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Electrolytic capacitors.

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by Chops54, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    I'm interested to know if electrolytic capacitors can survive being subjected to wrong polarity. I have a pair here in a split rail power supply ( 1000uf @ 25V ) that have been run arse about for thirty seconds or so. I can see slight bulging on the top vents. I'm going to replace them anyway but I'd appreciate your thoughts.
     
  2. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Pretty much no. You MIGHT get away with it for a small fraction of a second but not longer. You were very lucky they didn`t explode after 30 seconds.
     
  3. Mynamemynaim

    Mynamemynaim 38yrs a Naim owner

    I think the bulge says it all...
     
    MJS and Barrymagrec like this.
  4. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    In one way or another, electrolytic cap's are anodised (oxidised) to produce the dielectric. Reverse the polarity and you de-anodise (reduce) the dielectric, ultimately destroying the dielectric. You end up with a resistor, actually a very low R resistor, fairly quickly. Details depend on design and the metal used as the anode (which is what is anodised).
     
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    /\ This. They are toast.
     
  6. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    Thanks all. I’ll order some replacements.
     

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