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?