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Author Topic: epson 4900 shut off between print sessions?  (Read 1876 times)
danaz
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« on: October 23, 2013, 02:40:52 PM »
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Just got a new epson 4900 and wondered if there is any rule of thumb for leaving the printer idle.

It will get about 100 prints per day 365 days a year, but is it ok to leave it on for a few hours between print sessions?

With my 3880s i always turn them off if i'm not going to print for anything over 45 mins, plus i think the newer 3880's have an auto-shutoff added to the menu defaulted to 60 mins i think.

Just not sure about the protocol with the 4900s

Thanks

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Farmer
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2013, 11:01:59 PM »
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The 4900 also has an auto-off setting.

Rule of thumb?  If you think you've finished printing for the day, switch it off, otherwise let it sit.  It will either auto-off or it won't.  Even if you turned off the auto-off, it wouldn't matter.

I do recommend switching off at the end of the day.
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 03:47:34 AM »
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is it ok to leave it on for a few hours between print sessions?

If you ask virtually any qualified electronics technician with more than a couple decades of experience, the answer to that will be that all electronics should be left on unless there is a very specific reason to turn it off.  I know of no reason that turning printers off would be beneficial, and in fact do leave mine on all of the time regardless of how long they are expected to be idle.

The primary reason for that view is because with vew exceptions the on/off cycle is more likely to damage electric/electronic equipment than just sitting idle.  If there are mechanical parts that move, there may be benefit to a power down.  If there is something that is dangerous (high heat that has a higher potential for fire than average), or something that may need operator attention to avoid damage, otherwise leave it on.

Incidentally, the cost of electricity is pennies a month for an idle printer.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 05:09:25 AM »
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I know of no reason that turning printers off would be beneficial,
Quite a few printers cap up their print heads when de-powered. This helps prevent the heads and nozzles drying up and causing clogs (although environmental issues like humidity can also play a part in the likelihood of clogs).

Most credible advice from people with experience is that it's fine to leave printers powered up all day, but any longer and the good advice is to switch it off.
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 06:33:10 AM »
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With my 3880s i always turn them off if i'm not going to print for anything over 45 mins, plus i think the newer 3880's have an auto-shutoff added to the menu defaulted to 60 mins i think.

Just not sure about the protocol with the 4900s

Thanks

Like you, I turn my 3880 off when not in use.  I cover it and forget about it until my next print session.  The printer is as good as new and hasn't had a head clog for over 4 years.  I don't have a 4900 but I suspect it's a totally different beast.

Sal
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 06:56:33 AM »
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Quite a few printers cap up their print heads when de-powered. This helps prevent the heads and nozzles drying up and causing clogs (although environmental issues like humidity can also play a part in the likelihood of clogs).

Most credible advice from people with experience is that it's fine to leave printers powered up all day, but any longer and the good advice is to switch it off.

Printers "cap up their print heads" in standby mode, so that is not a valid disctinction.  Also note that turning a printer "off" with the power switch does not actually turn it completely off.  Standby mode generally will be 3-5 watts, and when turned off the power consumption will be1-3 watts.  (Expect to pay about $1 per year per watt if it is left on 24/7, so the difference in cost is virtually nothing.)

And while pulling the plug or powering down a UPS or whatever does totally remove power, if it is done before the printer goes into standby mode to park the heads properly there certainly is a significant chance of nozzle clogs that cannot be corrected.  Hence actually doing a full power down is never ever recommended unless the machine is to be moved or otherwise has to be powered off.

Most credible advice from people with genuine knowledge as well as experience is that there is no benefit, and may be some detriment, to powering a printer down.  I've noted the detriments.  Can you show any benefit?

"Our recommendation would be that you leave your printer powered on in normal usage conditions, and power it down if you will not use it for an extended period of time, on the order of a month or more." That is  by David Bufford, of HP at
http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/The-Inkjet-Printing-Blog/Should-You-Turn-Your-Printer-Off-when-You-aren-t-Using-It/ba-p/32062#.Um5MC5fO2Rs

On the other hand, lets be clear that powering down with the printer's on/off button is very unlikely to ever cause a problem (as opposed to disconnecting power by shutting off a power block or pulling the plug), so if it makes someone feel better there is no harm done.  Just understand that technically it isn't required.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 07:00:59 AM by Floyd Davidson » Logged

Rhossydd
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 07:23:41 AM »
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Most credible advice from people with genuine knowledge as well as experience is that there is no benefit, and may be some detriment, to powering a printer down
Citation ?
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 08:19:00 AM »
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Citation ?

