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Old June 24, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Galcobar Galcobar is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Richmond, B.C.
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And age -- capacitors age over time. Normal aging leaves the capacitor at about 50 per cent of its nominal capacity, whereas bad capacitors can drop as below 10 per cent of their original capacity.

Failure such as you've described where the capacitor breaks its top vent (which is there to allow a slow leak as opposed to a full-out explosion) is indicative of electrolyte failure, where the water in the electrolyte releases hydrogen gas. Quality capacitors can last decades in consumer machines, bad capacitors not so much.
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