Deionizer flow restrictor for PHI X-ray source heat exchangers
This post is a reprint of a tech tip that we published in our fall 2008 Service Detail newsletter. This exact problem came up recently and so I thought I would resurrect this tech tip for educational purposes. In the recent case we knew that the leakage current was very high and it had been several years since the deionizer cartridge was replaced. Replacing the deionizer cartridge was the logical solution. Replacing the cartridge did solve the problem for a while, but within a very short time the leakage current problem returned. Cleaning out the flow restrictor as described below solved the problem.
If you need replacement water filters or deionizer cartridges for your PHI 16-020 or 16-050 X-ray source heat exchangers that are available at this link – PHI Optics Parts
Deionizer flow restrictor inspection and cleaning procedure:
The 04-500 and 04-548 15kV dual anode x-ray sources are water cooled by a closed loop radiant heat exchanger (model 16-020, 16-050) which includes a built in water filter and deionizer cartridge. Since the anode floats at 15kV, the water must be kept in a constant state of deionization to prevent leakage current. If the leakage current is more than 2 or 3 mA at 15kV of high voltage then the leakage current will start to affect the power regulation on the 32-095 or 32-096 X-ray source control. Normal leakage current (the current that is shown on the HV supply current meter when only the high voltage and no power is applied) should be less than 2mA @ 15kV. Once you get up to 3 to 5mA it is time to replace the water filter and deionizer cartridge. If the leakage is very high (10mA or more) then it is possible that the heat exchanger flow restrictor is plugged up.
Part of the loop in the cooling flow directs about 10% of the water through the deionizer and filter. There is a flow restrictor just in front of the input to the filter and this flow restrictor can become clogged or corroded over time, resulting in reduced flow to the deionizer cartridge and subsequent increased leakage current.
It is recommended that every time you replace the deionizer cartridge and filter (about once every 3 years is typical) that you inspect the flow restrictor and clean it out if necessary. If it is corroded you may need to drill it out with a tiny drill bit (about .030″).
The pictures below show the location of the flow restrictor and how to remove it for inspection. If it is plugged up then drill it out with a small drill bit and clean it before reinstalling it into the flow restrictor connector