Troubleshooting an MRI Machine

MRI Machine

There are many different issues that can cause problems in an MRI machine.  Here are a few of the most common problems faced by MRI technicians.

MRI helium level is low:

If your MRI machine is alerting you about the helium level most likely its because it hasn’t been monitored as it should be.  It could also mean that there is failure somewhere in your cooling system, causing the helium to burn off too fast.

If this occurs, schedule a fill immediately!

Power Outages:

If your system is glitching or shutting down, check the breakers. This problem usually occurs many times after bad weather or a storm, and can be resolved by resetting the breakers for the section of the building where the MRI machine is located.

Since weather is unpredictable and breaker failure can occur at any time, it’s very important to know where the proper breakers are located in your building. Getting your machine back and running quickly, will prevent a decrease in productivity.

Image artifacts:

Image artifacts are usually related to wear and tear of the MRI machine coils.  When image problems occur most technicians automatically think there is a problem with the components of the MRI itself, but it is actually the coils that are causing the issue.

In order to fix an imaging problem you will have to ship your MRI coils out for off-site repairs.  MRI coils are relatively easy to repair andurnaround time for this type of repair is rather quick. Some repair providers will also offer loaner coils that will keep your machine up and running while your coil is getting repaired. You should inspect the condition of your MRI coils frequently, and talk to your service provider about having a field engineer do the same during your regularly scheduled preventative maintenance checks. Sometimes if a problem is caught early enough, the MRI coil repair can be scheduled around a time of lower patient activity.

Heat exchanger temperature errors:

If the water pumping through your system is too hot, your MRI machine will lock-up and stop scanning until the temperature can be brought back down to specified levels.

Make sure you know who you should contact for help if this happens. A good place to start is the heat exchanger. First check to see if its LCD display is lit. Many models also have breakers on them, so check to see if the breaker is set. Next, check the incoming water line. The water should be about the same temperature as a drink coming straight out of a refrigerator. If your heat exchanger’s LCD is not lit and tripping the breaker has no effect, the problem is likely in the component.  If this is the case you should contact your MRI service group immediately.  A good way to prevent this problem is to perform regular check-ups for your chiller.  Many MRI service contracts include preventative maintenance on a quarterly basis.

The most important thing to remember if your MRI machine has a problem,  is that it’s not the end of the world.  There is always a solution to the problem. You just need to know where to look for help.

*For questions or assistant with your Legacy Chiller contact us anytime at 

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