Epson 7900 printer problem

9890
7900
9900
7890

#1

It has been some time since I last purchased from Inkjetmall, but I used to buy inkjet papers and custom profiles from you. Quite honestly, I forgot about Inkjetmall but stumbled across your Forums when doing research on the Epson 7900/9900 printers.

Having read through your Forum, I know you have heard this many times before. My two + year old Epson 7900 printer needs a new print head. *It cost me $300 in service and more than that amount in ink for the service tech to figure this out. *The cost of a new print head with labor is actually more than buying an entirely new 7900 with a full set of ink ($800 value). *I have tried all the procedures online to clean the clogged nozzle, including using Windex on a paper towel under the print head, and soaking the capping station pads in a cleaning solution. I have wasted hundreds of dollars in ink running cleaning cycles (including the SSCL cycle). Based on your experience with these printers, do you think there is any chance that if I buy Inkjetmall refillable cartridges and run your cleaning fluid through the print heads that the clog will clear? It is only the Light Light Black (LLK) nozzle that is clogged. I am so disgusted with Epson that if I do buy another 7900 or 9900 I am going to immediately load it with the ConeColor inks, based on your reports that customers using those inks rarely have clogging issues. But, I am seriously considering the purchase of a Canon iPF8400. I can find no online reports of nozzle clogging issues with the Canon large format printers. Thanks for your response. Mark Weidman

H. Mark Weidman Photography
24 Trailside Circle
Salida, CO 81201-7011 USA

Studio: 719-207-4713
Mobile: 719-221-5585

email: mark@weidmanphoto.com
web: http://www.weidmanphoto.com/


#2

The 4900, 7900, and 9900 printers, as you have found out, are notorious for permanent head clogs - and these head clogs happen very quickly in comparison to the previous printer platforms. Having said that, we do have a lot of customers which have been successful using PiezoFlush.

The instructions for using it are here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?140-Flushing-Epson-Pro-and-desktop-model-printers-for-safe-long-term-storage-or-when-switching-inks

I would let it sit for 48 hours after performing the above Ink Charge Cycle. There is NO other way to flush this printer. Performing 70 head cleanings would be necessary to move the flush to the print head. Performing 70 head cleanings would damage the print head. ONLY use the INK CHARGE CYCLE!


#3

Jon - thanks for the response and suggestions, I appreciate it. I have a couple more questions before I can move forward. Do I have to purchase an entire set of 11 empty, refillable, cartridges, and, fill all 11 of them with the PeizoFlush solution? Or, can I simply buy one cartridge for the LLB - the only one that is clogged? Another approach I am considering is to simply buy the full set of refillable cartridges ($448), a chip resetter ($83), and a full set of inks for the 7900. If I cannot get the clogging resolved I would buy another, new Epson 7900 printer (which really goes against my grain, given this printer is 2+ years old I really don’t want to continue supporting Epson), and immediately start using the refillable cartridges and ConeColor Inks in it (which according to your web site & forums is not nearly as prone to clogging as the Epson inks). I am also looking closely at the Canon ipf6400 or 8400 printers, but it does not appear you offer inks for the Canons (?). But, a close friend in the printing business has 10 Epson printers, had two Canons in the past year, and got rid of them due to many problems. Thanks again. Mark Weidman


#4

No you do not need the entire set. Technically, you only need to put the PiezoFlush filled carts in the affected channel/s.

If you buy another 7900, do not do so without an extended warranty. This is the first printer platform that EPSON claims needs new dampers on an annual basis. The warranty should pay for that, I should think. But, certainly you should not expect more than a years use out of the print head. If you get more - you are lucky. If you do not get more, you are not unlucky - you are just dealing with the issues of this printer platform. They give one year warranty on the print head - certainly buy 2-3 years additional coverage.


#5

Hi Jon - Here is an update on my Epson 7900. You may recall I recently purchased from InkJetMall.com one empty refillable ink cartridge and bottle of PiezoFlush solution. I carefully followed all of the procedures on your web site, but no matter what I tried I could not clear the clogged LLK ink cartridge. A technician was here today and he replaced the print head, the printer now works fine. I spoke with him about the InkJetMall.com inks for this printer, and though he has done repairs on other Epson large format printers and seen a handful of different brands of third party inks, he was not familiar with your products. Of course, as an Epson representative (technically working for Decision One) I did not expect him to suggest using third party inks. So, I am now considering buying a set of the InkJetMall.com refillable cartridges and ConeColor inks. I have requested, via your web site, sample prints created with your inks. The comments on your online forum about the inks are all positive, but, I am still a bit hesitant. Can you tell me that the ConeColor Inks are less prone to drying out and clogging the the print head nozzles? I am in Colorado, in a very dry climate, and I have to run cleaning cycles on the 7900 almost every time I start it, even if it only sits for 24 hours. My last question is, since I already have an Inkjetmall.com Light Light Black refillable cartridge for my 7900, would it be an option to buy only the other eleven (11) refillable cartridges (rather than a set of twelve)? Thanks for your consideration, I appreciate it. Mark Weidman