See the previously quoted statement from an HP person on HP's blog,

One clue is that virtually all of the "people with experience" who say the printer should be turned off at the end of the day cite the need to have the print head capped, which they state happens when the printer is turned off.  It is true that a power down does cause the head to be capped, but the head is capped almost immediately after the finish of every print job at the time when the printer enters Standby Mode.  There is no need to turn the printer off to cap the head.

Any Epson Service Manual will show that the printer very quickly goes into Standby Mode shortly after a print operation is completed if another is not started (and after about 15 minutes will go into a Low Power Mode).  And the Manual will say the heads are capped when it goes into Standby Mode. 

The distinction in actually turning the printer off is that

1) It cannot print until turned on (in Standby or Low Power modes it can),

2) There is about a 2 or 3 watt difference in power consumption when turned off as opposed to being in Low Power Mode, and

3) when turned on the printer will go through a head cleaning routine that will not be done when a print is started from Standby or Low Power mode.

I have an Epson  PDF document entitled "Epson Head Structure" (available free from www.maisiemanuals.com) that appears to be a 9 page except from a larger document ("Epson TOP  Revision A").  Here is what Epson says about capping:

"Capping mechanism
The capping mechanism covers the print heads with the cap holder to prevent the ink around the nozzles from increasing viscosity when the printer is in stand-by mode or when the printer is off."
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2013, 01:58:47 PM »
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Printers "cap up their print heads" in standby mode, so that is not a valid disctinction.  Also note that turning a printer "off" with the power switch does not actually turn it completely off.  Standby mode generally will be 3-5 watts, and when turned off the power consumption will be1-3 watts.

An epson printer does more than just cap it's head when it powers down, it also pulls a little with the vacuum to make sure it is seated and sealed.  It may do some other functions as well, the activity is pretty obvious and can be heard.

I think the concept of leaving electronics running is offered far less often with modern devices than it was a couple of decades ago.  I don't think cycling a printer off and on once each day will result in shortening the life of the device. It may or may not affect the amount of cleaning necessary and life of the heads, but I for one as well as many of my customers do find turning it off each night seems to be more effective.

 Canon and HP printers continually prime their head with minute amounts of ink, so as a general rule they are better left on all the time unless the printer won't be used for several days.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 02:08:30 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

Farmer
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2013, 04:10:28 PM »
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Floyd: You may not be aware that the manual you have accessed is pirated, proprietary intellectual property (as are most of the manuals provided at such places).

That aside, your statement says "any Epson printer" but that's not really true.  There are various models with various power regimes and there are many people using printers as old as, say, the Epson Stylus Pro 7600.  There are also other models being used now for photography that do not use aqueous based inks and the Epson models (to keep it related) certainly have different requirements and processes.

In regard to the comments from HP, they relate to HP technology which is significantly different to the micro peizo technology employed by Epson.  I would not necessarily relate the two in terms of preferred practice.

Specifically for the 4900, the manufacturer clearly sees value in powering the printer down and finds it to be more than any downside in so doing (hint: there's no downside) and has implemented a default state in which this happens after 15 minutes of non-use.

Taking into consideration my extensive personal experience with these printers and discussions with people who genuinely know what they're talking about (far above my level), my recommendation is to switch off once you have decided that you are finished for the day.  The printer will not unduly wear or have any impact whatsoever on the MTBF or total expected life as a result of the additional switching off and on, but it does initiate some important processes such as writing data to the ink cartridge and maintenance tank chips, updating internal NVRAM data, performing AID checks and time/usage-based cleaning cycles, just to name a few.  These are not critical in the sense that the printer will fail if you do not do it, but you run the risk that an interuption to power or otherwise of the operation of the printer may result in these processes failing which can (and I have seen numerous cases whre it has) cause issues.

The downsides to leaving the printer on are limited and most people who do so will never encounter them, particularly if they use a UPS (see above) and so there is no need to criticise this practice if it suits a particular user.  However, the best practice for a 4900 would be, in my considered opinion, to switch off when you believe you have finished printing for the day but not between print sessions within a given day.  This will achieve the best balance of all the various factors at play for most casual users (which is most users, even proffesionals).
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2013, 04:39:27 PM »
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An epson printer does more than just cap it's head when it powers down, it also pulls a little with the vacuum to make sure it is seated and sealed.  It may do some other functions as well, the activity is pretty obvious and can be heard.

That is true, but it is also true that it is in fact exactly the same routine that is done when it goes into Standby Mode.

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I think the concept of leaving electronics running is offered far less often with modern devices than it was a couple of decades ago.  I don't think cycling a printer off and on once each day will result in shortening the life of the device. It may or may not affect the amount of cleaning necessary and life of the heads, but I for one as well as many of my customers do find turning it off each night seems to be more effective.

If it makes you feel good, do it.  But the equipment isn't any different for it having been done.  The most significant effect is that a head clean routine is done at startup, and otherwise it probably should be done at the start of the day anyway.  One way somebody has to push the on/off button, the other way somebody has to initiate a head clean...

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Canon and HP printers continually prime their head with minute amounts of ink, so as a general rule they are better left on all the time unless the printer won't be used for several days.

I'm not sure what "continually prime their head with minute amounts of ink" means, plus I'm not particularly familiar with either HP or Canon printers.  So I really cannot comment on that.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2013, 05:14:09 PM »
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The most significant effect is that a head clean routine is done at startup, and otherwise it probably should be done at the start of the day anyway.  One way somebody has to push the on/off button, the other way somebody has to initiate a head clean...
There's a significant difference between a manually initiated head clean and the minor prime and check of the heads that powering up does.
An manually initiated head clean uses more ink and takes longer. So if you leave it powered up and manually clean the heads every day, you waste ink, electricity and time.
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Farmer
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2013, 06:20:00 PM »
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As alluded to above, it doesn't actually do a clean on startup - it does a check using the AID system and cleans (or not, depending on printer settings) if required.  Mostly (there are other triggers that can come into play).  A manual clean always runs a clean, the level of which depends on both user input and system feedback - you can't initiate an AID-only process manually as a user.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 06:37:35 PM »
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As alluded to above, it doesn't actually do a clean on startup - it does a check using the AID system and cleans (or not, depending on printer settings) if required.  Mostly (there are other triggers that can come into play).  A manual clean always runs a clean, the level of which depends on both user input and system feedback - you can't initiate an AID-only process manually as a user.

What is the AID system?
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John
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 07:04:43 PM »
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Floyd: You may not be aware that the manual you have accessed is pirated, proprietary intellectual property (as are most of the manuals provided at such places).

The manuals are not pirated.  Lets stick to facts and avoid fabrications.  I typically buy manuals from www.2manual.com, but the previously listed source is just as legitimate.  Epson like other companies makes their manuals available for purchase by service technicians.

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That aside, your statement says "any Epson printer" but that's not really true.  There are various models with various power regimes and there are many people using printers as old as, say, the Epson Stylus Pro 7600.  There are also other models being used now for photography that do not use aqueous based inks and the Epson models (to keep it related) certainly have different requirements and processes.

Wonderful, but just find an Epson InkJet that doesn't do what was described with respect to Standby and Power Off modes.  The 7600, for example, does exactly as described (see page 116 of the Service Manual).  The reason is very simple too:  it's the only thing that makes sense.  And of course that relates to InkJet technology, while other types will do whatever is equally appropriate.

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In regard to the comments from HP, they relate to HP technology which is significantly different to the micro peizo technology employed by Epson.  I would not necessarily relate the two in terms of preferred practice.

Specifically for the 4900, the manufacturer clearly sees value in powering the printer down and finds it to be more than any downside in so doing (hint: there's no downside) and has implemented a default state in which this happens after 15 minutes of non-use.

It goes into Low Power Mode, just as I have described.  Power Off is different. 

Actually the 4900 has a configurable time to Low Power Mode, with 5 steps from 5 to 180 minutes selectable and 15 minutes is the default.  More telling though, is that there is indeed a timer to go to Power Off.  It is selectable in hours from 1 to 24, but apparantly Espon doesn't "clearly sees value in powering the printer down" because by default the timer is disabled.

