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Author Topic: Problem with Epson Pro 4000  (Read 6488 times)
MADCAT
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« on: January 17, 2007, 11:21:19 PM »
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Hi,

I have had my 4000 for about 2.5 years and whilst I have had a no end of ink cloggs and paper feed problems and been through a fair few cleaning cycles the printer has kept going and produced good prints.

However just before Christmas I had a problem with the Magenta not printing properly, after a few pages of the head cleaning cycles Magenta had disappeared altogether and has not been seen since. A large number of head cleans later and the problem has not improved, though a nozzle check does show the odd random line for Magenta never more than 4 or 5 show at any one time.

On closer inspection of the ink lines I noticed that many of the lines appeared to have air bubbles in them that moved with the ink as the line was raised slightly. However the Magenta ink line had a fairly large air bubble that appeared static when I moved the ink line, so to me it appeared that this could be the source of my problem.

I have had a technician out to look at the printer and he dismantled the cap and pump unit, cleaned it out and put it all back together again. this process made no difference at all and he now wants to replace the cap and pump unit as stage 2 of his trial and error process. If that doesn't work then I am told I will need a new print head at a cost of more than the printer is likely worth  

All this seems very strange for a printer that is used regularly and suddenly stopped working properly so I thought I'd post here and see if anyone else has had similar problems with blockages in the ink lines and knows of anything I can try to get it cleared that doesn't involve replacing the print head.

Thanks in advance for your help  

Dave Catley
MADCAT Photography
Perth, Western Australia
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2007, 11:31:18 PM »
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I had a similar problem last DEcember around X-Mas as well (a typical case of printer year end depression)?

All of a sudden my sunsets lost their reddish tones... fortuntely a power cleanup could fix the problem in my case.

Regards,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 17, 2007, 11:31:56 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Tim Gray
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2007, 08:02:34 AM »
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I assume (as Bernard has indicated) that a Power Clean was part of the attempt to get it going again?  I have had the same clogging experience with my 4000, but after a severe bout of clogs I finally bit the bullet and did a power clean, that restored it to the "normal" frequency of cloggs.
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2007, 03:15:49 PM »
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Absolutely.
This could be last chance pie stand.
Do a Power Clean.
Good Luck
Brian
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drew
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2007, 09:01:43 PM »
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I have a 7600 which I left for a year with no cartridges in it. When I got it going again, the dark magenta channel would not produce any ink (well, just the odd trace). Eventually, I slid the head out, disconnected the ink feed from the damper and aspirated a solid plug of dried ink from the line. After priming the damper with ink, the printer worked, but I was plagued by intermittent nozzle blocks occurring in different channels at different times. I did get perfect prints between though. In the end, I bit the bullet and had the printer serviced by Epson and this included the fitment of a maintenance kit (?pump, wiper assembly and some other bits and pieces). It ws expensive, but the printer was much better behaved after that (they also reseated the dark magenta damper which was slightly out after my fiddlings). So, I would look to a full service.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2007, 10:21:14 PM »
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You know, that's a strange coincidence, my 4000 just carked it with the Mag channel blocking up.

There was a blockage in the head that shifted by injecting cleaner through the head until the spray was straight and even, and back sucking a bit back too to shift the clog. Maybe there is something with the mag that is causing this?

Once reassembled the printer would not initialise properly and there was a hot smell from the left hand cover. On inspection the pump was pulsing slightly and the whole unit is now in the workshop awaiting further work :-(

I suspect the clog is something to do with the fact that there is only one ink feed pump. If one channel get slightly restricted then the pressure will tend to follow the path of least resistance and lower the pressure in the blocked nozzles, exacerbating the problem and making it hard for even a power clean to shift.

Bummer, I now have to wait to see how mush this will all cost...
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2007, 02:30:15 PM »
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More problems on my side as well...

I found out last night that B&W prints all showed an ugly banding that was almost invisible with color prints.

I had to do another power clean up, several head cleaning and all the other possible tests + warm up the room + move to 2880 HS mode in IP to get decent prints.

Besides, I am finding that the cutter is having problems sometimes with Han Photorag 308 rolls. It is sometimes unable to cut the sheets. I had a 1 meter print almosy ruined last night because of this (the head started cutting, changed its mind and the next move of the head bended badly the paper, tearing it appart near the end of the print - fortunatly I had left enough clearance).

I am in the process of getting to thoroughly hate this printer.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2007, 05:34:17 PM »
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I am in the process of getting to thoroughly hate this printer.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96757\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You can't fault the quality of Epson prints but the printers are less than ideal for production. I too have a love/hate relationship with my printers but since I only really do one type of print on A3 paper (90%) it's worked reasonably well for me until now.

I had Epson 9000s, 9500s and 7000s previously, as well as a huge HP5000. Of all of them the HP was by far the best from a reliability POV. In 2 years it never clogged or broke down, and it was way faster than the 9500.

Maybe it's time to look at the new HPs, and the Canons....
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 05:35:04 PM by Nick Rains » Logged

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Stephen Best
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 09:25:33 PM »
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Besides, I am finding that the cutter is having problems sometimes with Han Photorag 308 rolls. It is sometimes unable to cut the sheets. I had a 1 meter print almosy ruined last night because of this (the head started cutting, changed its mind and the next move of the head bended badly the paper, tearing it appart near the end of the print - fortunatly I had left enough clearance).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96757\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm sure Epson's position is that the cutter is unsuited to HPR, but that doesn't stop me either. It just looks like you're up for new blades.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 11:30:06 PM »
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I'm sure Epson's position is that the cutter is unsuited to HPR, but that doesn't stop me either. It just looks like you're up for new blades.
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Stephen,

You are probably right, but that would be unacceptable as a position considering how widely used Photorag 308 is among Matte printers...