#6

Mark,

We are actually a very similar formulation. Epson and ConeColor are both encapsulated pigment particles and this sets us apart from other 3rd party inks. The fluid system is very much the same. Both Epson and ConeColor need shaking to keep the pigments in dispersion. Once shaken, the inks perform better than other 3rd party inks. Epson warns the customer to throw away their carton no longer than 6 months after first inserting in the printer. We provide a refillable solution and we suggest the user shake the carts every two weeks. We shake weekly. Epson recommends no less than 35% rH for their inks and we are good to about 30%rH - and sometimes low 20% before more frequent dropped nozzles due to drying. So just run a humidifier whether you choose Epson or ConeColor. Those are your two maintenance requirements for either ink supply in order to keep things happy. Having said that - the 7900/9900/4900/7890/9890 are head eating LF printers. So do everything you can to keep them happy.

You could thoroughly rinse the LLK of it’s PiezoFlush using distilled water and dry until just a few last drops. We don’t really recommend that however. Just saying it is possible. You do not want to contaminate the ink.

regards,

Jon

[QUOTE=mark@weidmanphoto.com;2167]Can you tell me that the ConeColor Inks are less prone to drying out and clogging the the print head nozzles? I am in Colorado, in a very dry climate, and I have to run cleaning cycles on the 7900 almost every time I start it, even if it only sits for 24 hours. My last question is, since I already have an Inkjetmall.com Light Light Black refillable cartridge for my 7900, would it be an option to buy only the other eleven (11) refillable cartridges (rather than a set of twelve)? Thanks for your consideration, I appreciate it. Mark Weidman[/QUOTE]


#7

[QUOTE=jon;2174]Mark,

We are actually a very similar formulation. Epson and ConeColor are both encapsulated pigment particles and this sets us apart from other 3rd party inks. The fluid system is very much the same. Both Epson and ConeColor need shaking to keep the pigments in dispersion. Once shaken, the inks perform better than other 3rd party inks. Epson warns the customer to throw away their carton no longer than 6 months after first inserting in the printer. We provide a refillable solution and we suggest the user shake the carts every two weeks. We shake weekly. Epson recommends no less than 35% rH for their inks and we are good to about 30%rH - and sometimes low 20% before more frequent dropped nozzles due to drying. So just run a humidifier whether you choose Epson or ConeColor. Those are your two maintenance requirements for either ink supply in order to keep things happy. Having said that - the 7900/9900/4900/7890/9890 are head eating LF printers. So do everything you can to keep them happy.

You could thoroughly rinse the LLK of it’s PiezoFlush using distilled water and dry until just a few last drops. We don’t really recommend that however. Just saying it is possible. You do not want to contaminate the ink.

regards,

Jon[/QUOTE]

jon states “Technically, you only need to put the PiezoFlush filled carts in the affected channel/s.”

As with the person who started this thread, LLK is clogged at the print head; cleaning does not help. i gather from reading this thread that the next step is to flush the LLK ink line, damper and print head with piezoflush.

am i correct in thinking that to flush one line one must flush them all?

in that case, wouldn’t filling the lines occur two times, once to fill the LLK line with piezoflush while drawing ink from all the other carts, and the second to fill all the lines with ink?

if so, help me understand how to do this for one color so as not to waste the ink in the other lines…

thank you


#8

Unfortunately Christopher, there is no traditional way of doing this that is not mechanical in some way. It does appear that in comparison to previous generation head designs, there are tiny places in the current head design in which the ink does not flow easily. So, if you have a genuine clog or a blockage of some sort, it will not help to try and print it out by moving cleaning fluid by printing one channel with QTR. That won’t accomplish it. It does not apply any cleaning function to the print head during printing. And if powerful paired cleanings worked as intended, there would not be an endless sea of Epson ink clogged 4900, 7900 and 9900 printers (and to some lesser degree also 7890 and 9890 printers). So, we recommend applying a prolonged suction via the capping station that occurs during the ink INIT FILL or INK CHARGE or INIT CHARGE process if available on your model. This function is longer than the traditional POWER CLEAN that Epson eliminated from these printer models. We do not know of any other way that does not involve disassembly of the print head.


