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Capacitors are often used in different configurations to achieve different values required for a circuit. Tube amp power supplies often make use of capacitors in series or parallel for a multitude of reasons. Two equations can be used to find the total capacitance of these circuits.

Capacitors are in series when chained together in a single line. The charging current flowing is common to all capacitors in this chain. This is because the current flowing through the first capacitor has one path through each of the following capacitors in the chain. The total capacitance is equal the sum of the reciprocal of each capacitor’s value used.

Be sure to convert each capacitor’s value to the same units before using them in the equation.

Capacitors are in parallel when they share the same two nodes. The voltage across each capacitor in this configuration is common. The total capacitance is the sum of each capacitor’s value used in parallel.