Have capacitors polarity

Marking of capacitors

Because there is little space on ceramic and film capacitors due to their small size, various methods are used to abbreviate the lettering.

  1. In the best case, the unit is printed on it. p stands for picofarad, that n for nanofarad. The lower case letter must be replaced by a comma.
  2. Sometimes the capacity is printed in coded form. It has three digits and is given without a unit. The capacitance then corresponds to the first two digits in picofarads. The last digit gives the exponent of ten (10n) at.
  3. The unit and the decimal point are missing. In this case the specification is in picofarads (ceramic capacitor).
  4. The unit is missing, but the decimal point is present. In this case the specification is in microfarads (film capacitor).

Identification of the unit for capacitors

Basically, lowercase letters stand for the unit. Whereby F is omitted for Farad.

Letter p = picofarad n = nanofarad µ = microfarad
multiplierx 1x 1,000x 1,000,000

Tolerance marking for capacitors

Capital letters that follow the numerical value refer to the tolerance value of the capacity.

In the case of the tolerance of the capacity, the letters B, C, D, F and G are given in absolute values, the others as a rule in percent. Which tolerance now applies depends on the capacitance of the capacitor. The limit is 10 pF.

Code letterTolerance at C <10 pFTolerance at C> 10 pF
B.± 0.1 pF-
C.± 0.25 pF-
D.± 0.5 pF±0,5 %
E.-±25 %
F.± 1 pF±1 %
G± 2 pF±2 %
H-±2,5 %
J-±5 %
K-±10 %
M.-±20 %
N-±30 %

Examples of marking capacitors:

12pJ12 pF with ± 5% tolerance
47nZ47 nF with -20 ... + 100% tolerance
471470 pF (47 × 101) without tolerance code
105K1 µF (10 × 105) with ± 10% tolerance
47K47 pF with ± 10% tolerance
22002200 pF = 2.2 nF without tolerance code
0.470.47 µF = 470 nF without tolerance code
.022K0.022 µF = 22 nF with ± 10% tolerance

Polarity of electrolytic capacitors

The polarity only affects polarized capacitors. Usually these are electrolytic capacitors. For example, tantalum and aluminum electrolytic capacitors.

Teardrop shapeThe plus pole can be recognized by a plus sign printed on the capacitor. Like the rest of the lettering, the plus is often very difficult to see.
Radial / axial / snap-inThe minus pole is clearly recognizable by a thick black ring or a bar. Sometimes the plus pole is also marked with a plus sign. Confusion is definitely ruled out.
V-Chip / SALThe minus pole can be clearly identified by a black bar.
SMDThe plus pole is marked by a bar on the housing. This bar can easily be confused with a minus sign. This is where the marking differs from common electrolytic capacitors.

Color codes of capacitors

There are also capacitors that are not labeled, but are printed with a color code like resistors.
The color code can be deciphered with the help of this table.

colour1st ring2nd ring3rd ring4th ring4th ring5th ring
 1st digit2nd digitmultipliertolerance
C <10 pF
C> 10 pF
black00x 1 pF 20 % 
brown11x 10 pF0.1 pF1 %100 V
red22x 100 pF0.25 pF2 %200 V
orange33x 1 nF  300 V
yellow44x 10 nF  400 V
green55x 100 nF0,5 %5 %500 V
blue66   600 V
violet77   700 V
Gray88x 0.01 pF  800 V
White99x 0.1 pF1 pF10 %900 V
gold     1000 V
silver     2000 BC
    20 % 500 V

Color codes of tantalum electrolytic capacitors

This color code is z. B. used by ITT, Siemens, Bosch and Valvo.

colour1st ring2nd ring3rd ring4th ring
 1st digit2nd digitmultiplierOperational
black00x 110 V
brown11x 101.5V
red22x 10035 V (pink)
orange33 35 V (pink)
yellow44 6.3V
green55 16 V
blue66 20 V
violet77x 0.001 
Gray88x 0.0125 V
White99x 0.13 V

The manufacturer Union Carbide (Kemet) uses the following color code.

colour1st ring2nd ring3rd ring4th ring
 1st digit2nd digitmultiplierOperational
black00 4 V
brown11106 V
red2210010 V
orange331 00015 V
yellow4410 00020 V
green55100 00025 V
blue661 000 00035 V
violet7710 000 00050 V

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