#9

[QUOTE=jon;2284]Unfortunately Christopher, there is no traditional way of doing this that is not mechanical in some way. It does appear that in comparison to previous generation head designs, there are tiny places in the current head design in which the ink does not flow easily. So, if you have a genuine clog or a blockage of some sort, it will not help to try and print it out by moving cleaning fluid by printing one channel with QTR. That won’t accomplish it. It does not apply any cleaning function to the print head during printing. And if powerful paired cleanings worked as intended, there would not be an endless sea of Epson ink clogged 4900, 7900 and 9900 printers (and to some lesser degree also 7890 and 9890 printers). So, we recommend applying a prolonged suction via the capping station that occurs during the ink INIT FILL or INK CHARGE or INIT CHARGE process if available on your model. This function is longer than the traditional POWER CLEAN that Epson eliminated from these printer models. We do not know of any other way that does not involve disassembly of the print head.[/QUOTE]

Greetings, I’m following this thread with interest because my 7900 has suddenly developed a clogged green channel. If I’m correctly understanding Jon’s reply to the above question, the answer is yes - all the channels get flushed out to fill the single troubled channel with flush cleaner. If & when the clog is dispersed by soaking, cleaning & nozzle checks- then it’s necessary to do another ink charge [INIT CHARGE]to flush out the cleaner and refill with ink, meaning all the ink channels get purged and refilled a second time.
Please correct me if I’m wrong on my take of this. It makes me think that it might be; especially for the long term, a better approach to invest in a full set of cleaning carts & solution.
The flush cleaning process could then be undertaken annually for maintenance.
I have not yet begun tackling the problem of trying to solve clearing a clogged head of one color channel. From what I’ve researched so far it seems fruitless. Has anyone out there actually had any success clearing a 7900 head clog??
Thank you for your replies.


#10

[QUOTE=mark@weidmanphoto.com;2167]… I am in Colorado, in a very dry climate, and I have to run cleaning cycles on the 7900 almost every time I start it, even if it only sits for 24 hours. … Mark Weidman[/QUOTE]

Imho, I think the issue of humidity in your print room is going to be significant regardless of ink used. I would buy a hygrometer and monitor the humidity levels in your print room religiously. Use a humidifier and aim for a target zone of 40%-60% humidity, and keep the printer and surrounding area clean and printer covered when not in use. If you’re on a PC, a program such as Harvey Head Cleaner can run automated nozzle checks in your absence, which helps to keep ink moving and the capping station wet.

ken


#11

[QUOTE=jon;2284]Unfortunately Christopher, there is no traditional way of doing this that is not mechanical in some way. It does appear that in comparison to previous generation head designs, there are tiny places in the current head design in which the ink does not flow easily. So, if you have a genuine clog or a blockage of some sort, it will not help to try and print it out by moving cleaning fluid by printing one channel with QTR. That won’t accomplish it. It does not apply any cleaning function to the print head during printing. And if powerful paired cleanings worked as intended, there would not be an endless sea of Epson ink clogged 4900, 7900 and 9900 printers (and to some lesser degree also 7890 and 9890 printers). So, we recommend applying a prolonged suction via the capping station that occurs during the ink INIT FILL or INK CHARGE or INIT CHARGE process if available on your model. This function is longer than the traditional POWER CLEAN that Epson eliminated from these printer models. We do not know of any other way that does not involve disassembly of the print head.[/QUOTE]

thank you jon. ok; if i were to exercise one of those (INIT FILL or INK CHARGE or INIT CHARGE), would i need full ink carts? or should this be done with piezoflush? i thought the 9600 was difficult, but this is way more. with patience i could eventually fix the 9600. this printer is barely more than a year and a quarter old, and it was working just fine…until last week.


#12

The Harvey Head cleaner is designed more for printers which have a small amount of ink stored between the cartridge and print head that can be moved in one cleaning operation. These are desktop printers and the head holds a little more than a ml and maybe 3-4ml storage in the ink stem. So running a head cleaning on a desktop printer with carts above the heads may be useful. Running a head cleaning a day in a 7900 or 9900 printer is like giving a nudge to a rhinoceros. It doesn’t really address the problem of the 15ml or so of ink that is held in the ink lines and dampers. It’s just not enough of a nudge. And over time the pigment simply settles out.

