[AMRadio] Oil filled capacitors

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Mon May 19 13:26:20 EDT 2008

Maybe I've just been lucky, but in the 49 years I have been in amateur 
radio, I have seen no more than 2 or 3 failed oil capacitors.  They were 
either open or had a dead short.  I have used caps with oil residue around 
the terminals with never a mishap. I have never had one to blow up.

I have heard of oil-filled pole pigs catching on fire and burning while 
mounted on utility poles.

The only kind of capacitors I have had to blow up have been electrolytics. 
I have had a few to explode like firecrackers, and fill the area with stuff 
that looks like cotton wads, and stinks to high heaven.

Many "oil filled" caps are really paper caps, with the paper impregnated in 

I probably have enough PCB oil in my shack, inside capacitors and 
transformers, to fill the gas tank on a SUV.

I always carefully wash my hands after handling oil capacitors, but other 
than that, just treat them like any other radio component.

Don k4kyv 

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