Epson 4900 clogs from bad to worse

4900
piezography

#1

My 4900 sat for a while and this time the Windex solution and cleaning cycles are not working.
Initially Magenta and Cyan were blank. After some cleaning cycles I got half of Magenta to print, but still no Cyan. Other colors were mostly fine, except LLK missing 30%.
After another Windex soak I did a nozzle check and got half of cyan and still only half of Magenta. From the printer menu I did two powerful paired cleanings on C/VM, which resulted in Magenta disappearing altogether.
About ten windex treatments later I got all of Cyan back but still no Magenta.
A magenta flush image printed through QTR RIP calibration mode printed blank. LLK showed some banding.
Did some more windex. Now all the colors are missing 50% or more. Magenta still blank.

Can you explain this behavior? (I was regularly asked this question as a child, btw.)

It seems the obvious next step is to get a set of cartridges and Piezoflush, do an INIT FILL through the service program and see what happens. Is that right?

When I was only dealing with Magenta being blank I wondered if I could get by with a single channel flush, but that question seems moot, now.

Should I continue to Windex? I read in another post someone having success filling cartridges with Windex and flushing the heads. I mention this because I’m overseas and it’s either costly or time consuming or both to receive shipments internationally, so workarounds are often necessary.

One more question. I know where the time goes but not where the ink goes when it’s sent to a fully clogged head. Does it go into the maintenance tank or nowhere at all?

Thanks,
Ken Taranto
Tel Aviv


#2

Hi Ken,

When the head is fully clogged, 100% then the ink cannot flow through it and can go nowhere.

These printers have a history of clogged heads, they are notorious for head problems (sometimes even out of the box). I am going to need a little more background before I can offer you a solution, please answer the following questions:

1.How old is this printer?
2.How long does the printer sit unused on average?
3.Has there been any progress made forward on any of the channels that are clogged using the windex method?
4.How many cleaning cycles have you performed through the printers utility over the coarse of the printers lifetime ie.10,100,1000?

This will give me a baseline for suggestions to help you with a solution, please answer them all thoroughly, thank you-Kelly


#3

1.How old is this printer?
5 years

2.How long does the printer sit unused on average?
a week, although most recently for two months

3.Has there been any progress made forward on any of the channels that are clogged using the windex method?
At first, yes. Much progress was made. Cyan went from 0% to 100%. Magenta, however went from 0% to 50% back to 0%. LLK went from 20% to 70%. All other colors went from 20-40% to 100%.
That said, continued windex cleanings to try and bring back magenta have not only failed but have resulted in all the other colors degrading from 100% to about 50%.

4.How many cleaning cycles have you performed through the printers utility over the coarse of the printers lifetime ie.10,100,1000?
I’d guess about 400.


#4

Wow, 5 years of good use out of a 4900 print head is very impressive to say the least!

I am not overly hopeful from what you have explained in your last post that this will be 100% fixable by flushing the system out completely with flush and doing a thorough cleaning of the Capping Station, Wiper Blade and bottom of the print head.
If you decide to take this route, we do not guarantee flushing the system out completely of pigment inks with Piezoflush is going to solve this problem. But it is worth a try, sometimes there is success and sometimes there is not. At the very least, if you could get 8-9 out of 11 channels printing 100% again you could convert this system to a Piezography printer by remapping the QTR curves.

You will need access to WIN to perform the adjustment program, a FULL set of Flush carts and enough flush to fill them (4x 700ML). You will also need a spare set of chips that read FULL because you will need to run at least 2 Initial Fill cycles to move the flush from the carts and through the head thoroughly.


#5

[QUOTE=KellyC;9199]Wow, 5 years of good use out of a 4900 print head is very impressive to say the least!

I am not overly hopeful from what you have explained in your last post that this will be 100% fixable by flushing the system out completely with flush and doing a thorough cleaning of the Capping Station, Wiper Blade and bottom of the print head.
If you decide to take this route, we do not guarantee flushing the system out completely of pigment inks with Piezoflush is going to solve this problem. But it is worth a try, sometimes there is success and sometimes there is not. At the very least, if you could get 8-9 out of 11 channels printing 100% again you could convert this system to a Piezography printer by remapping the QTR curves.

You will need access to WIN to perform the adjustment program, a FULL set of Flush carts and enough flush to fill them (4x 700ML). You will also need a spare set of chips that read FULL because you will need to run at least 2 Initial Fill cycles to move the flush from the carts and through the head thoroughly.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the quick reply, Kelly.
Can you explain why the repeated Windex treatment reversed the progress made on clearing the clogs?
As I said, the first treatments of Windex got me nine channels at 100%.
Why did subsequent treatments drop out so many nozzles?

Secondly, do you sell a chip resetter for the 4900?

And lastly, if I were to get 8-9 channels back 100%, what’s to say that the piezography inks wouldn’t start to clog up the channels again?
If the print head is on its last legs, why would it hold up as a piezography printer?

Thanks,
Ken


#6

Hi Ken,

No, I cannot explain why the windex worked the 1st time, for the same reasons I cannot explain why these print head sometimes last 5 years and sometimes less then 6 months.

If the print head is on it’s last leg, it would be for the channels in question, the channels that have been giving you trouble all along. If you can get a 100% nozzle check for 8-9 channels without much effort, then yes, there is some degree of calculated risk to install Piezography. But, on the other hand if you can get another 1-2 years out of the print head with Piezography using the good channels in the head, that would be better then simply trashing the printer all together.

We do not have a resetter for the 4900, the chips are programmed to be auto-reset, resetting once reading empty, then resetting after refilling and re-installing.


#7

And now many months later after briefly getting all channels to work, only to have them intermittently drop out and get worse after any level of cleaning I decided to try changing the dampers by installing a new ink selector assembly from Compass Micro and now I’m not able to successfully perform an ink charge.

The printer makes the usual sounds, no errors, but ink is not reaching the head. I pulled out the new ink assembly and discovered that all the dampers are still empty. I had performed an ink eject before installing the new one, which resulted in the maintenance tank available space level dropping.

I don’t know if I have an air block, a bad pump, a bad ink selector assembly (which I doubt) or a total head blockage.
What should I do? Put the old one back in and see if there’s any difference?

At a loss, here. Suggestions appreciated.
Thanks,
Ken


#8

I’ve said this in previous posts, but when the damper assembly goes (on this printer specifically) so does the cleaning assembly. They (always) need to be replaced at the same time. I would say the cleaning assembly is much more delicate than the damper.

It looks to me like your cleaning assembly is not making contact with the head properly. That or you simply did not align your damper assembly correctly on the head and screw it down with the proper screws.

Walker


#9

Thanks for the quick reply, Walker.
I’ve check the mounting of the damper assembly and it looks like it has to be in the right position. The registration pins are in the proper holes and I remember it seating positively in place over the head. I was deliberate in using the same screws when I replaced it.

I did also replace the wiper and wiper cleaner assembly, but not the pump assembly.
I’m certainly willing to get the pump assembly (which includes the capping station), too, if that’s the logical next step, but how do we know that the IS assembly needs to be replaced and not just be realigned? Or is that not possible?

What do you think of the idea of my trying to pull ink into the damper assembly with a syringe inserted into the ports that mount above the head?

There was one instruction in the manual that made no sense to me: 16. Remove the O-ring from the Ink Selector Assy. The new assembly came with new O-rings, so I ignored it.
Ken


#10

It’s not a good idea to manually fill the damper assembly . . . These printers are not a dumb as the old ones and there is a O-ring switch at the ink bays that is not correctly in-place until the head is over the cleaning assembly sucker.

best,
Walker