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When putting a resistor in a line, does it matter which way the resistor faces? When placing a capacitor across two lines with a resistor in one of them?
 

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No, you can orient resistors in either direction. You have to be careful to orient capacitors and diodes the right way (for the circuit design), though.

What are you making/fixing? I recommend that you get someone with a little experience over there to help you. There is a potential for a fire hazard or personal injury if you don't know what your doing.
 

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Some capacitors ARE polarity conscious. Others are not. If there is a Plus Sign "+" or, a minus "-" sign then polarity does matter. These capacitors can be very small to very large. Tantalum capacitors are used very frequently because they have a very high "capacity", measured in small portions of a farad, in a small size. If your capacitor is in a metal can, it is almost certainly polarity conscious.

Other capacitors may look like a small button with two wires coming out the bottom (usually). These are not polarity conscious.

Remember also that capacitors are rated to only be usable up to their rated voltage. Exceeding this voltage, or installing a polarity conscious capacitor incorrectly can actually cause the capacitor to explode.

Pictured are two types of polarized capacitors an electrolytic and a Tantalum. Please note that tantalum caps can come in many shapes, colors and sizes.









Here is a sample of a non-polarized capacitor


 

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Resisitors do not follow polarity ( direction of currnet flow) many caps do. As a rule of thumb capaciorts have a - sign on the body of the cap indicating the negative side there are two (legs) that conect the cap to the circuit and anode and a cathode the anode leg is longer and is the positive side of the cap the same holds true for diodes.
 
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