9890/9900 700ml Cart failure - cause head failure

I had a 700ml LM cart fail in my 9890. Had LM ink all over the floor. I did not have any pressure sensor errors, but definitely the cart is leaking from the bottom edge of the cart where it is assembled together. Contacted Wells at customer service, her promptly sent me a new cart along with some ink to replace that had leaked all over the floor. Thank You for the great service. after refilling/priming the new cart with LM ink. I went to make a print and it was way off color. did a test print and the LM channel was not printing at all. no lines what so ever. so i did a standard cleaning of pairs to prime the line with ink thinking there was an air bubble to move. after doing this over several days as i did not want to overheat the print head. there was no improvement in getting ink to the print head. I checked the lines and thought i saw air bubbles. but wasn’t sure at first if ink was flowing at all through the line. although the ink cart was going empty from doing several initial fills, i figured ink was flowing and no air was seen in the lines. I couldn’t see any visible damage to the damper unit, but I figured it was worth a shot to replace since so much of it is just thin foil, took the assumption that maybe the damper or this foil was just sucking air. After replacing the damper assembly, still no printing from the head. I took the lines off the damper unit and also from the back of the cartridge unit and flushed the lines out clear. no ink, no flush, completely empty. I then reconnected and observed during the initial fill the ink flowing clear to the print head. all should be golden i felt. but still not print test working. I have come to the conclusion that the 700ml cart failure also caused my head to fail. could the pressure change from the cart cracking and leaking caused the head to collapse.? I’m to the point now of actually removing the head and trying to back flow flush through it to see if there was something sent through the lines causing just a clog. but i feel that the head has failed and will be just replacing it. any experience regarding cartridge failure causing head failure is wanted. also any great sources for purchasing a print head. I found one on a chinese site for 1550 about and a 2 year warranty… I have requested a copy of their warranty to review.


Hi Tim~

I was just responding to your email, so will post here instead.

First, I apologize for not responding sooner, I was out sick for two weeks, then returned last week to teach a group workshop, so have unfortunately been away from email for several weeks.

Secondly, I am very sorry you experienced a leaking cartridge, especially after over a year of good results!

You said the LM was last working the same morning/day you noticed the cartridge was leaking, then installed a flush cart until the replacement cart arrived. In my experience, the printer will give a pressurization error if it detects a loss of pressure in the ink system. I’m not sure why/how your printer continued printing while the LM cartridge was leaking. From the photos you sent, the cartridge didn’t completely drain (it was still about 1/4 full), and it seems to have been leaking from the middle/rear lower side edge (not the front end that is far in the printer), so I don’t understand how the ink line could have been empty (which you said in one of the many emails you sent). Considering the cartridge didn’t totally drain, and the pressure loss wasn’t enough to prompt the pressure loss error on your printer, it seems strange/unlikely that it would cause damage to your print head… Over the years, there have been a few cartridges leak in printers, which is messy and frustrating, but others’ have been fixed by installing a new cartridge and doing a few cleaning cycles, or printing color purge sheets if there was air in the ink line. BUT- I have seen and heard of all sorts of strange things happening with the 7890/9890, 4900 and 7900/9900 printer models…

If ink has filled the LM ink line after the last initial fill cycle you did, then ink is flowing thru the line/damper/head channel, meaning you don’t have a severe clog (so, I wouldn’t suggest flushing the head), but if nothing prints from that channel when printing a nozzle check or image, then that sounds electrical.

Chinese print heads can be perfectly fine (or crap), so it’s good that you’re carefully checking the warranty.

I would love to help you get back to happily printing, but my help is limited with printer repair, other than what I have learned over the years from experience.

I wish you the best, please do keep me posted!
Warmly~ Dana

do you think it is something electrical with in the head itself? or a board on the printer? I have access to another printer with a bad yellow channel. would it be worth it to try moving the print head from the printer to the other printer and see if it still has a bad LM channel? it would be going from the 9890 to a 9900 with a bad yellow channel.