Always the best thing to do if put the printer into flush when you leave. A set of flush carts is worthwhile over the life of the printer or sometimes with its first use.

EPSON printers with ink inside of it? Things needs to be shaken and used. Epson clearly says so. And then if you’re lucky you need just replace the dampers on an annual basis - think of that as rotating tires, changing wiper blades, oil change. Even in the best of maintenance routines the print head can often render itself useless on the newer models - but not maintaining it is worse. If you have to let it sit, I can assure you that the cost of PiezoFlush and cartridges is way less than the cost of a head replacement.

These newer Epson LF printers must NOT be bought without extending the warranty unless you are prepared on an annual basis to replace the print head. Epson is only guaranteeing the head to last 12 months on these printers. The cost of replacement is now much higher as is the warranty extension because heads are not plentiful and the track record on these printers stinks. A lot of people need new heads within the first year and second. This is common knowledge on the internet and users groups.

The INIT CHARGE is performed on all positions and is the only way to put this generation of printer into PiezoFlush for storage. Likewise, it is the only way in which to move flush through the print head in a cleaning operation. You do not have to put flush in every position to clean one print head. But, the INIT CHARGE will move ink in all the positions.

In general, this printer should have its carts removed and shaken on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. At least 10-15 letter sized or 13x19 prints a week should be printed as a minimum to keep up with the OEM expectations of little use.

Most people can clear the heads with PiezoFlush. Those who ran tons of the powerful paired cleanings have less luck. And some just are not going to be able to revitalize a print head. So preventative maintenance is critical. For those in which the case is hopeless and despair has set in and the printer is now being contemplated for the recycling center - Dana may soon post some unorthodox practices of removing the head and performing the nuclear option.


#13

[QUOTE=jon;2284]Unfortunately Christopher, there is no traditional way of doing this that is not mechanical in some way. It does appear that in comparison to previous generation head designs, there are tiny places in the current head design in which the ink does not flow easily. So, if you have a genuine clog or a blockage of some sort, it will not help to try and print it out by moving cleaning fluid by printing one channel with QTR. That won’t accomplish it. It does not apply any cleaning function to the print head during printing. And if powerful paired cleanings worked as intended, there would not be an endless sea of Epson ink clogged 4900, 7900 and 9900 printers (and to some lesser degree also 7890 and 9890 printers). So, we recommend applying a prolonged suction via the capping station that occurs during the ink INIT FILL or INK CHARGE or INIT CHARGE process if available on your model. This function is longer than the traditional POWER CLEAN that Epson eliminated from these printer models. We do not know of any other way that does not involve disassembly of the print head.[/QUOTE]

This what what the dealer wrote:
Sorry you are having some trouble with the 9900.

  1. The best way to get nozzles unclogged is with a Power Cleaning . Probably you have done Power Cleanings, but some people just run the regular cleans, which is not aggressive enough. From the front panel of the printer go to Menu/Maintenance/Power Cleaning. You can chose to do a power cleaning on just the LLK/Yellow nozzle pair.

Note that if you do not see the menu item of Power Cleaning for each nozzle pair, then you do not have the latest firmware HW129C5. Check Menu/Printer Status/Version to see your firmware version. If not HW129C5, go to the Epson Remote Panel 2 program in your computer which will Update your Firmware to the latest version. You can also download the latest Remote Panel 2 Utility at:
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/supDetail.jsp?oid=119098&BV_UseBVCookie=yes&infoType=Downloads&platform=OSF_W_7-64

Be sure to specify your Operating System for the download. After the Remote Panel is installed, you can select Firmware Upgrade.
It is always a good idea to have the latest firmware

  1. You could have one of three things causing the nozzle problem. A bad head, damper assembly, or capping station. A symptom of a damper issue is “ink starvation” where many nozzles are missing in a channel. A Power Cleaning or two opens and closes valves to the dampers and can ofter often fix a damper ink starvation problem.

  2. f the above does not fix things, you can call Epson Tech Support to first see what they say, and if the problem is not solved over the phone, then they will have Decision One call you to arrange an onsite visit to fix the problem. You can reach Epson Tech Support at tel 562-276-1305.

