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Author Topic: Epson 4900 Clogging Experiences  (Read 12394 times)
Shane Webster
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« on: July 12, 2011, 04:25:48 PM »
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I posted here a while back regarding an issue I had with my 4900 and its inability to clean a C nozzle.  Epson replaced that printer and--other than having to clean it more regularly than my 7880--all was fine until this afternoon.  The replacement 4900 was unable to completely print a 17x42" print without clogs in LK and LLK printheads, ruining the print.  The second attempt resulting in all LK and LLK nozzles becoming clogged during printing (I've never had a print head become clogged like that while printing and using the ink that got clogged).  After the first power clean, PK became clogged and so I performed another clean and another power clean.  After the final power clean, new PK nozzles were clogged along with the old ones so I called Epson.  They're sending another replacement printer.  While I'm very pleased with Epson customer support, I'm curious as to other's experiences with their 4900s and print head clogs.  Are you finding yourself having to clean the print head more relative to your other Epson pro printers, if any?  I like the 4900, but it seems to clog much more than my 7880.
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JohnHeerema
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 06:45:03 PM »
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Just a thought, but "power cleaning" is pretty much a last resort if normal cleaning doesn't do the trick. After three power cleans, i wonder if you have perhaps moved so much (expensive) ink through the head that the lines are cavitating? I wonder if a light cleaning, following a an overnight rest might be more effective?

Having said that, having colours stop working in the middle of a print can't be a good thing, so maybe you've got a second defective unit.
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Shane Webster
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 08:31:02 PM »
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It was a power clean followed by a "normal" clean followed by a power clean. The main reason I started off with a power clean is that I had already performed two "normal" cleans of LK, LLK and VLM prior to the first print, performed two or three "normal" cleans of those same channels prior to the second print and then all LK and LLK nozzles become clogged while printing the second print. I did use manual cleanings so at least ink from all the heads wasn't wasted.
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Garnick
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 09:53:05 PM »
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Hi Shane,

Having dealt with this sort of frustration with my 9900 I extended the warranty to take care of future issues. One thing I would do is to wait a day or two after you take possession of the next 4900 replacement and call Epson support again. Tell them exactly what has been happening and that you are certainly not happy with the amount of ink being wasted. Then ask them to replace at least two of the carts that you have used the most. They are usually quite good about doing that, but not unless you call back and plead your case. Insist on at least two carts and perhaps try for more, but you have to play the game they play and don't get too greedy. Just a thought, and I'm sure you will have some success if you try.

Gary
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deanwork
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 10:49:09 PM »
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Why don't you just buy two of them. One for doing the work and one for sitting overnight while it unclogs.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 11:28:31 PM »
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Mine develops cyan nozzle clogs if not used for a few days. A regular cleaning brings it back fine. I never had such problems with my 3800. Epson has been totally useless in addressing this issue, as well as another issue - the amount of noise the machine makes. It produces gorgeous prints but in some respects I am seriously beginning to think it has design flaws not really detected at the time I wrote my review - it was too early in its life to know some of these things.
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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
Shane Webster
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 06:38:29 AM »
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It's interesting you mention noise, Mark.  My first 4900 was nice and quiet.  The second 4900 makes noise every time the print head makes a pass.  I tracked it down to the printer/ink ribbon going to the printhead.  As the printhead moves and the ribbons bend following the printhead, the friction between the printer ribbon and the ink ribbon causes a grinding noise as the pieces of plastic rub against each other.  I don't know if the plastic clips attaching the cables together could be moved to alleviate the friction or not but my first 4900 made no unusual noises at all and was much quieter than my 7880.  It will be interesting whether the next 4900 is a "quiet" printer or a "grindy" printer.  And yes, it does make gorgeous prints.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 10:50:15 AM »
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The printer is generally noisy, whereas the 3800 was very quiet. Even when not printing, when it is in "ready mode", not sleeping, it generates 55db from about a foot and half away from the back of the printer. Epson has also been unhelpful on this issue.
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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
Shane Webster
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 02:01:31 PM »
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Interesting Mark.  Neither my first nor second 4900 produced any noticeable sound while just sitting there in non-sleep mode.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 07:58:55 PM »
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I haven't had any clogs and the noise is not obtrusive.  Most of my noise comes from the rickity printer stand I have.  
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 09:17:10 PM »
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You definitely should not be using this printer on an unstable stand. These printers don't like vibrations and movement. It should be on a sturdy, vibration-free platform.
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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 #11 on: July 13, 2011, 09:26:39 PM »
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Interesting Mark.  Neither my first nor second 4900 produced any noticeable sound while just sitting there in non-sleep mode.

