Epson SP 9890 problem,

Little shy of a month ago, I ran the Photo Black Dry. There was a tiny bit of ink (I would guess no more than 5ml in there). First time I have ever had this problem, it was a busy month and I lost track of how much ink was in the Photo Black cart.

I knew I was going to run into problems soon. As of right now, the Photo Black keeps dropping in the middle of prints. I have done quiet a few power cleans. I get it back get a couple of prints to go and then it drops again. Now the Light Black has been dropping out as well. I have been cleaning these in pairs. I figure it might be dropping due to all the cleaning.

I have read that these lines can hold up to 120ml of ink. I figure this will just take me some time to push the air out of the lines, but as for the Light Black dropping now, I can’t understand why this is happening.

Any advice would be great. I would like to think that this printer hasn’t run its course and already with only 5000 prints in 2 years.

talk to you soon.


Well I read a couple of other topics on here and saw the site mentioned

After reading, I have confidence that I most likely have made that LK channel drop out due to the power cleanings. After reading Looks like the power cleanings were just adding to the drop out.

I bought a service manual online tonight and once I get back into the studio tomorrow I will do a handful of normal cleanings before I try printing with the 9890.

Also, would you by chance have a link to buy the wiper blade part for my 9890?

I will let you know what my outcome is tomorrow.


After quiet a few regular cleanings I got it back. Then it fell out. At this point I went into service mode. There is a cleaning setting in service mode that lets you clean pairs in 4 different intensities. I did the first two, switch back to regular mode and printed a nozzle check. It came out perfect. I did a print (12.5 x 19") with no banding/lining through the print, but when I did a nozzle check again it was missing a chunk from the LK again right in the middle. I was going to go back into service and do 3 and 4 options in the clean head pair, but my LK was almost out of ink and I didn’t want to trap air in the line. I ordered ink a couple of days ago and it will be here tomorrow.

Once I get the cart filled and back in the printer on Monday I will update the progress. If this doesn’t work and I have a line that is clog, I will try the last resort, and do a SS cleaning. If that doesn’t work I will be picking up two carts to fill with the flush solution from ConeColor, and if that fails, looks like I will be buying a new printer.

Also for anyone wondering, here is the part number for the Epson SP 9890 wiper blade. Part Number 1616679. It was $13 plus shipping (priority $11)

Hi Dae~

I recommend getting replacement parts for your Epson printer from Compass Micro. I also warn against SS Cleanings, and suggest you read this first:

Have you opened the front cover, and examined the length of ink lines inside? If so, are they all filled with ink, or do you see any air bubbles?

Please keep me posted. I wish you the best.
Warmly~ Dana


I thought my reply went through but it seems it didn’t

As far as getting the LK to print again. Unfortunately it was a no go. I did all the CI cleanings in service mode and it just completely disappeared. I did a SS cleaning as a last restore, since it wasn’t coming back and after quiet a bit of wasted ink. The SS clean didn’t work either. I guess it was just a head that was on it’s way out.

At this point I have to buy a new printer. I doubt the cleaning carts are going to do anything at this point. I would like to try it but this is a two person run print studio. I really don’t have the time to tinker with this printer since I have quiet a few print jobs in that are ready to go. I have watched the myx900 video on changing a print head and I would feel more than confident on doing this, but again, the time and money I would put out on a new print head just isn’t worth it. I mean on this 44" printer investment, I have made my money back and I have read around and it truly seems some people are really only getting 2 / 4 years out of these printers anymore.

This problem has made me more knowledgeable about these printers, which is a good thing, sometimes you need an issue like this to help you understand your equipment better.

I will mark the date with the new printer and let you know in a couple of years (HA) how its coming along.

Thank you for the reply Dana.

Gaining more in-depth knowledge about the machine you’re working with is about the only good thing about struggling with issues, and working on or investigating how to work on your own printer… I have learned a lot over the years working with many different printers. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably learned from your investigation, the problems you’re experiencing are common with these printer models… If you get a new printer, I highly recommend you get the extended warranty for extra coverage.

Best~ Dana

I have some good news!

I received my new 24" Epson 7890 about 2 weeks ago. After I got the jobs finished that were waiting since my 9890 went down, I decided I wanted to give one last go at it(9890), and see if I could get the printer running again.

I really read through the site. Watched the video on how to remove the print head. Like I said before i felt confident about it especially since they basically hold your hand through the whole thing. The last part of my Saturday, i spent about and hour and a half taking the 9890 apart and getting the head out to try and fix it. When I got the head out, I filled up a smaller tupperware container with the Piezoflush solution and sat just the head (1/8") into the solution. I let that sit for about an hour and a half. By the end of that time the clear red was basically a murky blackish red. After that hour and a half I decided to suck a little of the piezoflush solution through the back nozzles of the head. I figured by doing this I would really get the clog cleared. I did it for each one of the color nozzles. Then I let that sit in there over night. Well this morning I installed the head and put the machine back together. To my surprise my LK fully came back at a nozzle check! Before I did said nozzle check I also switched out the wiper blade for a new one.

