4 Signs Your CT Tube is in Trouble – Guide

by | Jan 4, 2021 | CT

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Computerized tomography or CT scanners are an essential part of medical facilities, as they create detailed images of the body that provide more information than regular X-ray images. They offer doctors crucial pictures of a patient’s soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones, allowing them to make more accurate diagnoses. However, when one breaks down, it can be very expensive to repair.

Watching out for signs of trouble in your CT scanners can help you save money, as you can swoop in to have a professional look at it or purchase CT parts before it’s too late. Here are four signs your CT tube is due for repair or replacement: 


You Hear a Continuous Humming Sound

When you perform a scan, the tube’s anode will regularly be spinning, so you should expect to hear some noise, like whirring and clicking. However, if you start to hear a loud, continuous humming noise, it means that the tube housing’s bearings are beginning to wear out. If you have difficulty distinguishing the noises, it may help to have a technician on-site, as they can point you towards the compatible CT parts that you can purchase right away. If you wait too long, the CT scanner may break down or stop working altogether.


You Receive Scan Interruptions

If you receive arc-related error messages during a scan, it’s another sign that your CT tube is in trouble. Although it’s normal for your CT scanner to tolerate some electrical arcing, receiving a lot of them indicates something wrong with your machine. Since it prevents the machine from completing scans, you’ll want to resolve this right away. You can check your log for arc-related error messages, which you can clear to resume the scan. However, if they become too frequent, you’ll want to repair or replace your CT tube.


Your CT Scanner Stops for Too Long

CT scanners typically stop between techniques once they reach the ceiling of its operating temperature, thus switching into tube cooling. Doing this allows the tube to achieve more comfortable temperatures so it can operate more efficiently. However, if it starts to take more frequent and more prolonged breaks, it indicates a problem with your CT tube. Make sure to note how often this occurs, as it will clue you into an approaching replacement or repair of your CT system.


It Shuts Down Immediately

A warning sign you’ll want to keep in mind is if you receive an immediate shutdown error, as it means that the CT tube is arcing too frequently, pointing to a problem with the tube itself. Arcing often occurs when the tube is cold and hasn’t gone through its warm-up sequence yet, which is critical to perform at the start of each scanning schedule. Once you see this message, it may be a sign that your CT tube is breaking down.



If you spot any of these signs in your CT scanner, you’ll need to have imaging equipment professionals check your system and determine the cause of the problem. Fortunately, you can prevent these issues from occurring with early intervention and if the tube hasn’t sustained too much damage. However, if it’s too late, you will need to source CT parts to replace the tube.

DirectMed Parts is the most trusted and knowledgeable source for medical imaging parts and services, including MRI and CT parts and coils. With our various parts and equipment, we can maximize your equipment value. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help!

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