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Taking into consideration my extensive personal experience with these printers and discussions with people who genuinely know what they're talking about (far above my level), my recommendation is to switch off once you have decided that you are finished for the day. 

Discussions with people who have and read Epson Service Manuals, for example?

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The printer will not unduly wear or have any impact whatsoever on the MTBF or total expected life as a result of the additional switching off and on, but it does initiate some important processes such as writing data to the ink cartridge and maintenance tank chips, updating internal NVRAM data, performing AID checks and time/usage-based cleaning cycles, just to name a few.  These are not critical in the sense that the printer will fail if you do not do it, but you run the risk that an interuption to power or otherwise of the operation of the printer may result in these processes failing which can (and I have seen numerous cases whre it has) cause issues.

Those are done either when entering Standby Mode, Low Power Mode, or are totally superflous unless power is actually removed.

The key point is your first sentence, "will not [...] have any impact whatever".  That's a two way street, there is no harm to turning it off but there is no harm to leaving it on.

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The downsides to leaving the printer on are limited and most people who do so will never encounter them, particularly if they use a UPS (see above) and so there is no need to criticise this practice if it suits a particular user.  However, the best practice for a 4900 would be, in my considered opinion, to switch off when you believe you have finished printing for the day but not between print sessions within a given day.  This will achieve the best balance of all the various factors at play for most casual users (which is most users, even proffesionals).

I don't agree with which is "best practice".  There is no harm done, but there is simply nothing gained by going through a power on/off cycle every day.  It's also a waste of ink.

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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2013, 07:09:48 PM »
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There's a significant difference between a manually initiated head clean and the minor prime and check of the heads that powering up does.
An manually initiated head clean uses more ink and takes longer. So if you leave it powered up and manually clean the heads every day, you waste ink, electricity and time.

Yes there is a difference:  Before doing a manual head clean routine the smart thing is to waste the smallest amount of ink possilbe by printing a nozzle check first, which most of the time will indicate that no head clean routine is required at all.  Often if one is there are different head clean routines to choose from, and certainly cleaning only two heads will also use less ink that the startup routine that cleans all heads.

The essense is we are not talking about running a power clean every day.
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jferrari
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 10:50:58 PM »
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It will get about 100 prints per day 365 days a year

Based on your usage, depending on your print size, there won't be significant time to shut off the printer between print sessions. I can print about two large pano's per hour (9890) so that's about 2 full days non-stop to do a hundred prints! If I had your work load I would not power the printer down at all. Let it go to standby via it's internal timer and call it good.
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Farmer
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 11:50:08 PM »
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AID is the Automatic Ink Detection system which checking for nozzle blockages.


Floyd - you're wrong.  Epson does not sell service manuals to anyone.  Anyone selling you Epson's IP is probably doing so illegally.  I'm not accusing you of anything but I'm pointing out to you the source of the material is at best questionable.  You may have been duped into believing it was legitimate.

The tone of your response is entirely unecessarily agressive and in numerous areas wrong.  I'll avoid responding to you in the future and assume that most people can sort the wheat from the chaff.  Good day.
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Floyd Davidson
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2013, 12:28:28 AM »
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AID is the Automatic Ink Detection system which checking for nozzle blockages.


Floyd - you're wrong.  Epson does not sell service manuals to anyone.  Anyone selling you Epson's IP is probably doing so illegally.  I'm not accusing you of anything but I'm pointing out to you the source of the material is at best questionable.  You may have been duped into believing it was legitimate.

The tone of your response is entirely unecessarily agressive and in numerous areas wrong.  I'll avoid responding to you in the future and assume that most people can sort the wheat from the chaff.  Good day.

Epson does not directly sell service manuals, but they very clearly do allow others to sell them.  When you say things like "anyone selling you Epson's IP is probably doing so illegally", you peg yourself.  Look into it and stop impinging on the integrity of others without cause.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2013, 12:39:19 AM »
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The tone of your response is entirely unecessarily agressive and in numerous areas wrong.  I'll avoid responding to you in the future and assume that most people can sort the wheat from the chaff.  Good day.

Yeah, seems to be a repetitive pattern with Floyd, arguing with those who have more than proven their expertise on this forum for many years. Pointless to discuss things with him, since he seems to know everything already.
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