How could we solve error 1118 at 7700x series ICP-MS?

Hello, we are using 7700X series ICP-MS until 2014 . A few days ago we had an error message (Error 1118) .When our instrument is changing from Standby mode to Analysis mode vacuum pressure (IF/BK) can not drop below  the lower limit within the prescribed time. (The  lowest limit we got was 900 kPa)

From ICP-MS Mass Hunter Help we searched the error and try to figure out the problem. It says that the list below could cause the problem.


"Check the vacuum pressure (IF/BK) for the following possible issues.

 A drop of water was introduced into the vacuum chamber.

The diameter of the hole in the sampling cone is too big.

The seal of the sampling cone is incomplete (Defective gasket).

The plasma is too far from the sampling cone.

The power of the foreline pump is not connected or the breaker is OFF.

 The foreline pump oil level is low or the oil is dirty.

The vacuum tubing has failed (the tubing is off, or a leak is caused by an incomplete seal such as a pin hole or a defective O-ring).

There is a fault in the Pirani gauge (IF/BK) or the Connection PCA."


We changed our skimmer cone, sampling cone and graphite gasket. 

We take maintenance for our  vacuum pump from Edwards service. After changing pump oil and finishing maintenance they said vacuum pump performance is ok.

The leak tests for vacuum hoses was done. No problem was found.

IF/BK vacuum manifold was renewed.


We still have the same error message. What should we check more?

  • Hello ,


    The first thing you can do is to use the vent valve and monitor IF/BK pressure, analyzer pressure and TMP revolution. 


    Before using the vent valve, the ICPMS has to be in shutdown mode (plasma off and vacuum off)





    Now you can see the primary vacuum : IF/BK Press, the secondary vacuum : Analyzer Press and the rotation speed of the turbo pump : TMP Revolution



    To access to the vent valve (just below the top cover) :



    When you unscrew this valve, you should hear like an air leak (in fact it's the analyzer which is filled by the air).

    When you can't hear this sound anymore you can screw this valve and restart the vacuum.


    IF/BK Press should be below 20 Pa, at this moment, the turbo pump can do the secondary vacuum and you can see a value in Analyzer Press.


    If the primary vacuum is not stable and you can't get a low value, then a repair on site is needed.

    Most of the time the primary pump need to be replaced or/and the vacuum valve assembly or/and vacuum hoses.


    If the problem persists, you need to contact your local Agilent Office.


    Hope that helps.


    Best regards,



  • Dear ,


    Yes you understood correctly.

    Can you tell me which value you got for IF/BK pressure? Is it stable?

    Was it below 20 Pa ? Did the turbo pump start? 


    At which moment you got this error message exactly?


    Best regards,



  • Dear Remi PANNIER,

    First of all, thank you for your concern.

    As I understand from your statement that, you would first like me to put the system into shutdown mode then open the vent valve and close again. After that start the vacuum by making vacuum on. Then I would observe the IF/BK, analyser pressure and TMP rotation. If that's the case, I have already tried what you recommended. The problem remained the same as before.


    Best regards

  • Dear goksenari,


    This situation is strange.

    Most of the time the error 1118 came only when you can't reach the standby mode.

    Are you sure to get just this error message (1118) or you get some others error messages too?


    Best regards,



  • Dear Remi PANNIER,


    We have no problem when switching from shutdown to standby. Turbo pump reaches the full speed in 4 to 5 mins. In standby mode, AN and IF/BK pressure values are 9.15 x 10^-1 and 3.9x 10^-5 Pa respectively. We do have a problem in transition stage from standby to analysis. IF/BK value can not lower than the value of 8.5 x 10^2 Pa.


    Best regards.

  • Dear goksenari,


    I can see that you get the error messages 1400 and 1440 : cooling water flow rate is too low.

    It could be the reason why the plasma won't light. Is the chiller turned on?

    If yes, then you have a blockage and you should see with your local Agilent Office for hardware issue.


    Best regards,



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