Forming capacitors for increased life?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
The questions....rule of thumb;
How often should "appliances" be plugged in?
How long should they be plugged in for?
Does simply plugging them in form the capacitors? Or do they need to be turned on?

Many of us know that many electrical apparatus needs to be plugged in periodically. The current serves to "form" the capacitors and keep the oil from leaching out. However....most consumers are oblivious to this.

My understanding is that the need for this "capacitor maintenance" is more important than ever. The race for cheaper goods often results in cheaper capacitors.  Plus I think there have been some changes in technology.

Just looking for ballpark estimates.

I'm sure that the exact answer varies with every single appliance.



First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,571 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The old tube radio caps needed forming, And the forming process was to apply a low voltage till leakage stopped, then step the voltage up and wait, repeat till you get to the operational voltage of roughly 200-300V

      I don't think any caps made since the 90's NEED it.   But the appliance needs to be turned on to charge the caps, just plugged in won't do much.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks....but why do so many appliances die while sitting there in an unused state? I've seen a lot of electrical devices quit working after sitting unused for awhile.

    A few people mentioned capacitors leaking oil while unused so I thought I was unto something.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,571 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Old caps leaking oil is not related to forming the plates in them,  Consumer electronics are made to last 10 years, older gear in the 50's would hit 20 years with consumables replaced (tubes)
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • JohannJohann Solar Expert Posts: 245 ✭✭✭
    I have a Maytag cloth dryer. By the time it hit 5 years of age it had 3 motors replaced. I done the last motor replacement myself and I put a 20 year old GE motor in it, so far I got 3 years out of the old motor and it is still running with it.
    Last I heard was that the average appliance will last 5 years now.

    Most capacitors used in appliances are dry capacitors. Window units and heat pumps/AC units may still have oil filled capacitors for starting compressors and fans, but I would not bet on it since companies are getting cheaper in quality on those things too.

    Wile sitting, circuit boards may build up corrosion, especially those made in china since they never got cleaned properly after they made the boards. I have seen new boards that where never used that had corrosion on them and the sad part was that they still where wrapped up.
    Some items are made with materials that are not compatible like a fan for example, brass bushing and a steel shaft and then lets say a aluminum fan blade will cause corrosion to set in because of electrolysis.
    Then they use seals and other items that are engineered to deteriorate or crack regardless if it is used or not.
     And not to forget that high tech oil that will separate into there different molecules and that may not blend together again. 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    Stuff is simply not built to last. They are using plastic gears in washing machine transmissions now. Word on the street seems to be....buy stuff that was built over ten years ago. aka: go back to go forward. This is bullshit by my estimation.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • DRickeyDRickey Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭
    People who are into washers and driers the way this forum is into solar swear by Speed King and Miele, commercial systems designed for Laundromats that will last the next thing to forever in residential use, and are designed to be repairable (which consumer grade stuff isn't, anymore).
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    ^^^That is what I have seen. The big box stores don't carry Speed King either. They are simple and durable and cost a little more. Why we need to flash washers and dryers is beyond me. I guess Big Brother needs to know how often we do our laundry. Been reading that put flash electronics in USB drives and multi-outlets....pretty much everything it looks like. A giant security risk having "backdoors" anywhere and everywhere.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • kc8adukc8adu Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭
    the cheap and nasty caps in modern consumer grade stuff will rot whether you use them or not.
    the smt types even worse.most repairs i do nowadays is related to crap caps failing.vintage stuff like my sansui g33000 need complete cap replacement but those have served their time and then some.doing a rebuild of a yaesu ft-102 right now.all electrolytic caps get replaced.but it still worked fine other than a slight hum on transmit.
    you can still buy quality caps they just cost a bit more.
    and to me appliances with electronics are trash.esp those with internet.i will not connect them to my network.good way to become part of a botnet.going back to good old stuff and fixing it up gives better life than any new stuff.our family has had a ge monitor top since the 70's and it is still going with no repairs.i will no doubt inherit it and possibly someone else after me.it was made in 1928!
    getting ready to paint one that is beat to death.was in a garage that was being torn down.you guessed it.it still works fine.
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