How to Read Capacitance Values and Rated Voltage

This article details how to read the capacitance values and rated voltage of capacitors.



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E series

Capacitance values are determined along the E series as follows.

The “E” in the E series stands for exponent, and the E12 series is completed by inserting the numbers 0 to 11 (12 numbers) into the “n” of the E12 series.

For Capacitors with an tolerance of ±10[%], using the E12 series values, 100[pF] is 90 to 110[pF], 120[pF] is 108 to 132[pF], and 150[pF] is 135 to 165[pF], so that the tolerance ranges overlap.

For resistors, the E12 series is often used, but for capacitors, the E3 or E6 series is often used.

E3/E6/E12/E24 series

E3
±40%
$\sqrt[3]{10^n}$
E6
±20%
$\sqrt[6]{10^n}$
E12
±10%
$\sqrt[12]{10^n}$
E24
±5%
$\sqrt[24]{10^n}$
1.01.01.01.0
1.1
1.21.2
1.3
1.51.51.5
1.6
1.81.8
2.0
2.22.22.22.2
2.4
2.72.7
3.0
3.33.33.3
3.6
3.93.9
4.3
4.74.74.74.7
5.1
5.65.6
6.2
6.86.86.8
7.5
8.28.2
9.1

Digit Numbering

Capacitor Digit Numbering

Ceramic capacitors, film capacitors, tantalum capacitors and some chip capacitors are indicated by numbers as follows. In addition to numbers, there are also special markings such as R (decimal point).

Usually, “pF” is used as the standard, but for larger capacitance, “uF” may be used as the standard.

Digit Numbering

1st digit2nd digitMultiplier
00$10^0$
11$10^1$
22$10^2$
33$10^3$
44$10^4$
55$10^5$
66$10^6$
77$10^7$
88$10^8$
99$10^9$
R(Decimal Point)R(Decimal Point)

The tolerance of capacitors are marked by alphabets as follows.

Tolerance

AlphabetTolerance
C±0.25[pF]
D±0.5[pF]
F±1[%]
G±2[%]
J±5[%]
K±10[%]
M±20[%]
Z-20[%], +80[%]

The rated voltage of the capacitors are marked by alphabets and numbers as follows.

Rated voltage(Alphabet and number)

Alphabet0123
A1101001000
B1.2512.51251250
C1.6161601600
D2202002000
E2.5252502500
F3.1531.53153150
G4404004000
H5505005000
J6.3636306300
K8808008000

For small size capacitors, only one letter of the alphabet is used, as shown below.

Rated Voltage(Alphabet only)

Alphabet0
j6.3
A10
C16
E25
V35
H50

Simplified Capacitor Chart

Simplified Capacitor Chart

ExampleCapacitance Value
10610[uF]
1051[uF]
1040.1[uF]
1030.01[uF]
1021000[pF]
101100[pF]
10010[pF]
(or 100[pF])

Since “104” (0.1uF) is often used, “104” is easy to remember as a standard.

Example:Ceramic Capacitor(Lead Type) etc.

224J 1H
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 224J 1H
  • 1st digit:2
  • 2nd digit:2
  • Multiplier:$10^4$
  • Tolerance:±5[%](J)
  • Rated Voltage:50[V](1H)
  • Capacitance Value:$$22 \times 10^4[pF]=220000[pF]=0.22[uF]±5[\%]$$

Capacitance value, tolerance, and rated voltage are marked.

473K J
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 473K J
  • 1st digit:4
  • 2nd digit:7
  • Multiplier:$10^3$
  • Tolerance:±10[%](K)
  • Rated Voltage:63[V](J)
  • Capacitance Value:$$47 \times 10^3[pF]=22000[pF]=0.047[uF]±10[\%]$$

The “1J” in the rated voltage marking is abbreviated to “J”. Please be careful not to mistake this for “j”, which is marked with a single letter of the alphabet only.

104
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 104
  • 1st digit:1
  • 2nd digit:0
  • Multiplier:$10^4$
  • Capacitance Value:$$10 \times 10^4[pF]=100000[pF]=0.1[uF]$$

Depending on the type of capacitor, the tolerance and rated voltage may be omitted.

101
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 101
  • 1st digit:1
  • 2nd digit:0
  • Multiplier:$10^1$
  • Capacitance Value:$$10 \times 10^1[pF]=100[pF]$$
100
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 100
  • 1st digit:1
  • 2nd digit:0
  • Multiplier:$10^0$
  • Capacitance Value:$$10 \times 10^0[pF]=10[pF]$$
100
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 100
  • Capacitance Value:$$100[pF]$$

If the capacitance value is less than 100[pF], read the marked number as it is.Note that in the case of 100[pF], there are two patterns of marking: “101” and “100”.

20
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 20
  • Capacitance Value:$$20[pF]$$
R33
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type R33
  • Decimal Point:R
  • 1st digit:3
  • 2nd digit:3
  • Capacitance Value:$$0.33[pF]$$

The “R” is marked as a decimal point.

6R8
Ceramic Capacitor Lead Type 6R8
  • 1st digit:6
  • Decimal Point:R
  • 2nd digit:8
  • Capacitance Value:$$6.8[pF]$$

The “R” is marked as a decimal point.

Example:Electrolytic Capacitor

100uF 50V
Electrolytic Capacitor 100uF 50V
  • Rated Voltage:50[V]
  • Capacitance Value:$$100[uF]$$

Lead electrolytic capacitors are marked with the capacitance value and rated voltage as they are.
Since they are polarized, the longer lead wire is “+” and the capacitor body is marked with a white line so that the “-” can be recognized.

47j
Electrolytic Capacitor 47j
  • Rated Voltage:6.3[V]
  • Capacitance Value:$$47[uF]$$

Chip electrolytic capacitors sometimes omit the unit of capacitance value or indicate the rated voltage with a single letter of the alphabet only.
Also, the capacitor body is marked with a “-” to indicate the polarity.

No marking

Chip capacitors are without marking as shown below due to their small size.

Chip Capacitor No marking

Once the model number of the chip capacitor is unknown, the only way to confirm it is to measure it with a capacitance meter or LCR meter.

Also, if the chip capacitors are examined up to their rated voltage, there is a possibility that too much voltage will be applied to them and destroy them.

Therefore, it may be better to discard chip capacitors whose model numbers are no longer known.

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