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Author Topic: Clogged Light Black Ink on Epson 7900 (same line on each nozzle check pattern)  (Read 11674 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2011, 12:49:35 PM »
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Gary and Thelo,

If it were me at the stage David is at, not knowing the real cause of the problem and with Epson now re-involved in the issue, I would do NOTHING. Let Epson's designated service rep come there, do their thing, then see if they resolved it, and from there deal with the warranty coverage aspect. If he really knew exactly what the problem is and would run truly minimal risk messing around in the printer himself, I may advise otherwise, but not in present circumstances.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2011, 02:16:02 PM »
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Gary and Thelo,

If it were me at the stage David is at, not knowing the real cause of the problem and with Epson now re-involved in the issue, I would do NOTHING. Let Epson's designated service rep come there, do their thing, then see if they resolved it, and from there deal with the warranty coverage aspect. If he really knew exactly what the problem is and would run truly minimal risk messing around in the printer himself, I may advise otherwise, but not in present circumstances.

That might be a good idea.

Supersonic cleaning was recommended to me by the Epson to solve the continuing clogging problem with Epson 9900. I was also told by the reseller that it would not harm the machine but also that I should not use the device in four hours because of the head heating.

Ran the ss-cleaning about a week ago. Can't tell yet if it has helped. Two minor clogs in cyan since...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2011, 02:28:00 PM »
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To be clear, I don't think a major cleaning would do any harm, unlike tinkering in the machine which could. The real problem with a major cleaning is the huge amount of ink it wastes, which is not advised unless one knows the problem really is a clog which that approach would correct.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2011, 03:56:57 PM »
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There's no need to wait 4 hours after an SSCL.  However, you shouldn't run multiple SSCLs consecutively and it's best to do them only when all else fails.

If the head truly got so hot as to need 4 hours to cool down, it'd melt :-)
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2011, 06:22:56 PM »
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i skipped the thread to the bottom so sorry if this is redundant.

the way to prove it you have a damper issue is to do a damper swap.  just move a functioning color's damper/ink line to the bad color and vice versa.  don't disconnect anything.  run a cleaning cycle to get the heads flowing.  if the color moves to the new color position, than bad damper if not bad head performance.

that said.  a missing line won't be caused by a bad damper.  a bad damper causes ink starvation over the length of a print.  a constantly missing line is a clogged nozzle only.  clogs that jump around are capping station issues.

there is no way a tech should be called out for a missing line.  that would be a crime.   also, the 7900 has a universal capping station making it impossible for just one color to be affected unlike previous machines where the caps could isolate the issue.  just do a head soak (pour cleaning solution into the cap and let the head soak for a few minutes , reloading the cap if it goes down.  also get to the pump and inspect to see if the lines look clean.  common clog points will be directly beneath the cap and at the end of the drain tube.  you can pour cleaning solution down your pumps and even have a friend feed solution while you agressively draw with a syringe at the drain end to loosen a clump of ink.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2011, 06:39:31 PM »
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i skipped the thread to the bottom so sorry if this is redundant.

the way to prove it you have a damper issue is to do a damper swap.  just move a functioning color's damper/ink line to the bad color and vice versa.  don't disconnect anything.  run a cleaning cycle to get the heads flowing.  if the color moves to the new color position, than bad damper if not bad head performance.

that said.  a missing line won't be caused by a bad damper.  a bad damper causes ink starvation over the length of a print.  a constantly missing line is a clogged nozzle only.  clogs that jump around are capping station issues.

there is no way a tech should be called out for a missing line.  that would be a crime.   also, the 7900 has a universal capping station making it impossible for just one color to be affected unlike previous machines where the caps could isolate the issue.  just do a head soak (pour cleaning solution into the cap and let the head soak for a few minutes , reloading the cap if it goes down.  also get to the pump and inspect to see if the lines look clean.  common clog points will be directly beneath the cap and at the end of the drain tube.  you can pour cleaning solution down your pumps and even have a friend feed solution while you agressively draw with a syringe at the drain end to loosen a clump of ink.

