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Safe to use a SMD zener diode with a higher reverse voltage?

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If a circuit originally used a 12 volt SMD zener diode, can I safely use something higher? E.g. a zener diode with a 20 volt reverse breakdown voltage?
 

Nigel Goodwin

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It depends entirely on what the zener is doing in the circuit, but it's VERY unlikely - it's also quite likely to cause damage elsewhere.

Consider you have a car with 12 inch wheels, you replace one of them with a 20 inch wheel - how well do you think it will work.
 

dknguyen

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Probably not. It's probably going to have the same effect as replacing a 12V regulator with a 20V. Something is going to blow up.
 
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crutschow

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Most Helpful Member
Deleted post.
 
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hyedenny

Active Member
Someone doesn't know what a zener diode does...
It's entirely different than other components' -- like capacitors -- voltage ratings.
A zener diode is like a voltage regulator, so specified voltage is of primary importance!
 
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