Epson 1430 intermittent banding

Using warm neutral piz bw ink. Horizontal banding on on first part of print (top 1 inch) only… I tired cleaning the print head with distilled water by soaking bottom with moistened paper towel (dist. h2o) and flushing print head with distilled water using syringe and tubing attached to intake nipple which goes into the carts when installed. No luck. Nozzle check is good and allignment was done. I then got new carts and the problem went away for a day but came back after a few prints. I don’t think Epson will cover the guarantee because I am not using their ink. I fear there is an electronic problem in the printer. Wells said to ask you on the forum. I am generally pretty good with cleaning print heads etc. This is our third Epson printer and we never had this problem. Using IMAC with QTR print tool. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you!

It’s probably this.

After reading the description I think this is it. We did not have the problem with the 1400. It would be nice if QTR had a notice about this so we could have bought a different printer.
There is one other problem I would like to ask about. The Magenta cart seems to empty after a few cleanings and prints, while the other carts are still mostly full. This has occured with an old and new set of carts and it has happened after last few fillings. Any ideas?

The 1400 (and 1410) seems to have been fairly unique among Epson desktop printers in not having the first and last inch micro-banding. I really wish I’d kept mine. If you wanted to avoid it entirely post 1400, then you would have had to go to a Pro printer like the 3880, and as noted elsewhere on my blog, they came with a different set of challenges - maintenance. And now even that isn’t an option, as there aren’t refillable carts available for the US versions of its replacement the P800 (although Jon reported on LuLa that refillables work in non-US versions).

The workaround I described in that blog post works, and is not as bad as it sounds, unless you’re printing in bulk. If you’re printing on larger paper like A3 or 13" x19" then you’d typically leave a 1" margin anyway, so there isn’t a problem with larger sizes.

This issue is surprisingly common and notoriously hard to diagnose. It does sound like your Ma carts are slowly leaking. Question is why? In such circumstances I’d be suspicious of the little rubber exit valve not sealing properly. It could be faulty, although to have it happen on multiple carts in just one position seems too much of a coincidence. There is a current idea being promoted by forum member LarryB that the remnants of the plastic cover over this valve that you break when you first use a new cart may be interfering with the valve sealing properly. He has posted images of his suggested mod on another forum. If you try this and it works please report back, or even if it doesn’t, as we need a body of evidence about this approach.

The other possibility is that variation in manufacturing tolerances for the cartridge bay has meant that the ink nipple in the Ma position may not be as good a fit for refillables as it should be, and you get a slow leak. OEM carts seem more resilient, perhaps because the exit valve is better, or because their complex internal micro-venting prevents them draining. I have no proof of this, but it does seem to explain issues I’ve had with several printers over the years, plus those of another forum member. At the risk of depressing you further, you may wish to read my lessons I’ve learnt from using desktop refillables over 9 years post.

P.s. You did mean Magenta and not Light Magenta, didn’t you? With K6 curves, you do tend to use a lot of shade 5 in the LM slot, so expect that.

Thanks very much. I’m not sure my reply posted. I’ll read up and try a few things and keep you posted. It would seem to me if there were a leak around the nipple there would be ink sitting in the space where the carts lie but I see none. I suspect the printer is draining the cart when it does its cleaning during the initial process of turning on. Thank you once again.

Not necessarily, the ink seems to leak via the head. I recently had two carts drain when I left the printer off for two weeks. The ink didn’t end up in the carrier so I’m assuming that it went via the head. There was a mess and a half under what had been a clean head before. I had seen blobs on my prints before which I now attribute to the leaking carts.

If there was a gross leak, then yes. But I think what happens is that when the head is pulling ink during printing or during a head clean, the seal is not good enough to prevent air being pulled into the cart, and perhaps also the ink pathway. These refillable cartridge designs have a delicate internal balance that produces some back-pressure, and that’s what prevents the cart from just draining, or at least that’s my understanding. If something weakens that back-pressure, then draining is likely to occur.

I once had a (non-IJM) CIS on an R2400 that would print fine until the next head clean, due to either a chip auto-resetting, or because the printer decided that it was time for one. After every head clean, I’d have varying nozzle gaps for days. Eventually it would settle down, until the next clean. Would drive me nutz. You just can’t print like that, Other R2400 users had no trouble with their copy of that CIS, it was just my printer. It had to be that air was being sucked in at the clean do to a weak exit valve seal. I don’t recall it draining, but a CIS is a different beast to an on-head cart.

Entirely possible, perhaps due to a weak seal, or maybe something else. As I said, this type of issue is surprisingly common and notoriously hard to diagnose.

One thing that will cause a cart to drain is something on the capping station - liquid or crud - that contacts the head when it’s parked, causing a capillary draining action. What seals the head when it’s parked is the little rubber gasket around the edge of the capping station. There’s supposed to be a small air gap between the bottom of the head and and capping station. It’s not clear from your OP whether you cleaned this. It’s usually a good idea to do so if you’ve had a leak. Distilled water is good, but better still would be to use Piezoflush at the beginning of the process to help dissolve any dried ink.

Thank you once again. I will try all the suggestions. You have saved me from the ultimate act of frustration, throwing the printer out the window!

You wouldn’t be the first! How to Permanently Resolve Print Head Clog, Nozzle Clog & Banding on Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Printer - YouTube

Thanks for the wonderful video showing the foolproof solution!
Our banding problem is solved by leaving a margin. Thanks for that.
I did the surgery on the plastic surrounding the opening on the cart but it still seemed to drain quickly, so now I am trying another cart from the previous set which I just removed and used to work fine. I had replaced the whole set thinking the carts were responsible for the banding so I have extras from before. We’ll see if that does the trick. In general I think the 1430 is a lot more difficult to maintain than the old 1400. The nozzle checks are not as consistent along with our other issues. Just an observation.

You can use any cart in any position so long as you swap the chips over, so if you’re struggling to find a cart that works well in the Magenta position you could use one of the spares and swap the chips. In fact the 1430, 1900 and 2880 all use the same cart body for all positions, only the chips and labels vary. However if none of them work in that position, then as per my previous comments it’s likely to be a printer-specific issue. I gather that there’s a fair bit of sample variation in these cheaper printers. They’re manufactured to a price point and I can only assume that manufacturing tolerances are wider.

For a short time all was well. The old cart did not empty out and the prints were fine. Now the black areas on the prints are inconsistent even though the nozzle checks are good and small test prints (a 1 x 3 inch section of the print) are good. So I am beginning to think the black cart is also problematic. I have an extra old black cart and a new one which I will try. Two questions. !. Do you suggest I do a cleaning or flush out the print head first? I have done less cleanings of late since it wastes ink and doesn’t seem to solve problems. 2. Could there be a problem with the design of the new carts? They are configured differently then my old ones which have to be 3 years old or more. thanks.


Sorry, missed your post yesterday. I wasn’t aware that there had been a change in cart design, but then I haven’t bought any for a while - I stockpiled a while back.

Have you tried printing an ink separation page in calibration mode? is there any inconsistency in any of the bars?

We need to see a scan of what you mean by “the black areas on the prints are inconsistent”. Also a scan of a nozzle check in reasonably high resolution. How-to-attach-images-to-this-forum

Sure, change a cart if you like, and a clean or flush can’t hurt, but I think we need to see what’s going on before we can say whether this is the best next step.