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Author Topic: Epson 4000, 7600, 9600 clogging solution  (Read 19541 times)
Chris Gilroy
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« on: February 19, 2009, 05:01:41 PM »
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Hey All,

I'm new to posting here so if I'm breaking any rules here please let me know! Just thought I'd pass this little tip along as I've gotten really positive results myself and from local people I've worked with onsite.

It's a trick for "puddling the cap" of your Epson 4000, 7600, 9600 - you can still use this trick with the newer ones, except it will be less effective as the new printer use rubber and plastic which is much more efficient.

Anyway, a tried-and-true technique for improving clogging, banding and in-effective cleaning cycles is written up HERE (http://www.spectraflow.com/tech-tip-puddling-the-cap-epson-4000-7600-9600.html)
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Ray
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 03:27:51 AM »
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Thanks for the tip. I'll put that information in my Epson Maintenance folder for future reference. I'm not sure I should be adopting that procedure right now to avoid future problems. At present, a Power Cleaning routine is sufficient to clean my Epson 7600 after a prolonged period of inactivity (a few weeks to a few months).

I'm a bit concerned about possible side effects of adding water to the capping pads. Apart from clogging problems requiring occasional Power Cleaning (in addition to the automatic standard cleaning), the only other problem I've encountered using the Epson 7600 is an apparent leakage of Light Cyan ink to Yellow, resulting in yellows on the print which are too green. In order to fix this problem, I frequently had to add a solid yellow bar about 1/2 an inch wide to the top of the image before printing. By the time the printer has got through printing pure yellow, the cyan contamination had dissipated and the image would be printed correctly.

I understand this cyan contamination was due to excessive ink in the Light Cyan capping pad. I haven't experienced the problem for a while now.
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colinm
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 09:46:38 AM »
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With enough water, you'll actually reach the point the pads are basically clean.

Please note that I'm not endorsing going at it with a garden hose.
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Colin
Chris Gilroy
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 02:07:32 PM »
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Ray - nothing to worry about with the water. I've worked on over 100 Epson printers and have quite a bit of experience with this method. I've brought some "dead" printers back to life this way. It doesn't mean you won't need anymore Power Cleans - hopefully you're only doing this once every few months anyway. This tip is for people with major banding & clogging issues that do happen frequently with these old printers. To tell you the truth - the paper towel trick is something I use on even the new 4800, 4880, 7800, 9800, 7880, 9880 series as well.

If this doesn't improve things - you will probably need a new pump & cap assembly which will run (with labor) about $600. At this point I would suggest ditching the old thing and going with a more robust plotter like a 7880 or 7900. The new printers don't have these issues - and more importantly (to me) they have MUCH better color gamut and black and white rendering.

I'm not sure what's going on with your yellow issue - that's a new one for me. The 76/96 series was not pressurized so it shouldn't be sucking anything back from the cap.....there have been vacuum issues I've run into before but they are very uncommon. I.G., there were two 4000's I worked on that had sat for over a year - two of the ink lines had developed a vacuum and the ink would not move. ....had to take a syringe to it and un-hook the ink lines.
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DamoRed
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 04:40:35 PM »
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Hi all,

First post here. I just got a 4000 last week, which I've been told after I bought it, was lying idle for around six months. I had been told that it was only idle a couple of weeks beforehand. So suspicion arose. Three of the inks were too low to do a power clean, so I've had to buy those, and have run one power clean procedure. After this, the printer did a nozzle check and printed out the blocks, as per usual, and then printed out the first actual prints. The day after, as I attempted to print out the same B&W test print on my pack of Hahnemuhle papers, all I got was a dozen damn nozzle checks, some of them perfect, some not. When it continued to print, and then finished, I took it that it was now clean, or else it would continue to print them.

I did have a look at the Spectraflow link, however, this is as far as I got...

2.   Press down on the cutter and move the carriage to the left

When I open the top window, I look at the head assembly and see a green plastic tab with an arrow pointing left, sticking out from within the assembly. There is nothing I can see that can move. Pressing down on this did not allow anything move, left or anywhere, and I certainly was not going to force anything. So I haven't been able to try this method and see if this works.

I want to try everything I can before running another power clean and blasting away another €45 of ink.