Besides, what is real strange is that the cutter mostly works perfectly, it is only every 10 prints or so that it gives up on me...

Cheers,
Bernard
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MADCAT
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2007, 10:53:17 PM »
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Thanks for your responses, it's nice to know I'm not alone in my love/hate relationship with the 4000.

I haven't done a power clean as yet, partly because I have been advised that is unlikely to solve the problem and partly because I have used up so much ink that I would have to buy several new ink cartridges to do so. So now I'm faced with having to buy ink cartridges for a printer that I may never use again if I want to try a power clean  

Like Drew I was tempted to take the print head assembly apart and check the dampers for blockages. However, according to the Espon Field Repair Guide for the 4000 I would then need to perform Print Head Slant Adjustments to get everything aligned properly again and this procedure requires special software which I don't have access to. Suddenly this didn't seem like such a good idea  

Bernard, I have never had any problems with the cutter on my Photo Rag 308 rolls but I have had many sheets of A4/A3+ PR 308 contiuously rejected with a "No borderless with this size" error, very frustrating when you end up with blank sheets of expensive paper that the printer won't accept.

Nick, sounds like you're in much the same position as me at the moment, fingers crossed that we both get a satifactory result.

I too have been reading with great interest the reviews on the new Cannon & HP printers ...
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[span style='color:black'][span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%']Dave Catley

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ricgal
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2007, 02:27:54 AM »
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I am wondering whether to leave my 4000 turned on permanently attached to a timer so it powers up twice a day and does its housekeeping-  If it is left off with no activity for more than a couple of days I wind up with serious hastles too.  I also have a 7500 which has done 10s of thousands of A2 prints on HPR and never ever has a clog (but wo'nt even think about cutting it)-  I reckon the smaller holes in the 4000 head must be the problem.  I have always been told it is almost uneconomical to replace the head on a 4000 because it takes the best part of a day with all the aligning that needs doing.
This week I am getting an HPz3100 so we will see how it compares.
Is it possible to get hold of the software to calibrate the 4000 somewhere?  How does one instigate a Power Clean?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2007, 02:30:58 AM by ricgal » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2007, 08:47:47 AM »
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Wow, reading this thread has been a shop of horrors. It makes me feel lucky that I've had little trouble with my Epson 4000 during the 2-1/2 yrs I've owned it. (I've just jinxed myself for sure--only one power cleaning required in that time.) Not gloating....just wondering whether the folks with problems got lemons; and wondering what are the factors that determine whether one will have problems or not.

My printer use, like that of many non-full-time pros', tends to be intermittent but heavy, like a binge drinker I guess. Nothing for a week or so, then a large batch of work. I have always left my printer on, except when I'm going to be out of town, because the most knowledgeable sources i've read online suggested this would enable the printer to do its own housekeeping properly. Is this still the best learned advice with the 4000?

I'll probably switch to a 24" printer when my print sales justify it. The HP would be my leading candidate based on early reviews. I'm thinking of keeping the 4000 (considering that the used market may be such that selling it is hardly worth it) and using Piezography or another specialty inkset.
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ricgal
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2007, 12:00:34 PM »
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I'll probably switch to a 24" printer when my print sales justify it. The HP would be my leading candidate based on early reviews. I'm thinking of keeping the 4000 (considering that the used market may be such that selling it is hardly worth it) and using Piezography or another specialty inkset.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96978\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I will hang onto my 4000 because I do a lot of sheet work which would be a pain on a 24" machine-  ca'nt imagine how much is wasted with the 4000 though-  a waste ink tank brimming with 100's of pounds worth of ink is enough to send a chill down my spine
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2007, 02:11:32 PM »
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If a 17" HP (roll and sheet feeder) would fit in my current available space which is now occupied by the 4000 I'd go for it...

FWIW, I've been tracking ink used in cleaning vs ink on paper for a year now and for every ml of ink that goes on a print about .8 ml goes to cleaning     and that includes only 1 power clean over the year.
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MADCAT
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« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2007, 11:38:31 PM »
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Finally some good news  

The tech came back out yesterday and put in a secondhand pump and capping unit to see if it helped and "hey presto" my magenta is back and the print head seems fine  

He has now ordered a new pump (the one he used has other problems) and should be installing it tomorrow.

So it turns out that the pump was just not pumping very efficiently and couldn't pull the air blockage out of the Magenta line.

Meanwhile I've been squeezing 13"x17" prints out of my 2100 for an exhibition that starts Friday
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[span style='color:black'][span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%']Dave Catley

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Nick Rains
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2007, 02:18:39 AM »
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Finally some good news  

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=98243\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Glad someone has some :-(

My 4000 is officially dead. Failed head and mainboard. AUD1400 to repair - or buy an new printer.

It's amazing how a printer can go from 3 years of relatively pain-free printing to dead in the blink of an eye! Anyway at least it earned its keep.

I now have a 3800 which is great. I even managed a 400x800mm print first go using the sheet feed. Seems like a good printer, so all's well that ends well - apart from the AUD1900 dent in my wallet!
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MADCAT
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2007, 02:57:15 AM »
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My 4000 is officially dead. Failed head and mainboard. AUD1400 to repair - or buy an new printer.
Sorry to hear your printer has died, I must admit I had just about given up on getting mine fixed without needing a new print head.

I think 2 or 3 years life for these printers is not very good when you consider that they are supposed to be at the professional end of Epsons printer line  

I'll certainly be reading as much as I can about the new Canon's and HP's over the next few months to see if they turn out to be better options than Epson or whether they have their own set of problems (like this banding issue the Canon seems to suffer from  ).

I remain ever hopefull that someone wil release an easy to use, high quality and reliable large format printer eventually ...
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