I reread the OP. There's a history with this printer. It had problems while in warranty. It was serviced, and now it has problems again. Are these problems connected? Is the current problem the result of something that was not done properly during the last service call when the machine was under warranty? If this gentleman now starts playing with parts in his printer will Epson even entertain the idea of paying for an out-of-warranty service call based on previous issues? People handing out gratuitous advice about how to muck around in the printer's entrails without having a friggin' clue what the problem actually is ought to think twice. Owners of these printers are not supposed to be in-house amateur technicians. The printers were not sold on that basis and they are not meant to be serviced on that basis. These printers are supposed to just work. But this machine has a service history, it has service problems, it's new enough to be just out of warranty - let Epson and the owner get it figured out the way Epson recommends.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2011, 07:21:27 PM »
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head soaks and damper swaps are hardly mucking around.  it is the equivalant to checking your oil. 

and as far as having a freaking clue.  i've been working on printers for 12 years.  i can tell pretty much exactly what's going on mechanically in a printer with a simple description.  in fact i invented the damper, pump tube, and cap top swap many years ago that just recently technicians have adopted instead of throwing parts at a machine.
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TylerB
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« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2011, 07:24:27 PM »
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I've been inside a lot of Epsons, as well as watching techs work inside a lot of Epsons, including several repairs of my 9900, watching carefully. I would not attempt a damper replace on an x900. Earlier models, with the proper manuals, tools, and a fair amount of time, sure try it if it's out of warranty and not worth much. I've replaced capping stations etc. in older Epsons.
But an x900, no way, they are different... and I suspect some advice about this is coming from folks who have not been inside an x900.

Let's hear someone recommend this who has personally replaced dampers in a 7900 specifically, and also offers step by step instructions.
Tyler
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2011, 08:56:32 PM »
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I've been inside a lot of Epsons, as well as watching techs work inside a lot of Epsons, including several repairs of my 9900, watching carefully. I would not attempt a damper replace on an x900. Earlier models, with the proper manuals, tools, and a fair amount of time, sure try it if it's out of warranty and not worth much. I've replaced capping stations etc. in older Epsons.
But an x900, no way, they are different... and I suspect some advice about this is coming from folks who have not been inside an x900.

Let's hear someone recommend this who has personally replaced dampers in a 7900 specifically, and also offers step by step instructions.
Tyler

Exactly, and at the same time whoever does this should also indicate, a priori, exactly how they know this particular machine definitely, without a doubt, needs its dampers replaced. I really think there are conditions in which armchair advice reaches its limit, no matter what the advisers have invented or performed, and all the more so when the OP, whose skill, equipment and experience to do this kind of stuff we know nothing about, is in a discussion with Epson about extending his coverage on the work.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2011, 09:11:24 PM »
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that's where a tech coming in and doing a "damper" replacement without proper diagnostics kills the ability to follow scientific method.  if your tech doesn't do a damper swap, then how can one know if that damper is defective.  all that tech has done is charge the client (if out of warranty) money for what "may" be the problem.  

and as for dampers... if you are missing one line, it's not dampers.  the damper is to far removed from the head manifold to the jet to be able to single out a one particular jet and clog it.  

and this isn't "armchair" advice.  i am extremely experienced with ink train issues on printers.  i just replumbed my entire mimaki with a cleaning system (designed by me) transporting all the dampers to the outside of the of the head carriage as well as designing a custom spot color piggy back cartridge.  so not only do i know how to fix ink train issues,  i also can build them custom for special manufacturing processes.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2011, 09:41:51 PM »
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that's where a tech coming in and doing a "damper" replacement without proper diagnostics kills the ability to follow scientific method.  if your tech doesn't do a damper swap, then how can one know if that damper is defective.  all that tech has done is charge the client (if out of warranty) money for what "may" be the problem.  

and as for dampers... if you are missing one line, it's not dampers.  the damper is to far removed from the head manifold to the jet to be able to single out a one particular jet and clog it.  

and this isn't "armchair" advice.  i am extremely experienced with ink train issues on printers.  i just replumbed my entire mimaki with a cleaning system (designed by me) transporting all the dampers to the outside of the of the head carriage as well as designing a custom spot color piggy back cartridge.  so not only do i know how to fix ink train issues,  i also can build them custom for special manufacturing processes.