Have I missed something very elementary and simple, or is there a secret Masonic procedure I must follow? :-)

Thank you

Damo
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 04:41:43 PM by DamoRed » Logged
Chris Gilroy
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 11:27:11 AM »
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Quote from: DamoRed
Hi all,

First post here. I just got a 4000 last week, which I've been told after I bought it, was lying idle for around six months. I had been told that it was only idle a couple of weeks beforehand. So suspicion arose. Three of the inks were too low to do a power clean, so I've had to buy those, and have run one power clean procedure. After this, the printer did a nozzle check and printed out the blocks, as per usual, and then printed out the first actual prints. The day after, as I attempted to print out the same B&W test print on my pack of Hahnemuhle papers, all I got was a dozen damn nozzle checks, some of them perfect, some not. When it continued to print, and then finished, I took it that it was now clean, or else it would continue to print them.

I did have a look at the Spectraflow link, however, this is as far as I got...

2.   Press down on the cutter and move the carriage to the left

When I open the top window, I look at the head assembly and see a green plastic tab with an arrow pointing left, sticking out from within the assembly. There is nothing I can see that can move. Pressing down on this did not allow anything move, left or anywhere, and I certainly was not going to force anything. So I haven't been able to try this method and see if this works.

I want to try everything I can before running another power clean and blasting away another 45 of ink.

Have I missed something very elementary and simple, or is there a secret Masonic procedure I must follow? :-)

Thank you

Damo

Damo, Nothing to worry about. This is getting way for "techy" than the typical photography professional. To find the cutter, imagine a "plunger" like piece of plastic shaped somewhat like a "T". It is spring-loaded and has a "bounce" when tapped or pushed. Some of them are LT BLUE and most of them are BLACK - which makes it difficult to locate.

The cutter is on the side of the carriage that faces you, nearly in the center (a little to the left). My best advice is to google "epson cutter" and check images... dont know if that will help. You can always just reach your hand in around the FRONT (Side facing you) of the carriage and start tapping/slapping lightly around - the cutter will be the ONLY thing that moves.

Once pushed down you will hear a "click". Move the carriage slightly to unlock - remember to let GO of the cutter so you dont drag your blade on the bottom.
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DamoRed
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009, 07:35:43 PM »
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Thanks, Chris.

A whole lot easier when I knew what I was actually looking for. The tip to find it using Google images was a great help.

I decided for the sake of my sanity, and those around me to just turn off the automatic nozzle check. Running it now and again should be enough, and at the earliest opportunity, I'll 'puddle the cap'.

Looking forward to my continuing education via this forum.

Damo
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2009, 07:53:29 PM »
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Quote from: Chris Gilroy
If this doesn't improve things - you will probably need a new pump & cap assembly which will run (with labor) about $600. At this point I would suggest ditching the old thing and going with a more robust plotter like a 7880 or 7900. The new printers don't have these issues - and more importantly (to me) they have MUCH better color gamut and black and white rendering.

Chris,
Apparently the new printers have other issues which put me off, such as problems with the automatic head cleaning system. My studio is well outside the city boundaries and any visit from a technician would not be totally covered by the warranty.

Quote
I'm not sure what's going on with your yellow issue - that's a new one for me. The 76/96 series was not pressurized so it shouldn't be sucking anything back from the cap.....there have been vacuum issues I've run into before but they are very uncommon. I.G., there were two 4000's I worked on that had sat for over a year - two of the ink lines had developed a vacuum and the ink would not move. ....had to take a syringe to it and un-hook the ink lines.

The cyan/yellow issue reared it's head quite soon after I'd bought the 7600. For a while it drove me crazy because the nozzle-check pattern looked perfect, yet the prints were all clearly lacking in yellow. However, on close inspection, it seemed that the thin yellow lines in the nozzle-check pattern did not look as yellow as they should be. I printed out some pure yellow squares I'd created in a new document, and sure enough they were not pure yellow. I replaced the yellow cartridge, which was getting low anyway, and smashed it open so I could paint the remaining ink on a piece of inkjet paper and compare it with the printed yellow squares. Clearly the yellow ink straight from the cartridge was much yellower than the printed yellow squares, even when printed with a ProPhoto color profile.

I eventually fixed the problem after printing a lot of pure yellow squares and doing a Power Clean. When the problem reoccurred, a single Power Clean was not sufficient to fix the problem, so I adopted the procedure of creating a pure yellow strip at the top of the first print or page of prints. The top of the strip would show significant cyan contamination, but as the printing progressed, the strip would gradually become yellower so that, by the time the print head reached the image proper, the problem would be fixed and would remain fixed for subequent printing during that session, but not necessarily for the next seesion on another day.

However, this problem has now diminished and I seem to be moving into a phase where Power Cleaning is required more frequently. I presume all these problems arise because I don't use the printer on a daily basis as they were designed to be used.
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Chris Gilroy
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 12:14:14 PM »
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Ray,

Wish I was closer and could take a look at it in person. There are many factors that could be playing a role here. The "South African Method" (printing color bars to push ink out of the line) proves that this is not a RIP or bad profile issue...at least for the most part (i wouldnt entirely rule it out). Check for "bubbles" of air in the yellow line. Also, wipe the back of the printhead as outlined in my "puddling the cap" tip.

Ideally, it's probably time to call it quits on the old thing and upgrade to a more 21st century Epson. However, I'm on your side with your efforts as I personally run everything I by until the wheels fall off.

Also, check the expiration date on all your inks and it would probably be a good idea to shake them up each month.
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Farmer
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2009, 09:18:56 PM »
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Chris - you're an Epson technician?
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Peterretep
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 05:53:58 PM »
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Chris, Thanks for the link. I currently don't have a problem with my 7600 but if arises I'll have a better chance of dealing with it myself.

Peter


Architectural Photography by Peter Montanti, www.mountainphotographics.com
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Chris Gilroy
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 04:18:10 PM »
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Quote from: Farmer
Chris - you're an Epson technician?

Farmer - No. I used to be. Now I work for a Color Management & Printer Supply Dealer in California.
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stakimodels
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 02:49:55 AM »
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Hi there, I am sorry that i write here, but it is regarding Epson 9800.

I have the following situation.

I am in Bulgaria.
I have an Epson 9800 since 2006 and for the last several years i have been using it heavily. Unfortunately as every machine it needs now some service.
Here is what happened.

The printer was printing fine till last Friday when it started to print in stripes and we have been told that it is because of the Pump/cap assy. So we decided to change the pump/cap assy, we have also changed all the 8 dampers and the two flushing boxes.We have just installed a new pump/cap assy and we tried to start the printer through the serviceman menu to clear the counters, when we suddenly got the error 00010014 message. We opened again the printer several times, and tried to see if we by chance have moved any connectors, but everything seems OK.  Is there any thing that we can do? We thought that it could be from a solenoid or the pressure pump but it seems they are working correctly and their power consumption is OK - actually there is a strange noise coming from the pump supply assembly. And when we press the pipe leading to the left set of cartridges and hold it for 7 secs/or 7 blinks of the start push button/  it stops, and then starts again i several seconds. It also stops after lifting any of the two levers for the cartridges. Also after holding the pipe for 7 seconds the printer starts doing the jobs it has been set to do. But any way we still get the 00010014 error after. Also the Head now prints only black and magenta, and now yellow and cyan visible - this is from the test with the blocks, and the Photo Black, Yellow and Cyan are not shown on the test with the lines. All the others are OK - for now.
We noticed that our yellow refillable cartridge is leaking when removed from the printer. And we read that it could be from it.

Please advise me what do i need to do or if you need some more information for the problems please let me know and i will supply you with the information.

Regards
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Garnick
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 08:45:45 AM »
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If this doesn't improve things - you will probably need a new pump & cap assembly which will run (with labor) about $600.


Just a quick note. The cap/pump station assembly on the 7600 will cost approximately $75.00 U.S. Perhaps a bit more depending on the distributor. If one has any degree of mechanical ability, it will take about half an hour to replace it. I've done this a couple of times on my old 7600 printers, one of which I still use for some canvas printing. My main printer now is the 9900. Download the service manual for the 7600 and you will see that it is not a daunting task at all to replace this assembly. As a matter of fact, I leave the right end cover off of the 7600s for easier access. When I need to clean the wiper blade I remove the whole assembly and then remove the blade. In the long run this makes for a much better cleaning job and is actually faster than cleaning it while it is still installed in the printer. If you don't have the service manual it can be downloaded here:  http://www.feedroller.com/Store/epson_manuals.php

Gary
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artbot
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2011, 01:36:27 PM »
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@stakimodels

