Is something wrong with the capacitors in your computer? When it comes to troubleshooting, you’ll often find guides online refer to capacitors, especially within the motherboard. But what exactly is a capacitor and how do they work in computing products?

Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about what capacitors are, how they’re used and whether they can be repaired.

What Is A Capacitor?

A capacitor is similar to a battery in the fact that it stores electrical energy. You can actually make a very simple one yourself using a piece of paper and two pieces of aluminium foil. It wouldn’t be the most effective capacitor, but it would work. 

The ones you buy however, come with two metal plates which are separated by a non-conducting substance. A number of substances can be used such as porcelain, Mica, Teflon or ceramic. The type of substance used will depend upon what type of capacitor is being used. Some may be better for high voltage use, while others may be better for high frequency use.

How Do They Work?

So, how capacitors work in computing? Well, they’re typically used to protect the other components within a PC. It conditions the power within the computer, sending it to surrounding components to ensure they have a consistent electrical supply.

The components within a PC can be extremely sensitive to changes in voltage. So, the capacitor helps by protecting them against electrical surges. It basically absorbs the power spikes to stop the components from getting fried. 

Can They Be Repaired?

Like any other component, a capacitor is prone to damage from wear and tear. They can also bulge or blow causing them to stop working entirely. Unfortunately, if they do become damaged, they cannot be repaired. 

Instead, you’ll need to invest in a new one. You’ll find RS Components supplies an affordable range of capacitors. So, if it does need to be replaced, you won’t be too much out of pocket. However, due to how important the capacitor is, it’s important to make sure you’re fitting them correctly. Ideally, you’ll want to get an expert to install the new capacitor for you. 

Overall, capacitors play an important role in protecting your computers components. If they do break, it’s important to get them fixed right away. This will help to prevent the other components from shutting down and from causing potentially permanent damage.