are low ESR and rated at 105C. Also often even with same model, they could have different sizes as well. A good example would be the new Panasonic FR series which has 8x20mm and 10x16mm packages. When ordering, do check for the dimensions first.

  5. Colin Mitchell

    October 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    The size of a capacitor depends on a number of factors, namely the value of the capacitor (in microfarads etc) and the voltage rating. But there is also another factor that is most important. It is the RIPPLE FACTOR. Ripple Factor is the amount of voltage-fluctuation the capacitor (electrolytic) can withstand without getting too hot.
     When current flows in and out of an electrolytic, it gets hot and this will eventually dry-out the capacitor as some of the liquid inside the capacitor escapes through the seal. It's a very slow process but over a period of years, the capacitor looses its capacitance.
     If you have two identical 1,000u  35v electrolytics and one is smaller, it will get hotter when operating in a circuit and that's why it is necessary to choose the largest electrolytic. 

    • Jestine Yong

      October 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Colin,

      Thanks for the clear explanation. By the way, the small e-caps that I have fixed into the LCD Monitor so far so good.



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