Epson does enable customers to purchase a one or two year extended service for 30 days after a repair has been made to an out-of-warranty printer that has been fixed. After the printer is repaired, you may want to consider that. The letter we emailed in August copied below outlines Extended Service plans/prices. Also, be sure to give Epson the history of the issue and how long you have had the problem, so they can best try to accomodate and take care of you.


#14

that is what I would do and that’s an excellent option. you’re out of warranty, but epson is saying that if you get the printer repaired you can buy an extended warranty for one or two years. well worth it on this printer platform. i would not advise to buying a 4900, 7900, 9900, or a 7890/9890 without an extended warranty.

so they are saying you just need pay for the repair which is probably nearly the same as paying for the warranty you do not have. i don’t think that they had this option a while ago. go for it while you can! and buy a warranty for each additional year that you plan to own it. well worth the investment considering the track record of this printer model.

otherwise - if you do not want to invest in it - we can map out the bad head/s and you can turn it into a Piezography printer. You need at minimum 6 working heads to run Piezography K6. If you have seven you can run K7 or glossy. If you have 9 or 10 you can run some cool things. Don’t need to junk the printer if you do not want to invest in the repair.


#15

I’m a new member and I’ve recently started replacing my epson inks as they run out with yours. I have 4 inks now, but a couple of days ago, the yellow epson ink was clogged and I have tried everything to get it clean. Windex on towels, power cleans, even SSCL cleaning twice. Nothing is working. I’ve had this printer since it was first introduced and have had lots of clogs, but was always able to clear them with normal or power cleaning. I called epson and of course they want me to replace the print head. I spoke with Wells on the phone and he suggested I post a shot of the nozzle check for someone to look at. He thought doing a flush of the entire printer might help bring it back. I seem to have an 1/8th inch wide clear area that I can’t get clean. Every time I try a different approach such as the SSCL clean, and then do a small test print and then do another nozzle check, it is worse. I guess my question is can you tell from my description and the shots of the nozzle checks if it really might need a new print head? Or should I buy the flush system and try to clear it? I guess if it doesn’t work, I could always convert the printer to Piezography.

I can’t seem to upload the images. Not sure why, they are 500x500 as jpg’s. Can I email them to you?
Thanks
Michael Regnier


#16

http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?152-How-to-attach-images-to-this-forum


#17

here are the two images.



#18

STOP doing SSCL cycles~ you could burn out your head! I have found http://myx900.com/ to be a helpful resource, and they explain different cleaning cycles, what “clogs” this model print head, etc…

Based on your description, the printer is several years old, and hasn’t had any service done- correct? If so, you likely need to replace the dampers (“Ink Selector Unit”) and wiper blade. You could try flushing the yellow channel, in hopes to clean and get it working well again, but depending on what is causing your missing nozzles/section of the yellow channel, it may or may not help. Yellow and magenta pigment inks are always thicker than other colors (this is true even with Epson inks), so they are usually the first channels to show signs of particle build up in the dampers. Generally, if a nozzle check looks worse after cleaning cycles, you’re likely dealing with a clogged damper- but could damage/destroy the print head by running SSCL with restricted flow- causing the print head to overheat and burn out.

If all other channels are working well, then you can set it up with a custom Piezography setup, making use of the good working channels, and map out the yellow channel (I’d leave PiezoFlush in the channel, to keep it moist, and hope it may come back over time). Keep in mind, if your printer is several years old, then you will likely need to replace the dampers and wiper blade no matter what inks you plan to use.

I hope this helps!
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


#19

Hi Dana,

What a mess!! So it seems I need to do a flush either way, If it works, I can continue on with your color inks and if it doesn’t, I could possibly change it over to Piezography.
I am trying to avoid Epson sending someone out for a $1900 print head change. It seems running the flush will cost around $400 t0 $600 depending on how much solution I buy. Can I change out the dampers and wiper blade myself, or do I need epson for that? It is an old but little used printer, so I’m just not sure what is the best course. I would like to not have to buy another printer for a while.
cheers
Mike


#20

Yes, flushing would be a good place to start. If you follow the instructions and don’t rush, you can probably replace these parts yourself without calling an Epson tech in. You can get the repair manual for instructions on replacing the ink selector unit and wiper blade, and myx900 has a quick video showing how to replace the wiper blade (VERY easy). The repair manual is available online, www.2manuals.com is one source. You can get replacement parts from compassmicro.com

Actually a old but little used printer is a recipe for settled pigment and clogged dampers, hopefully the head is ok, and you can get it working well again after replacing these parts.

Best~ Dana :slight_smile: