Capacitor Color Code

A capacitor stores electric charge. Basically a capacitor consists of two metal plates separated by an insulating material called “dielectric”. When connected to a power source such as battery, the capacitor charges up until the potential difference between its terminals become equal to the e.m.f of the battery.

The capacitance of the capacitor is its ability to store charge and is measured in terms of Farads. The capacitance depends on the area of the plates and the distance between them and also the type of dielectric used.

Capacitance = Q / V

Where Q is the charge and V is the voltage.
Thus the capacitance is the charge divided by voltage.

The important parameters of the capacitor are

1. Value
Value is marked on the capacitor directly or in colour codes
2. Tolerance
It indicates how much more or less the actual capacitance of the capacitor
3. Working voltage
It is the maximum voltage a capacitor can withstand before the dielectric breakdown
4. Leakage current
There is always small leakage current in all capacitors. Ideally this should be zero. But no capacitor is perfect without leakage current. Tantalum capacitor is comparatively better with minimum leakage current

Colour coding

Like resistors, some capacitors are colour coded to indicate value, tolerance, working voltage etc. These colour bands are numbered from the top of the capacitor to the base. The colour coding is similar to

Resistor colour coding

Capacitor color code

First band – First number of colour code chart
Second band – Second number of colour code chart
Third band – Number of Zeros
Fourth band – Tolerance (Black 20%, White 10 % and Green 5 %)
Fifth band – Appears as body colour. Working voltage (Red 250V, Yellow 400 V)

Colour code of Resistor


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  • Ram nivas

    sir,please send a formula for calculation capacity of capacitor by colour code ….

  • Harshal Rathod

    great this is very used full for me and my friends..thanx ..Sir

  • D.Mohankumar

    I havent seen that.If you have an image send it in my mail

    • arjun.karnaa

      This is very useful to the electronic students.

    • Ed

      Sir, so happy you have responded to me so quickly,,thankyou.
      I am not good with computers so I haven’t thee knowledge of how to send this,, but I can direct you to a website that use’s these types of capacitor’s at times in his circuits.
      It is “” and it is in his “hydrogen PWM #5 overlay”,,where he has two 1uf’s and though his are yellow,,I have many blue ones with colored dots I salvaged from dicarded circuit boards,,”I do that with thrown out electronics”.
      I know they are cap’s because they will hold a charge and some where in the cyber world,,,I found a link by accident that said these were orinally milatary equipment items,, I still find them at times in various other boards.

      Did you get my question on the “sync signal seperator” circuit you had posted?
      I have many monitors and TV crt’s taht I would like to find a way to turn into “simple ossilliscope” for the weekend hobbyiest as myself to at the least veiw the wave forms of function generator/ PWM’s and the like,,though not an accurate measuring devise,,these would I believe be helpful to see the accomplishment of the amature builderof these generators and circuits,,, Thank you, for the timely response and this site and all you do for us Mr.Mohankumar! would it be alright to address you as “Mr. D.?

  • Ed

    Yes,,Sir,can you please tell me how to Identify the ones that are round blue colored balls with dots of color on them?

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