As is the case with all equipment that uses X-ray technology, the X-ray tube on the GE Essential digital mammography system will require replacement periodically over the course of its life. If you're a veteran to the imaging world, this is a reality you're probably all too familiar with.
As you begin what is, hopefully, a long and fruitful relationship with your GE Essential, it'll be helpful for you to know how long you can expect your X-ray tube to last as well as how much you can expect to spend when the time comes to replace it. To that end, we've compiled the details below based on the experiences of our engineering team and our service customers, as well as current pricing on the parts market.
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Essential Tube Life Expectancy
On average, the X-ray tube on a GE Essential mammo (part #5145113) lasts between 5 and 7 years, depending on the amount of use the tube sees. Of course, it's always possible that a tube could fail sooner or last a bit longer but, in terms of managing your expectations, 5-7 is what we've been seeing and hearing about.
A couple signs that your tube is approaching the end of its life are electrical arcing, which will manifest as a popping sound during an exposure. The other is degradation in the rotors of your tube's anode, which will make a grinding sound during an exposure.
The current average prices to replace a GE Essential tube are as follows. Please note that prices on used and refurbished tubes will vary based on the date of manufacture of the individual tube in question.
Refurbished (new insert): $25,000 - $28,000
Used: $9,000 - $14,000
Of course, replacement parts aren't really what any of us prefer to spend our budgets on, but they are necessary from time-to-time. The good news is that the lower cost used and refurbished options can be found with relative ease.
If you're hearing popping or grinding sounds or (yikes!) your tube has already failed, contact us ASAP to get a used or refurbished replacement on its way to your facility!