I agree with you that whatever tech goes there should diagnose the problem using correct technical procedures.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2011, 10:26:10 PM »
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sorry if i sounded a little "soapbox"...  i'm new on this board, but a long time major contributor on signs101 helping members with diagnostics...
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Garnick
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« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2011, 10:34:14 PM »
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Gary and Thelo,

If it were me at the stage David is at, not knowing the real cause of the problem and with Epson now re-involved in the issue, I would do NOTHING. Let Epson's designated service rep come there, do their thing, then see if they resolved it, and from there deal with the warranty coverage aspect. If he really knew exactly what the problem is and would run truly minimal risk messing around in the printer himself, I may advise otherwise, but not in present circumstances.

With all due respect, I believe that if you read my previous posts concerning this matter you will find that never have I advised anyone to delve into the guts of a 7900/9900 printer. As a matter of fact, the closest I have come to offering that sort of advice was to suggest that, in my opinion, the easiest part to replace by the user "might be" the pump/cap station. However, at no time have I ever suggested or advised anyone to actually take on that task. Upon reading my previous posts you will also notice that on more than one occasion I have advised extending the warranty. The reason I did that was simply the fact that I will NOT be venturing into the 9900 service business on my own machine any time soon. It's not an animal I want to tangle with. I have enough issues with my 9900 as it is, without causing more. And as I also mentioned, I think it would be an excellent idea for Epson to make sure their field techs are well and properly trained. The first fellow who worked on my machine was very knowledgeable in my opinion, but the second tech left a lot to be desired in that regard. Again, my opinion, but one based on personal observation as well as the fact that he didn't bother to run even one head alignment after installing a new head. I did that myself when I found a subsequent problem. And now it's been almost two weeks since my last call to Epson and no service call yet. However, I was told that they are having problems getting parts now. Perhaps the aftermath of the situation in Japan, don't know.

So, in an attempt to be more clearly understood, unless your X900 series printer is a couple of years old and well out of warranty, I would NEVER advise anyone to start "changing the oil", as has also been mentioned in another post. If the machine IS past its warranty period and you're having some recurring difficulties and don't want to pop for the service call, well, knock yourself out!

One small piece of advice I will pass along though. If you do decide to tackle it yourself, be prepared to make that call eventually.

Gary
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 10:39:29 PM by Garnick » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2011, 10:43:43 PM »
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Fair enough.

Interesting comment on the parts situation. This is the first I hear of problems at Epson, but we should not be surprised, and only hope for their sake and ours that things come back to normal sooner rather than later. It's hard to imagine the complexities that must be involved with recovering from this kind of disruption given how modern manufacturing processes operate.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2011, 12:55:11 AM »
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There's no need to wait 4 hours after an SSCL.  However, you shouldn't run multiple SSCLs consecutively and it's best to do them only when all else fails.

If the head truly got so hot as to need 4 hours to cool down, it'd melt :-)

"Hey, have You seen our new printer? It is really HOT!"  Cheesy

What You say might well be true, anyway I did what I was told so if warranty service is needed there is no room for speculations.
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« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2011, 01:39:03 AM »
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Signs 101 is a *very* different market place and technical maitenance expectation/capacity compared to photographers that you'll find here.  What's more, the *900 series Epsons are a far cry from Rolands and Mimakis and even Mutoh and Epson solvent.  Of course they share some basic principles, but for someone without experience or training to replace a damper is entirely unreasonable.

What's more, as for your invention of the process of replacing dampers etc as opposed to "throwing parts at the machine", well, I really don't know what to say.  No one's been throwing parts at machines as opposed to replacing appropriate parts for a very long time, across any manufacturer, assuming they're competent technicians.
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« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2011, 02:19:18 AM »
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for the longest time printer techs have had a general "tune up" rule for printer repair.  similar to when you take a car in for diagnosis.  and the mechanic says "let's give it a tune up to eliminate accumulative issues", etc.  dampers, wipers, cap tops, etc have been the norm for a pre-diagnostic approach.  as well as replacing entire pumps when "rebuilding" only requires replacing a tube that runs through the pump (the pumps are peristaltic).  these "tune ups" amount to the demons in each individual printer never being understood.  by swapping pump lines, dampers, cap tops, and data ribbons the exact source of the ink supply or data, ... whatever can be pin pointed.  whether a printer owner does or doesn't repair the printer, it's good to know the basic fluid dynamics of the machine.  when you do get to know the printer, you will see how truly unmagical it is that the ink makes it from the cart' to the jet.  and or to the wast bottle.  understanding these basic principles will help a printer owner much faster discern just why his machine is clogged and get back to printing.   the print test pattern can tell if you have a seal issue, cracked manifold, clogged head, bad capping assembly, bad pump, bad data, bad ink.... just by looking at the pattern.  it is the finger print of the machine's state of being.  i've found that many techs don't know how to read these tiny clues to the issue at hand.   being certified as a printer tech doesn't mean that you are a printer guru.  there's only so much training a person can receive in a certification program. the rest comes from that thousandth repair.  

