4900 black channel out

I put my 4900 aside for five months, filled with flush, but I forgot to do a black ink swap. After filling it with ink again and making some prints I did do a black swap, the black channel faded and after a while I got a completely blank nozzle check. Filled the printer with flush again, did an initial fill and got a partial nozzle pattern, then nothing, then a full pattern, finally nothing again. The stupid thing is that I overlooked that orange (filled with flush) ran out of flush. I now get a completely blank nozzle pattern there as well, even after some initial fills and checking that the cart was primed.

Is there a chance that a new pump unit and a new ink selector will bring back the black?

Any suggestions what to do to get back the orange channel?

I know I still have enough channels for K7, but I would like to keep the option to switch to colour, if possible.


Please verify that you have taken the orange vent plug out of your cartridge before placing it into your printer. The 4900 is a non-pressurized printer (why this is, I have no idea, it’s a bad design).

If the vent plug is in there you need to pull it out and run a power cleaning on the K channel.

If the vent plug was out, then this is a standard channel failure and means the cleaning assembly (ink vacuum) needs to be replaced.


Thanks for the quick answer Walker. The plugs are out. Is the cleaning assembly part of the pump unit, ink selector unit, or is it a separate part? Epson repairs are costly, I don’t feel like paying for an unnecessary repair… Is there any chance this will also bring back the black?

best regards


This unit is called the “Cleaning Assembly Unit” on this printer I believe. yeah, all one thing. To tell you the truth this is the one part that goes bad on the printer. But there is no guaranty that it did not damage the head in the process. I have seen many cases of despair with the 4900 and this problem. That said, more channels will go until you change the cleaning assembly. It should be replaced every 2 yrs.


As far as I know, it has never be replaced (I bought the printer second hand), the epson tech person told me last year it wasn’t necessary to do so…

I will have it replaced to save the remaining channels, at least.

Thank you!


Thanks Walker,

I had the pump unit and selector unit replaced, and I’m getting perfect nozzle checks again. According to the epson tech person the problem with the orange seems to be an air pressure thing, probably due to the cart. I remember reading about the issue here in the forum, and will do a search on how to prevent or remedy.



This is a non-pressurized printer. I have no idea why epson decided to make a printer with cartridge below the print-head that is not pressurized. It’s crazy.

Basically what happens (no matter the cartridge, OEM or non), there is not enough ink pressure to get through the dampers and this kills the cleaning assembly.

I’ve had 10 of these printers go on me with OEM carts. 3 with non-OEM carts. The printers are lemons.