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Thermo Fisher Scientific

Vaporizer Heater poss. issues and replacement


Vaporizer Heaters can fail prematurely, this article will show how to replace and what to watch out when replacing / re-assembling.


TSQ II Series



  1. Dis-assembly is done by first removing the Source Insert.


Figure 1: Removal of source insert

  1. Remove the “multi-axis-alignment assembly” from the source housing, refer to Figure 2.


Figure 2: Blue arrows represent where the screws are located 

Optamax-Source - Altis-Quantis-Fortis:

  1. Remove the heat shield (fixed by three secured screws) and pulling out the Vaporizer Heater itself from the “front” of the assembly (no screws), refer to Figure 3.


Figure 3: No screws in front of assembly

IonMax NG Source - Endura-Quantiva:

  • The Endura-Quantiva “Nozzle” is missing the extended heat shield, which is present at the OptaMax Source (AQF).
  • The nozzle is one metal part and does not consist of the “slide in” assembly (small inlay-picture at previous page).
  • The difference at the vaporizer heater assembly is the position of the temperature element.
  • The dis-assembly is similar: Removing the Nozzle/Heat Shield by three screws – then pulling out the vaporizer heater itself – as outlined in the pictures above for AQF.


Figure 4: Vaporizer hearter being pulled out



OptaMax-Source - Altis-Quantis-Fortis:

  1. When putting the replacement heater in place take care of the right positioning of the brown Viton O-ring in the back, refer to Figure 5.


Figure 5: O-ring

  1. If the aluminum ring at the Heater Shield is contaminated or worn out – replace.
  2. New Heaters have grey appearance and act slightly like a spring when compressed. That will facilitate the new heater to slide in. If the ring is corroded (often black then), it kinks easily, and the new heater might not fit in properly.
  3. Connected to the above is the possibility to mis-align the position of the heater shield / nozzle by obstruction of the aluminum ring – leading to the “nozzle type assembly” pushed into the heater shield. 


Figure 6: Visible condensation in the source housing in the case

  1. If this has happened: correct or replace the aluminum ring. Re-install the nozzle assembly by pushing it back into its place until it snaps into an inner groove. This can be felt. Tension can be adjusted by opening/closing the slit.

IonMax NG Source - Endura-Quantiva:

  1. The Endura-Quantiva “Nozzle” is missing the extended heat shield, which is present at the OptaMax Source (AQF).
  2. The nozzle is one metal part here and does not consist of the “slide in” assembly.
  3. The re-assembly is similar to AQF: Push in the replacement vaporizer heater, taking care that the brown Viton O-ring is right in place.
  4. Push the NozzleAssembly over the heater back in place taking care that the aluminum ring is ok.
  5. Then secure the screws.


Endura-Quantiva and Altis-Quantis-Fortis:

  1. Remount the “multi-axis-alignment assembly” to the housing.
  2. Put Source Insert back in place.


Possible causes:

  • Non optimal source conditions – relation of LC flow and type of eluents to vaporizer temperature and source gasses.
  • Possibly leading to visible and invisible condensation or moist conditions. 
  • Probe position possibly having an impact on gas dynamic in source housing, in addition.
  • Use of Divert Valve conditions and how use is implemented. Leading to possibly condensation/moist or heat applied without any flow or nitrogen. -
  • Insufficient (initial) instrument equilibration before starting sequence.
  • Accumulation of liquid in source housing LC flow to MS with MS in standby or insufficient source conditions
  • Contamination of heater surface leading to arcing. Might be related to quality of eluents/chemicals, insufficient source conditions or flow to MS when MS is in standby.
  • Normal breakdown due to use / lifetime.
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