Capacitor Color Codes with Working

The system that uses various types of colors to display various information is termed as the color code or color code system. The red color is used to signify danger and white color is used to signify safety in a color code system adopted by the United Kingdom. Similarly, the color code is being used in various systems such as electronics, video games, navigation, military, social functions, and so on. Let us consider the color code used in electronics, phase, neutral, and ground wires are represented by specific color code. Majorly, electronic color code is used for representing various electronic components and their values such as resistor color code, capacitor color code, and inductor color code.

Capacitor Color Code

The electronic color code systems are various types in which, well known resistor color code system is used for identifying the value of resistors. Similarly, the tolerance or voltage value or capacitance values are represented on the capacitor’s body using alphanumeric characters. In the capacitor color code system, if the capacitance value consists of a decimal point, then it is not easy to read the capacitance value which results in misreading. Thus, decimal points are mostly avoided and Pico (p) or Nano (n) are used to represent decimal point number’s weight and position.

Different Types of Capacitors
Different Types of Capacitors

There are various types of capacitors such as ceramic disc, ceramic tubular, button mica molded mica, dipped mica, air trimmers, paper and film capacitors which are represented using various types of capacitor color codes and capacitor codes. The capacitor calculator can be used to find the value of various types of capacitors.

Color Coding of Capacitor

To understand about capacitor color code, primarily we must know various parameters of capacitors such as capacitor value, tolerance of capacitor, working voltage of the capacitor, and leakage current of the capacitor.

Capacitor Color Code Different Bands
Capacitor Color Code Different Bands

In general, four or more than four colors or dots are used to mark capacitors. If we consider a four color band capacitor, then the first and second colors marked on the capacitor represents the value of the capacitor and the third color band represents the decimal multiplier in picofarads. Additional fourth or color bands thereon represent various things for various types of capacitors.

Capacitor Color Code
Capacitor Color Code

The value is represented on the capacitor by using capacitor color code or directly. The voltage (maximum) up to which the capacitor can withstand (before dielectric breakdown) is called as working voltage of the capacitor and capacitor voltage color code is represented in below table. In every capacitor, practically there will be small leakage current which is zero in ideal capacitors.

Capacitor Voltage Color Code
Capacitor Voltage Color Code

If the capacitor is having five bands, then the first band represents the first number of capacitor color code table shown in the above figure. Second band represents a second number from the chart and the third band represents the number of zeros. The fourth band represents the tolerance value which is usually indicated by black-20%, white-10, and green-5%. The fifth band represents the working voltage of the capacitor (example 250V-red and 400V-yellow).

Ceramic Capacitor Color Code Chart
Ceramic Capacitor Color Code Chart

The capacitor color code for ceramic capacitors is shown in the above figure in which first column represents different types of colors, the second column represents the value indicated by a specific color. Third column indicates the tolerance value (sub-columns for above and below 10pf) of the capacitor, fourth column indicates the temperature coefficient. In general, ceramic capacitors are labeled and if the number is less than one, then capacitor value is picofarads and if the number is greater than one, then the capacitor value is microfarads. In few capacitor color code representation ‘R’ is used as decimal, i.e., ‘4R7’ is used instead of ‘4.7’.

Hope, this article given a basic information regarding the capacitor color code. Let us discuss about a few examples to know how to find capacitor value using capacitor color code. Consider a metalized polyester capacitor as shown in the below figure which consists of five bands.

Capacitance Calculation using Capacitor Color Code
Capacitance Calculation using Capacitor Color Code

The five band capacitor shown in the above figure value can be determined using the capacitor color code chart discussed above. The value of five band capacitor is found to be having a capacitance value of 47nF with tolerance value of 10% and 250V working voltage. The capacitance tolerance value can be determined using the letter code table as shown below.

Capacitor Tolerance Letter Code Table
Capacitor Tolerance Letter Code Table

Consider another type of capacitor on which capacitor value is represented as shown in the figure below. Thus, the capacitor value can be found as, the first digit is 3, second digit is 3, third digit ‘3’ is multiplier in picofarads, and ‘J’ represents the tolerance value of the capacitor. Hence, capacitor value is 33pF multiplied by 1000 (multiplier is 3 = three zeros) and is equal to 33nF or 0.033uF.

Capacitor
Capacitor

So, it is easy to find the value of the capacitor using the code printed on the body of capacitor, either in picofarads or nanofarads or microfarads from the list of codes given in the table below.

Capacitor Letter Code Table
Capacitor Letter Code Table

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2 Comments

  1. giving the good ideas for basic electronics

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