Air lock i think


I have an Epson 7900 that had a really bad clog in the green line. The ink was like jelly almost. So i removed the line and print head and everything. I flushed everything out with Piezo flush. I put it all back together and got the green working again. But now the vivid light magenta seems to have an air lock. The line from the cartridge housing to the print head is only about halfway full of ink. After i put everything back together i did an initial fill procedure. How can i get the vivid light magenta to fill all the way up? Should i do another initial fill? If there is another way i would like to try that so it doesn’t waste all that ink.


You may need to put an EPSON OEM VLM cart in there and do a CL4 cleaning on the VLM/LC channel pair to verify if it’s truly a damper air-lock or just a miss-aligned o-ring at the ink bay or in the cartridge outlet.



If i do a VLM/LC channel pair cleaning what will happen if it is an air lock vs a miss aligned o ring? What should i look for to diagnose one vs the other? I do have an Epson OEM VLM in there currently.


If it was a miss-aligned O-ring than a CL4 level cleaning (essentially an initial fill of that channel pair) should fix it. If it’s air-lock it won’t.



If it is an air lock what is the best way to fix that?


Replace both the dampers + cleaning assembly. This may or may not fix the issue if the printhead was PRINTED with (like more than just nozzle checks) in this locked state.



Hi Walker,
I have been reading this since it sounds as quite connected with the problems i experienced in my 9900. What is an air lock in the dampers, why might it take place and how can it be fixed?
I do not want to hijack here the post, but the technicians spent two days trying to fix my 9900 and in the end, they had to change the head, and again the dampers unit and the cleaning station… that was after trying all sorts of things, and seeing air that remained in two of the channels in the dampers, no matter how many cleaning - init fills they did…



This is a 9900 in a nutshell:

Air Pressure Pump -> Ink cart -> Ink bay -> Damper Inlet -> Damper - > Head Manifold -> Head -> Pump Cap -> Vacuum Motor -> Waste Ink Tank.

Generally the problem happens at the damper/head/pump/vacuum side of the printer because this has the most complex and moving parts (aka, the head is slamming back and forth thousands of times, the head has a thin film laminated to the nozzles that can de-laminate, and the cleaning assembly is moving up and down hundreds of times).

BUT, if the problem persists this can indicated other deeper problems like pressure pump / cartridge problems or electrical under/over current from the main-board.

The really screwed up part about this whole thing is that often it’s a combination of a few different things that cause an issue to cascade. These printers are built too complex and too fragile. Someone in engineering screwed up. The newer SureColors are better IMO.