Failed print head on 9800?

printer

#1

Hello,

I spoke with an Epson tech support person about a problem I am having with my 9800 who said the problem is likely being caused by a failing print head, though he wasn’t certain. Before I spend $600 on a printhead, I wanted to know if anyone else has had similar problems and found a solution.

I print with K7 inks, the Quadtone RIP, with photo rag paper, on a 9800, using MAC OSX 10.9.2. I have replaced the main pump, capping station, wiper blade, and dampers.

When I first turn on my printer and make a print, it will print an image much darker than how it normally prints the image. If I make an additional 2-3 prints of the same file, each one will get lighter. It isn’t always consistent. It happened today, but yesterday it printed the same file properly when I first turned on the printer. If I print a nozzle check when first turning on the printer, sometimes all the light nozzle positions print medium gray, even the flushing fluid position will print partially gray and not all pink. The nozzle check ink positions print properly after doing 2-3 of them with a head cleaning in-between, though many nozzles will still show as clogged. When I do a head cleaning, often more nozzles show up clogged, but not the same nozzles.

The Epson tech said error messages would indicate if there were any air pressure problems or if the capping station was not seating properly. He was reluctant to suggest a service visit because he said a service tech would do the things I have already done. He said the odd results I am getting from several nozzle checks could result from back pressure but that the inconsistency in prints and initial nozzle checks was likely caused by a failing print head.

Before I spend $600 on a print head and hope it fixes the problem, has anyone experienced similar problems and found a solution?

Drew Harty


#2

Hi Drew~

This is very strange, I’ve never heard of a noticeable density shift from one day to the next, and the way it goes back to normal after a few more prints… That sounds like ink in the dampers and ink lines, and I don’t suspect the print head would cause what you’re experiencing.

After reviewing your order history, I see you last purchased Piezography Neutral inks in June 2014, and a set of 9800 refillable carts in November, are these the same carts and inks that you’re currently using?
If so, have your prints been correct/consistent over the past year, and recently started coming out dark after startup?
Did you replace the capping station, dampers and wiper blade before or after this problem started?
Did you replace the parts yourself, or have an Epson tech come and do the work?
Does your printer’s pressure pump turn on while your printer sits idle?
How often have you been agitating your ink cartridges?
How often is the printer used vs. how long does it usually sit unused?
What are the temperature and humidity levels in your printing environment?
If your nozzle checks print the same shade gray in multiple channels, including the LLK/PiezoFlush channel, this makes me think you have ink mixing between channels, which could also cause poor quality output until pure/correct density ink starts flowing thru the head.
Have you ever cleaned the bottom of the print head, following our instructions? If not, printer cleaning information can be found here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?133-Printer-Cleaning-and-Preventative-Maintenance

Please let me know, and I will try to help.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


#3

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;6200]Hi Drew~

This is very strange, I’ve never heard of a noticeable density shift from one day to the next, and the way it goes back to normal after a few more prints… That sounds like ink in the dampers and ink lines, and I don’t suspect the print head would cause what you’re experiencing.

After reviewing your order history, I see you last purchased Piezography Neutral inks in June 2014, and a set of 9800 refillable carts in November, are these the same carts and inks that you’re currently using?
If so, have your prints been correct/consistent over the past year, and recently started coming out dark after startup?
Did you replace the capping station, dampers and wiper blade before or after this problem started?
Did you replace the parts yourself, or have an Epson tech come and do the work?
Does your printer’s pressure pump turn on while your printer sits idle?
How often have you been agitating your ink cartridges?
How often is the printer used vs. how long does it usually sit unused?
What are the temperature and humidity levels in your printing environment?
If your nozzle checks print the same shade gray in multiple channels, including the LLK/PiezoFlush channel, this makes me think you have ink mixing between channels, which could also cause poor quality output until pure/correct density ink starts flowing thru the head.
Have you ever cleaned the bottom of the print head, following our instructions? If not, printer cleaning information can be found here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?133-Printer-Cleaning-and-Preventative-Maintenance

Please let me know, and I will try to help.
Best regards~ Dana :)[/QUOTE]

My printer had been sitting idle for about 18 months with flushing fluids. About 4 months ago installed new K7 inks. At that point, I replaced the main pump (because an error message indicated it was falling), dampers, and the capping station myself. I also switched from Studio Print to the Quadtone RIP, and bought a set of Ink Jet Mall cartridges to replace my older carts. The printer has not printed consistently since then. For a couple days it prints normally, then I get the odd nozzle check pattern and abnormally dark print. As I mentioned, the print will get lighter as I continue to print the same file, but nozzle checks will continue to show many clogged nozzles that vary in position with every nozzle check.

I agitate the cartridges if the printer has sat idle for a week.

My studio space is new and is heated with a radiant slab, so the printer has been in consistent temperature and humidity.

I also was thinking the inks must be mixing between channels, but how is that even physically possible if the dampers are securely attached to the print head? In some way it seems like ink is flooding the print head, like there is a constant back pressure problem.

I have cleaned the bottom of the print head several times, but ink builds up much more quickly than I ever encountered in the past.

Thanks, Drew


#4

It sounds like there’s somehow ink mixing, and wonder if your missing nozzles are indicating a loose connection somewhere, possibly between the dampers and the head, or the capping station isn’t flowing well, causing puddling and waste ink to be sucked up into the dampers (?)

If it was my printer, I would carefully disconnect the dampers and recheck that everything is clean and together well. With the dampers disconnected, you can gently flush the print head channels using our print head cleaning kit, by following the desktop printer directions and having a folded paper towel under the head to absorb fluid. Make sure the capping station drain tube goes into the waste tank, and everything is tightly connected + properly positioned back there.

I wish you the best of luck getting this machine printing well again!
Warmly~ Dana :slight_smile: