How to Read the Capacitor Value

How to Read the Capacitor Value?


Determine Unit of Measurement:

The basic unit of capacitance is the farad (F). The amount is much too big for normal circuits, capacitors so the house is equipped with one of the following units:

1 uF, 1 mF = 1 microfarad = 10-6 farad

mF is the official abbreviation for millifarads or 10-3 Farad.

  • 1 = 1 nF, nano farads = 10-9 Farad
  • 1 pF , MMF, or UUF pico farad = 1 = 1 = micro micro farad 10-12 Farad

Read the capacitance value. Most large capacitors have a capacitance value that is written on the side. Small variations are common, so look for the value that most closely matches the units above. It may be necessary to adjust for the following: • Ignore capital letters on the device. For example, “MF” is just a variation on the “mf”. (This is definitely not mega farad, even if the official abbreviation SI).


  • Do not be thrown by “fd”. This is just an abbreviation for Farad. For example, “mmfd” is similar to “mmf”.
  • Beware of single-letter tags such as “475m” often found in smaller capacitors. See below for instructions.

Look for a tolerance value. Some capacitors calls a tolerance, or the maximum expected range of the capacitance with respect to the listed price. It does not matter at all circuits, but you may need to pay attention to if you need a certain amount of capacitor. For example, a capacitor labeled “6000uF + 50% / – 70%” even a capacity as high as 6000uF + (6000 * 0.5) = 9000uF or as low as 6000 uF – (6000uF * 0.7) = 1800UF. • If there are no percentage in search of one letter after the capacitance value or on its own line. It may encode a tolerance value described below.



Check the voltage. If there is space, the voltage manufacturers in the body of the capacitor typically contains a number followed by a V, VDC, VDCW or WV (for “operating voltage”). This is the highest voltage capacitor is designed to handle.

1 kV = 1000 volts.

  • See below if you suspect that your capacitor uses a code bias (a single letter or a number and a letter). If there is no symbol at all, provided the cap is only low voltage circuits.
  • If you are building an AC circuit, looking for a capacitor specifically for VAC. Do not use a DC capacitor, unless you have a thorough understanding of how to convert the voltage, and how this type of capacitor safely used in AC applications.



Look for a + or – sign. If you see one of them next to a terminal, the capacitor is polarized. As long as you connect + end of the capacitor to the positive side of the circuit , or the capacitor can eventually lead to a short or even explode. When there is no + or – . You can orient the capacitor in both directions.




Some condensers utilize a color bar , or to show a ring -shaped depression polarity . Traditionally , assigns the mark – to terminate on an aluminum electrolytic capacitor (which is usually formed as cans) . Tantalum electrolytic capacitors (which is very small), the + sign indicates the end ( Ignore the bar when it contradicts a + or – sign, or if a non – electrolytic capacitor)


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Posted by on Jul 30 2016. Filed under Latest Updates, ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONICS, Capacitor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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