Exploding Capacitor Carnage
Why exploding capacitors? Why desecrate such a useful, universal electronic component?
I recently did a post on electrical safety. In it, there was a section on capacitors where I mentioned that small, low voltage capacitors can be dangerous because they can explode if the conditions are right.
This got me thinking what if I were to produce a video of this phenomenon to demonstrate it? The idea also sounded like a load of fun, so I went ahead with it.
In this video I’ll show you two separate circumstances in which capacitors can explode. Let’s kill some caps!
Exploding Capacitor Safety
If you want to see exploding capacitors at your own workbench, you need to be safe. Have a pair of safety glasses and a fire extinguisher on hand.
Do NOT connect the power cord to the AC outlet before connecting the alligator clips to your exploding capacitor victim! If you plug the cord in first, then grab the alligator clips you will get a nasty shock or maybe even a 911 call.
Also, once you connect the clips to your cap (before plugging the cord in, silly), be sure they’re not touching before you plug into your AC outlet. If they touch, you will have a short which will cause a different type of fireworks and trip the breaker.
A capacitor exploding with DC can hurt just as much as one exploding from AC if you happen to be holding it in your hand or have it near your face. So don’t touch or hold the capacitor once powered up and don’t put your face (or any part of your body) near it.
And remember, the point of this video is to show you what NOT to do (in a fun way) when designing circuits and building projects.