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Checking an electrolytic capacitor without an ESR meter

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Author: Tony

Checking an electrolytic capacitor without an ESR meter

If you don't have an ESR meter for checking an electrolytic capacitor, you can get a good idea of its condition using a capacitance meter and a can of freezer.

Connect the component under test to the meter, preferably via crocodile clips. If the capacitance reading is significantly below the nominal value, you need go no further. If, however, the reading seems to be OK, spray the capacitor with the freezer and observe the capacitance reading.

With a faulty item, you will see the reading decrease fairly rapidly. Continue to apply freezer until the value is approximately 75% of what it should be to confirm that it is definitely faulty.

This method has worked well for me for many years.

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