as for signs101.  if someone does have a pritner out of warranty.  post a question there.  you will be immediately helped by guys that have long since fired their printer techs.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2011, 06:45:57 AM »
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What's more, as for your invention of the process of replacing dampers etc as opposed to "throwing parts at the machine", well, I really don't know what to say.  No one's been throwing parts at machines as opposed to replacing appropriate parts for a very long time, across any manufacturer, assuming they're competent technicians.


Shucks, I'm disappointed to read this - colourful images were going through my mind about what to expect if an Epson tech ever had to come to my house to service a couple of (non-fatal) issues on my 4900, whether the machine would survive the bombardment, whether I should invite the grandchildren over to watch.........and so on :-)
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2011, 06:48:11 AM »
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Two minor clogs in cyan since...

This is interesting because I'm getting minor Cyan clogs in my 4900 if I don't use the printer for several days. They go away with a one-pair simple cleaning, but it's a nuisance.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2011, 07:03:16 AM »
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for the longest time printer techs have had a general "tune up" rule for printer repair.  similar to when you take a car in for diagnosis.  and the mechanic says "let's give it a tune up to eliminate accumulative issues", etc.  dampers, wipers, cap tops, etc have been the norm for a pre-diagnostic approach.  as well as replacing entire pumps when "rebuilding" only requires replacing a tube that runs through the pump (the pumps are peristaltic).  these "tune ups" amount to the demons in each individual printer never being understood.  by swapping pump lines, dampers, cap tops, and data ribbons the exact source of the ink supply or data, ... whatever can be pin pointed.  whether a printer owner does or doesn't repair the printer, it's good to know the basic fluid dynamics of the machine.  when you do get to know the printer, you will see how truly unmagical it is that the ink makes it from the cart' to the jet.  and or to the wast bottle.  understanding these basic principles will help a printer owner much faster discern just why his machine is clogged and get back to printing.   the print test pattern can tell if you have a seal issue, cracked manifold, clogged head, bad capping assembly, bad pump, bad data, bad ink.... just by looking at the pattern.  it is the finger print of the machine's state of being.  i've found that many techs don't know how to read these tiny clues to the issue at hand.   being certified as a printer tech doesn't mean that you are a printer guru.  there's only so much training a person can receive in a certification program. the rest comes from that thousandth repair.  

as for signs101.  if someone does have a pritner out of warranty.  post a question there.  you will be immediately helped by guys that have long since fired their printer techs.

I can relate to some of what you say here, as there is a wide range of practices amongst service personnel in terms of whether to diagnose or replace; I suppose that largely depends on the kind of situation they are dealing with and whether certain kinds of disassembly make commercial or technical sense. I'd be surprised if Epson trained people to mindlessly change parts regardless of the details of the case at hand. But a lot of service is farmed out to third parties, so one depends on their technical integrity.

I too think it's a good thing to understand the basics of the equipment one is using. It at least helps to ask the right questions and keep the service people on their toes. Beyond that, without specialist training and experience, I personally wouldn't venture.

At this point, I should ask you whether you have specific experience servicing x900 series printers. While I have no basis to necessarily disbelieve what you are saying about diagnosing nozzle check patterns, I would appreciate hearing confirmation from anyone familiar with the servicing of x900 series printers just how much one can diagnose from looking at the nozzle check pattern. Because if that's the case I would like to send to you, or to anyone else who knows, images of Cyan clogs for diagnosis.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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