one note.  LF printers operate on a principle of very low but present postive pressure inside the supply lines/dampers.  one way to tell if your supply is performing correctly is to pull a damper and draw a vacuum (you will need to set up a syringe with a tiny fitting at the end in order to insert it into the bottom of the damper).  when you draw the ink into the syringe, you will notice that the damper become concave stretching the membrane of the damper inward.  this is obviously a sign of negative pressure inside the line.  remove the syringe and observe the damper for a minute.  two things should happen.  the membrane should relax over time.  a membrane that stays under vacuum is a sign of a possible clog or restriction at the cartridge.  this can be a tiny piece of paper that is lobster trapped at the piercing nipple in the cart' (only removable by backwards flusing the line) a semi-collapsed cartridge bag, or cloggled line.  also observe the the ink stays at the correct level inside the damper (common is a 75% fill).  if you are leaking air at the fittings or somewhere else in the supply you will lose pressure that that line and the ink level will go down or even disappear.  the pressure is replaceable of course by doing cleaning cycles but will disispate over time.  the issue can also be caused by insufficient vacuum at the cap/head.  this can be easily diagnosed by doing a pump line swap (dx4 only).  ...put a pump line from a head that is performing properly and do a cleaning cycle.  does the issue move the the swapped line or stay at the head?  if it stays at the head then the cap/head contact is suspect if it moves the pump is clogged or leaking (also diagnosable, and fixable for free).

___________

head soaks:

when doing "head soaks" the best replacement i've found for factory water based solution is distilled water and bissell hard floor cleaner (a non sudsing surfactant).  10-20 parts water to one part surfactant. as far as fears that "water" in your capping station will harm your printer, that's impossible.  ink in contact with your heads is far more "dangerous" to your printer than low dyne water.  ...ink has resins and can clog, water is "good" for your heads.  the only thing you might experience is some cross contamination from ink walking to the other side of the head which can easily be fixed with a cleaning cycle.

remember that cleaning cycles (especially hard cleans) quickly age your heads.

also, never use paper towels as suggested.  use a piece of coffee filter.  ...designed to not shed fiber.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 02:04:35 PM by artbot » Logged
pideja
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 08:49:28 AM »
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"...Hey All,

I'm new to posting here so if I'm breaking any rules here please let me know! Just thought I'd pass this little tip along as I've gotten really positive results myself and from local people I've worked with onsite.

It's a trick for "puddling the cap" of your Epson 4000, 7600, 9600 - you can still use this trick with the newer ones, except it will be less effective as the new printer use rubber and plastic which is much more efficient.

Anyway, a tried-and-true technique for improving clogging, banding and in-effective cleaning cycles is written up HERE (http://www.spectraflow.com/tech-tip-puddling-the-cap-epson-4000-7600-9600.html)..."


For some reason, this link is not available to Canadians. Is it possible to sem me a pdf describing this method?
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cengell
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 12:42:39 PM »
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Hello all, I have a Epson 4000 and a 7600 and moved about 3 years ago and since I moved I left them in the garage unplugged and a few months ago wanted to get them up and printing as I know it would be a issue, so I ordered from this company americaninkjetsystems.com there cleaner and WOW it works and it's safe for the heads.

I know there are head cleaners out there but this is no BS it worked, took many soakings because in these printers the capping station won't hold the cleaner and drips to the maintance tank, so after a day or 2 I kept getting more and more nozzles back, as I started with none!

On the 7600 I have a color that I was sure the filter in the damper was the issue so I sucked some of the cleaner inside it and a few days later clean and 100% nozzles back.

On the 4000 everyone knows it clogges almost every day and I have 4 year old Epson UC inks in it and when I change that printer to a BW printer I will use his cleaner to clean out the ink tubes and dampers.

After talking with the owner Scott over and over I am sold on them as he really has the best cleaners for Epson printers...

Christopher
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NLS61
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2012, 04:22:55 AM »
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Hi Ive got an epson 9600 that doesnt print anymore I would like to read this solution but on clicking the link I got
Your country "the Neterherlands" is blocked.
Is there any way possible to put the the text on this forum.
would be a great help.

Thanx

Niels
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Stefan Wood
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2012, 09:18:59 AM »
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Hi, after resolving my issues with the 9600, which is now running perfectly, I bought a 4000, dirt cheap.  I also had issues with a clogged magenta.  After doing a little research, I was able to obtain a service manual and grabbed a screwdriver and popped the printing mechanism open.  To confirm, a lot of the clogging issues may come from the dampers, not the heads, or the cartridge to printer connections.  I injected cleaning fluid into the magenta and sure enough, thick globs came out. I was able to prime it and now I am up and running.  Not for the timid, though.  There are steps that are not mentioned in the service manual that one must do -- unhooking some wires from their holding clips, for instance, and a metal clip that locks the printing mechanism in place, which makes removal and reinsertion of the mechanism a bit of a hassle.  Had a couple of service errors because it was not fully locked into place, but cleared once I did.
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rem
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2012, 12:55:04 PM »
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Hi Chris, I would also love to read the tip because I have still a 9600, but Switzerland is also blocked... Why that?
Thanks a lot, Rem
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