After I got two nozzle checks that were next to perfect I did two test prints one smaller (10 x 13") & one larger (24 x 36") Both printed without any problems!

At this point I’m going to keep a close watch over this printer for the next two weeks and see how consistent it is with the printing. I will update any bumps I come along but here is hoping I have a cleaned head and that I have at least another year or two with this printer!

That is good news, thanks for the update! I hope your 9890 stays clean and working well :slight_smile:


I wanted to know if you have a step by step of replacing the ink selector / damper unit. I’m way over due on this 9890. I figure this some of the reason I’m getting drop outs on this printer is due to the damper system. I have had this printer now for two and a half years at this point. I have read numerous places that the x890 and x900 damper systems need to be replaced yearly.

Since I recovered this printer from a head that didn’t seem it was going to come back. I have had to apply the same method of taking the head out and letting the tip sit in the P Flush and running a little through said problem channels. I have got it back each time and printed quiet a lot but it tends to fall out after about 200’ of printing. I’m going to apply the same method of have done twice before. Since the new newsletter came out from Inkjet Mall today addressing said damper problem, it’s set me in the direction of replacing that as well. I’m sure another soke will get it back to perfect nozzle print, but I would like not to have to take the head out every two weeks to do said cleaning.

talk to you soon.


Hi Dae~

Step by step instructions for replacing the ink selector unit (as well as many other parts) are located in the Epson Service manual, which you can get from

Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;6872]Hi Dae~

Step by step instructions for replacing the ink selector unit (as well as many other parts) are located in the Epson Service manual, which you can get from

Best regards~ Dana :)[/QUOTE]


Thank you for getting back to me! I actually own the manual and have located and read that whole part of replacing said ink selector. I was asking since Inkjet Malls step by step are much more helpful. I guess the only thing I didn’t read (only tells you how to take it apart) that I’m not clear about is when new ink selector unit is installed what do you have to do to prime the new damper unit / ink selector. I figure you don’t have to do an ink charge but do you have to do a couple of power cleanings to fill the unit up with ink? Any information on this would be much appreciated.

Sorry, we don’t have a step by step instruction for this procedure, and I follow the Epson repair manual when working on our printers. After replacing dampers, I have done an Initial Fill Cycle to charge the dampers with ink and remove any air that may be in the system, then printed a nozzle check.

Best wishes~ Dana

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;7291]Sorry, we don’t have a step by step instruction for this procedure, and I follow the Epson repair manual when working on our printers. After replacing dampers, I have done an Initial Fill Cycle to charge the dampers with ink and remove any air that may be in the system, then printed a nozzle check.

Best wishes~ Dana[/QUOTE]

Thank you for getting back to me!

Well it seems that another issue came up. Since I was able to clear the MK/PK & LK lines it seems my LC has now officially gave up the ghost. I have a chunk of it missing right from the middle and no matter what I do ( I even let the tip of the head soak and push some flush through the back nipples the way I did to get the MK/PK & LK printing again). At this point all signs point to a faulty head unfortunately. I have read over on luminous landscape that someone had an initial problem when they first bought their printer that was similar to ours when we first bought our printer as well. They had their printer set to periodically cleanings to the head. When it would do the cleans it would fail to clean their head from what they stated. They got a tech in to take a look at it and it was due to a faulty mechanic in the printer. It’s possible I have been sitting on a printer that could have been faulty out of the box.

Like I said I got just shy of two and a half years our of this 9890. Worked great till it didn’t anymore. I talked to an Epson rep and not only did he acknowledge and confirm these heads had a big failure rate, he was little to no help with a resolve and asked me if I made my money back on the initial investment and I told him of course but that’s not the point. I followed up with that, this size printer shouldn’t be a “throw away” like your non pro models. He then offered $200 worth of paper if I buy a new one. I declined his offer. The fact I can’t get a 5 year term out of something this big makes me want to stay away from this size printer in the future. I bought a 24" 7890 to hold us over till we get another 24" or 44".

I appreciate the help with all my questions Dana. Since I started this in 2009 I have went through 3 pro models, One 3880 3 years (on my second 3880), One 7890 2 years (on my second 7890) one 9890 2.4 years. I now have owned 5 of these pro printers. I’m really hoping they have fixed this issues with the head failure / permanent clog.