How to Repair Capacitors on Computer Motherboards and Other Electronic Devices.

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Introduction: How to Repair Capacitors on Computer Motherboards and Other Electronic Devices.

This instructable will show you how to diagnose and repair bad capacitors on computer circuitry saving you money on new appliances and preventing landfills from filling up. 

WARNING RISK OF ELECTRICAL SHOCK CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Always unplug electronic devices before opening them!  Even after opening make shore you discharge all the capacitors with a discharge rod.
 

Step 1: Materials

You will need.

a Soldering iron
a cutting pliers
gloves
safety glasses
rosin core solder
the replacement capacitors
an anti static band (if your working with delicate circuitry)
a de soldering pump (optional)
and de soldering wick (optional)




Step 2: Diagnosing the Bad Capacitor(s).

You should be looking for capacitors that are bulging slightly at the top or bottom, have black, brown or white goo oozing from the top, or that are pushing themselves away from the board.

Step 3: Removeing the Capacitors

  Desolder the bad capacitor(s) from the board. Don't immediately throw the bad capacitors away, we'll need them for the next step.  Also not the direction of the gray colored band on the side of the capacitor. The new capacitor must be inserted the same way.  Wear eye protection sometimes the bad capacitors can explode because there under pressure.

Step 4: Adding the New Capacitors

The bad capacitor(s) should have markings on the side like for instance 10v 100µf.  replace the capacitor(s) With ones with the same markings.  You can use a capacitor with the same or higher voltage. But don't change the capacitance.

Step 5: You're Done


The application you changed the capacitors on should work perfectly now.

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    user

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    71 Comments

    Thanks for the instructable. Is there any need/recommendation to also change ceramic capacitors (or other components)?

    I am delighted to know this site exits, please keep this job up. However the circuit on which the capacitors are to be changed should fully be dead or completely be discharged before replacement or repairs take place on it.

    filing luckly

    YES U CAN THE IMPORTENT IS THE uf THE VOLT U NEED IS 6.3 AND MORE.

    Can I replace a 1000uf 6.3v for a 1000uf 10v cap? please help me ///

    many times I have done these replacements. After changing bad capacitors with a new ones all works great. If you would like to see how I done this follow my blog stuckngo.com

    user

    I purchased a used benchtop power supply. As soon as I plugged it in at least one capacitor popped. I am trying to evaluate whether I can repair the device by replacing the capacitor or if I will need to perform a more in depth repair. When a capacitor pops, what is the likelyhood of other components being damaged? What type of components would be most sensitive to the failure? What happens electrically as a capacitor fails? Is it equivalent to a short or an open?

    Capacitors are cheap. I would replace it and see what happens. Capacitors filter out ripples in the curent or noise. They basically act sort of like mini surge protectors. You may or may not have damaged somthing else when it blew.

    Great Instructable!

    Many years ago I did some research on these capacitors. It turns out some companies had stolen some designs from a Japanese manufacturer and left out some of the chemical formula. So millions of these were put into products.

    Safety: All though not a major concern, motherboards can be subject to static electricity damage. So try to ground yourself to earth ground especially when working on carpet. In the U.S. all those screws in between the AC sockets are tied to earth ground.

    The author is correct that polarity is very important. The little grey stripes indicate the negative side. And higher voltage ratings doesn't matter. The voltage rating is just the maximum voltage that can be applied to the component.

    And the author is also correct that shape and size don't matter as long as you can get it to fit and soldered.

    "Many years ago I did some research on these capacitors. It turns out some companies had stolen some designs from a Japanese manufacturer and left out some of the chemical formula. So millions of these were put into products."

    I've read this also, but it does not make sense.

    Would an established capacitor maker, with their own magic brew just take another formula without testing? It just does not make sense.