How to locate a damaged capacitor

If you are one of those people who like to open their electronic devices when they stop working, this is the article for you. The malfunctioning of a machine can be due to many factors, however, one of the most frequent is the failure of capacitors..

These parts serve for the accumulation of energy. They are like small reservoirs that gradually fill up with energy for later use when needed. Normally these elements usually stop working due to a power surge, a short circuit or simply due to the passage of time. There are several types of capacitors that are usually differentiated mainly by their shape and storage size.

Types of capacitors.

The most common and easiest to replace are the ones on the right, which are lens-shaped and cylinder-shaped. The capacitors on the left are usually used for smaller chips and require more work to replace.

How to locate a broken capacitor

Locating a faulty capacitor is usually an easy task, although it can become more or less complicated depending on the condition of the part.

The easiest way to find defective capacitors is to simply observing. When these parts break down, they often explode or leak their internal fluid. They can also be burnt or swollen. In the following pictures we can see some capacitors that stopped working.

Defective capacitor.

Capacitors on the verge of exploding.

Broken capacitors.

Swollen condenser.

Another, more technical way to find them is by using a multimeter o multimeter. This device is used to identify electrical problems and to check the continuity of the current. In this case we have two options:

Use a multimeter that reads directly in check that the capacitor has the farads marked on it.

Using a multimeter with voltage measurementto check that after a while the voltage is dropping. It is less accurate.


To make the measurement correctly, the red lead of the multimeter (positive pole) must be connected to the positive pin of the capacitor and the black lead to the negative pin.

How to change a capacitor

Replacing the capacitor is a very easy task after troubleshooting. All we have to do is remove the old one and insert the new one.. To do this, undo the old solder with the soldering iron and remove the faulty capacitor. Then, taking care to put each pole in its place, we solder the replacement.

6 thoughts on “Cómo localizar un condensador estropeado”

  1. Hello, you must look for the schematic of the board that your TV uses, otherwise it is not possible.

  2. Rafael Acosta

    I opened a 4.5 inch SILVER KING television. A capacitor exploded and was lost. How do I know what the capacitor reference is as I don't have the electrical circuit of the set ?

  3. genrris serrada

    if i measure the positive and negative of a capacitor on the board and it shows continuity, what conclusion can i draw?

  4. There are ESR (In circuit) testers that can be used to measure without having to desolder the capacitor, such as the ATLAS ESR70. Regards

  5. electrolytic

    If you read a capacitor placed on a board, you are not reading the capacitor, you are reading the capacity of the whole board, it is like measuring a resistor placed in parallel to another resistor, you are not reading its value, you are reading the value of the 2 resistors placed in parallel.

    1. Alberto Navarro

      Thank you for the clarification, it is a very important thing in electronics to always keep in mind.

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