Replace leaking electrolytic caps with solid?

Thread Starter

DMahalko

Joined Oct 5, 2008
182
Is there any easy, uncomplicated way to go about replacing leaking electrolytic capacitors with solid-state capacitors that will not fail?

I understand that all capacitors have performance curves that affect how it works in a circuit, and that a capacitor of similar voltage and farad rating may still fail to work properly if it has a different internal construction.

This may not be an issue if all the capacitor does is filter AC to DC in a rectifier, but it may drastically affect the operation of an oscillator.

Electrolytics are used mainly because they offer high density capacity at low cost. Recapping with solid may be much more expensive, but also may extend the life of the device ten times longer than with electrolytic.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
19,041
In oscillator circuits they are often small value and can be subbed with non-polarized.
Your best bet is to obtain high quality electrolytic (non Asian etc) and ensure sufficiently high of a voltage rating
Max.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
4,509
This may not be an issue if all the capacitor does is filter AC to DC in a rectifier, but it may drastically affect the operation of an oscillator.
A capacitor does not filter AC to DC, in the case of power supply filtering all it does is filter a DC signal to clean up any AC component. Simply put it is opposing a voltage change.

I have never heard of a solid state capacitor but if we drop the state we can have a "solid capacitor". A solid capacitor contains a solid organic polymer, while electrolytic capacitors use a common liquid electrolyte, hence, the terms solid capacitor versus electrolytic capacitors. Yes, in most cases we can replace a liquid electrolytic capacitor with a solid capacitor of the same or greater capacitance value and working voltage rating. It's a matter of the exact application.

Ron
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
8,919
Recapping with solid may be much more expensive, but also may extend the life of the device ten times longer than with electrolytic.
Most of my test equipment is from the 80's and I haven't had to replace a single failed electrolytic capacitor; no shorted tantalums yet either.

Some swear by "recapping" old equipment regardless of whether any of them are actually bad. I'm of the opinion that they only need to be replaced if they cause a malfunction.
 
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