9900 Head Problems

Hi Dana,

I replaced the exit valve seals, no problems. Filled the repaired cartridges and installed them. I had left PF cartridges installed everywhere except the VM, LLK and Y positions, where the cartridge exit valves were damaged. The Cyan position, the clogged one, has had PF since April 7. I’ve done occasional regular cleanings to keep the head in condition—every position except Cyan was printing fine with PF in the lines (or ink in the VM, LLK and Y lines).

I ran the Init Fill, the second time. I did a nozzle check after letting the printer sit for 10 minutes—Cyan is still clogged. I will let it sit another 24 hours and check and clean again, but my guess is that I am not going to get the head cleared.


– Paul

Thanks for the update Paul. I’m glad you were able to replace the exit valve seals, and that carts are now working well. Unfortunately, it seems like you may not have success getting the cyan channel working again. What percentage of the cyan channel isn’t printing, or is the whole channel blank? If the cyan channel is printing somewhat, but not fully, you can try a SSCL thru the service mode- but I would only do one, then turn the printer and turn it on normally to print a nozzle check to check the status. You can also try the paired power clean cycle thru the service mode, which is different than thru the regular cleaning menu.

If you don’t have success getting the cyan channel printing again, but all other channels are working well, I’d either call Epson and tell them their new head died after a short time, and see if they can get it working, or make use of the good working channels by setting this printer up with a custom Piezography system.

Best wishes~ Dana

Cyan is missing three lines just above the middle, otherwise seems to be printing. Not sure what SSCL is.

I did call Epson. They sent me a VM and a C 150mL cartridge and a maintenance tank in commiseration, but otherwise said I should replace the head.


– Paul

One SSCL and one C/VM level 4 cleaning later and the Cyan head has not cleared. At least everything else is printing pink PiezoFlush. I"m turning the printer off. It seems to me it should be ready to rest until I consider whether to supply it with Piezography inks. It’s full of flush and it seems it should keep the remaining heads usable for some time.

It’s crazy, but I suppose I will turn around and buy another 9900. I had some thoughts about the Canon IPF8400, which evidently has individually replaceable heads. However, the Epson is the devil I know, and when works, it works amazingly well. Obviously I’ll get a three-year extended warranty.

It would be great if you did workshops devoted to care and maintenance of x900s. Aside from printing like crazy while the machine is under warranty, I would like to see it go on functioning at the end of three years. I have done some DIY maintenance, but there’s obviously a lot more I need to know—how to replace dampers, for example. Will find out if Epson covers that during the warranty period.

Wondering also if I should shake the whole machine every two weeks and not just the cartridges. To let it know I care…no, to keep pigment particles in the ink in the lines in suspension.


– Paul

Thanks for the update Paul. I apologize for not responding sooner, I have been out for the past few days caring for my sick baby…

I’m sorry to hear your cyan channel still isn’t fully printing after the SSCL. In that case, I expect you’re probably dealing with a physical failure of the head, and not a clog that can be cleaned/cleared.

We DO one-on-one workshops at Cone-Editions Press, which are tailored to the individual’s needs, ranging from imaging/editing and printing techniques, printer maintenance, setup, paper info, scanning, color, Piezography, etc… and would be happy to teach you anything you’d like to learn about printers, printer maintenance, etc… If you’re interested in learning more, or scheduling a day, please contact Cathy Cone (her info is on the Cone-Editions Press website). I’m not an Epson tech, but have learned a lot over the years of working hands-on with many different Epson printer models, and have done nearly all the maintenance/repair to our production printers in the past six years (though the x900/x890 are very different from previous models)

I prefer shaking both ends of the printer to agitate ink in all carts at once, rather than taking each cart out to shake then reinstall. Several quick shakes back and forth about 1’ works well at shaking ink in the carts, but be careful to check the level of your waste ink tank first- especially if you reuse them like we do.

Best regards~ Dana

I’m in Spain now, can’t check the printer, but before I left I noticed that there had been more leakage of PiezoFlush. It did not happen when I was attempting to clear the head with Init Fill or SSCL. I’m not sure when it happened. I just noticed some PiezoFlush pooled around the front right wheel several days later. I checked the right hand cartridges. Nothing seemed to have leaked from any of the cartridges that I could see. They were all at about the same level. One of the maintenance tanks is at 100% full. Maybe that would account for it? Or there could be some other slow leak somewhere in the system.

My biggest concern is to keep the printer mothballed for a while, so that I can consider using Piezography inks with it at a later date. I imagine that means I should open and clean the printer as well as I can, and see if there are any obvious small leaks.


– Paul

Hi Paul~

It’s really hard to tell without being there with your printer to examine, but if your carts aren’t leaking now, then the new PiezoFlush puddle may have been residual from the past leak, and fluid may have slowly leaked down your printer’s leg (?)

Please let me know when you’re back with the printer, so we can check some things.

Enjoy your time in Spain!!
Warmly~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hi Dana,

I turned the old 9900 on after some six weeks without running it. It has a set of refillable carts fill with PiezoFlush. The nozzle check was good after a single regular cleaning–except of course for cyan.

I have concluded that I should probably sell the printer. I don’t really have room to maintain two printers. At this point, branching into grayscale piezography, however much I may admire the results, does not seem to be a good use of my time, and could also prove expensive. I’m printing almost exclusively my own work, which is in color. My new 9900 does just fine—and I have a two year service plan, which can be extended as it ages.

Do you have any advice about selling a printer with a damaged head?


– Paul