It's good to hear this Shane. I've been trying for months to get out of Epson whether this problem is generic or machine-specific. It would appear from what you say that they are having problems in Japan with manufacturing and quality control. I'm thinking it may be time to launch a world-wide experience poll and see what people report.
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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
Shane Webster
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 04:00:14 PM »
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Quote
I'm thinking it may be time to launch a world-wide experience poll and see what people report.

It would certainly be interesting to read people's user experiences.  The replacement printer arrived this afternoon; I'll get it set up in the morning and will report back on noise, etc.  I think it's a refurb. (I don't particularly care as long as it lasts).  It did not arrive in the "new" printer box as the first two printers (the ink cartridges were shrink wrapped and placed on the paper out tray, shipping box is completely different), and its serial number is between my other two. 
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 08:36:20 PM »
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The model is new enough that none of them could have had that much use, and one hopes refurb means they really did a refurb. In a way it could be better assuming they pre-tested what they sent you.
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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
deanwork
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 10:34:24 PM »
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There are a lot of quality control issues springing up now with Epson on a whole lot of levels, but I wouldn't blame it on the Japanese, Canon is doing just great quality control these days. Maybe Epson just makes far to many printers than they can possibly keep up with and rushing them to market one after another. It's really sad to see that sloppiness engulfing them. There are so many damn great things that they have contributed and can still do, but they are in a very confused state these days.

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2011, 12:01:26 AM »
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There are a lot of quality control issues springing up now with Epson on a whole lot of levels, but I wouldn't blame it on the Japanese, Canon is doing just great quality control these days. Maybe Epson just makes far to many printers than they can possibly keep up with and rushing them to market one after another. It's really sad to see that sloppiness engulfing them. There are so many damn great things that they have contributed and can still do, but they are in a very confused state these days.



Nobody is blaming anything on "the Japanese". Every corporation has an address where the HQ is located and when it comes to responsibility for quality control the buck stops there. And yes, I believe we are where we are with quality inkjet printing because of what Epson has brought to the table. The problem they face going forward is that they no longer enjoy a monopoly on fine print quality, so people will be buying printers based on that plus other criteria that define a quality product and support.
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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
Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2011, 06:35:40 AM »
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You definitely should not be using this printer on an unstable stand. These printers don't like vibrations and movement. It should be on a sturdy, vibration-free platform.

The stand is reasonably steady... I used the term 'rickity' more to describe the sound it made... metal on metal.  It does move somewhat, but from what I've heard, not much different from the stands that come with the 7900/9900 printers.  Should it not be moving at all? 
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2011, 06:50:14 AM »
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I could not ask for anything better then the stands that came with my 7900/9900.
Not sure what kind of stand you are actually using but rock solid with little or no movement would be ideal.
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Shane Webster
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2011, 07:25:25 AM »
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I set the new printer up, installed ink cartridges, initialized the printer and ran the all important nozzle print test.  C, PK and LK showed clogs (PK had quite a lot) so I ran a normal clean.  PK and LK still showed clogs so I ran another normal clean.  PK still showed clogs so I ran a power clean (I figure initialization counts as a normal clean so I ran the power clean after three normal cleanings).  Now PK has more clogs than it did after initialization so I'll be calling Epson when they open (I used the PK cartridge that came with the new printer).  If you're keeping track, Mark, this printer makes no more noticeable noise than my first two and the plastic rubbing sound is not there as the printhead moves.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2011, 07:39:57 AM »
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I set the new printer up, installed ink cartridges, initialized the printer and ran the all important nozzle print test.  C, PK and LK showed clogs (PK had quite a lot) so I ran a normal clean.  PK and LK still showed clogs so I ran another normal clean.  PK still showed clogs so I ran a power clean (I figure initialization counts as a normal clean so I ran the power clean after three normal cleanings).  Now PK has more clogs than it did after initialization so I'll be calling Epson when they open (I used the PK cartridge that came with the new printer).  If you're keeping track, Mark, this printer makes no more noticeable noise than my first two and the plastic rubbing sound is not there as the printhead moves.


Your clogging experience is much worse than mine. I wonder what's going on. That said, as a general rule for dealing with them, you don't want to run successive cleanings. Epson has advised me in the past to run a cleaning cycle, then a print, then if needed another cleaning cycle. The check pattern can be s a result of ink drops or clogs, so the procedure they suggested mitigates the risk of ink droppage.
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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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