Magenta Blobs

I have had a lot of work done on my 9600 over the past few months. First, I
had my 9600 print head replaced (twice actually, the first replacement was a
disaster), the pump cap assembly and also the wiper blade replaced. Despite
that, I began to find magenta blobs on my paper. (I use Conecolor inks, by
the way.) In an effort to remedy that situation, I had the flushing box and
all of the dampers replaced. I also emptied out the LM and M cartridges and
filled them with more ink in the hopes that would help. (To make sure the
newer ink was actually flowing through the printer, I ran 3 power cleans.)
This last round of work, all done by the Epson tech rep, was not effective.
I still get blobs after I have made several prints in a day. If I clean
behind the print head, the wiper blade, and the pump cap, and then wait over
night, the next print I made is OK. My nozzle checks are mostly perfect,

What to do? The Epson tech guy suspects the Conecolor inks and can only
suggest that the Conecolor inks be flushed out of the machine and replaced
with Epson ink. In that way, he wants to demonstrate that the inks are to
blame. Naturally I don’t want to do that. But is it possible that the inks
are to blame? I likely bought them in April 2012, although I had bought
Conecolor inks as long ago as August 2010, and I have not segregated the
April 2012 stash from earlier ink inventory.

When I pointed out that I have been using the Conecolor inks without
problems for several years, and that I therefore suspected the second print
head to be defective, just as the first replacement print head had been, he
said that ink manufacturers often change their ink formulas and don’t notify
customers that they have done that. He also thinks it’s unlikely that the
2nd print head is to blame, but, then again, he can’t explain why the first
print head didn’t work for me.

I haven’t called back overall Epson tech support because of this impasse.
If I can tell them in no uncertain turns that the inks aren’t causing these
problems, I will do that. So, what is your advice? What is the expiration period for Conecolor Inks? Has the formula for them been changed over the past year or two?

Thanks, Dana, for your response.

Hi luccaspal, sorry for not responding quicker! Whenever dealing with problems, it is always important to consider all the facts to help narrow down and determine the cause/solution to the issue.

You started using ConeColor K2 inks around August 2010 in pre-filled carts, then began switching to the refillable carts in April 2011, with the last refill cart bought in October 2011- so you have been using these inks and refill carts in your printer for well over a year. Based on our email history, I see you first mentioned some magenta blobs on the paper, primarily in the white margin, last April, but in May told me the problem was gone and you were happily printing (other than a chip read error we helped you with between that time, and your recent report of getting darker output after upgrading from Photoshop CS4 or CS6). Since then, you have followed my recommendations for cleaning your printer and have replaced many parts including the dampers, wiper blade, flushing box, capping station and print head (twice, as you said the first one didn’t work). You are able to get good prints without the blobs after cleaning, but then the blobs return after making several prints. I can assure you that ConeColor K2 inks have been the same formulation since the beginning, and the inks have not changed at all over the years.

Please open the front cover of your printer and carefully examine the length of ink lines inside- is there air in any of the ink lines (specifically the M or LM that you are experiencing flow problems with), or they all totally filed with ink?

Things that could cause ink dripping from the print head are: 1. damaged, dirty or faulty print head, 2. damper(s) not working correctly or improperly connected to the print head, 3. dirty or poorly connected capping station, flushing box and/or wiper blade (these areas control print head cleaning- if the FB or CS are dirty or have a poor fitting, then will not have proper suction during cleaning cycles. If the wiper blade is dirty, damaged or incorrectly attached- it will not be able to keep the bottom of the print head clean, causing waste ink and paper fibers to build up and form a gunk, which can cause smears and/or drips on the paper during printing). 4. Poor ink flow from a cartridge, 5. very high or low humidity or temperature levels in the printing environment.

If you are only seeing magenta colored ink spots on your paper, and no other colors, then you could certainly try inserting different M + LM carts to check if the problem stops or continues to test and determine if one of the carts is causing the ink to drip. If you don’t have any other M and/or LM carts to try, let me know and I will check what I may have here to send you.

Please keep me posted, let me know if you need carts to test, if you have questions, or if there’s anything further that I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hi Dana, Thanks for your response! I don’t have any other M and LM carts, so if you have some I could use to test, I would be grateful. -Nori

Ok Nori- I went thru my testing inventory and found a 7600/9600 M + LM cart that I will send for you to use/test, this will help determine if the magenta ink spots on your paper are related to the carts, or something with the printer.

Please keep me posted with your results, let me know if you have questions or if there’s anything further I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

We already have your mailing address in your customer account, so removed your address from this public forum.

Thanks, Dana! Would you be sending one or two carts? I imagine that I would need two. Or would I?

I’m sending both the M + LM carts.

Keep me posted~ Dana :slight_smile:

Very good!


Dana, I have installed the two new cartridges. At first, all was well. But after several days of fairly light printing, both magenta slots are next to invisible on nozzle check prints. I did prime them before installing. Yesterday, I ran three power cleans and let the printer sit over night. After four regular cleans this morning, the magenta slots are still only sometimes barely showing in the nozzle check prints. What do you think is going on?

The two carts I sent may be slightly different that the other ones you are using, and have a dual plug on top- the large hole/plug is for filling the cart with ink, and the small hole/plug for air ventilation. The small plug must be removed and air vent hole open for proper ink flow out of the cart. Do you have the air vent holes open on both the M and LM carts? Make sure the plug is not resting on top of the hole, as this could seal the hole and restrict ink flow as well.

Let me know, thanks- Dana

You were right on. I had the plugs in, and now I have cleared both of those slots. So far, no blobs, but I haven’t done a lot of printing. Thanks, Dana

Dana, Yes, I did find that when I took out the plugs, I was able to clear both magenta slots. Unfortunately, though, the blobs are back on my prints. So, it appears that the cartridges were not the cause of the blobs. What do you suggest that I do? I will be cleaning the wiper blade, the cap station, and behind the print head, but I need to have more reliability from the printer. Thanks for your input, Nori

Hi Dana, Yes, I was able to clear both magenta slots by removing the plugs. But the blobs are back! This time, they are not only magenta, but blacks and blues as well. Any thoughts? -Nori

Dana, Yes, I did clear both magenta slots after opening up the plugs. But the blobs are back! This time they are multi-colored, not just magenta. What do you think? -Nori

Hi Nori~ Well, that rules out the carts as the cause of your ink drips. I also know it’s not the ink because we have hundreds of customers happily printing with it, and you have been using it successfully for years as well (and there has ben no changes in the inks). Therefore, I believe your recent ink drops on the paper during printing is caused by your printer. From my experience, my first thought is the flushing box (you have already replaced it, though that doesn’t necessarily rule it out). The ink drops could also be caused by damper(s) or print head channel(s) that are defective or not working correctly for whatever reason, also a faulty, dirty and/or crooked wiper blade…

One other thought is your print environment- what are the average temperature and humidity levels in your printing area?

Sorry I don’t have the magic answer (though I still try!).
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


The Epson tech has stopped by and looked over the machine. His assessment is that the problem is either the ink or the print head. The flushing box isn’t gunked up, the pump cap looks OK, the dampers appear to be sound, and there doesn’t appear to be air in the ink lines. It is apparent, though, that ink is leaking out of the back of the print head. He wants me to switch out the inks to all Epson inks, just to eliminate the inks as the cause of the problem. As you know, that would be very expensive. Even though it doesn’t make sense to me that Conecolor inks are causing the problem, I would be open to going through the step of switching to Epson inks, if Epson would agree to reimburse me in the event that it turns out that doesn’t take care of the problem. He and general Epson tech support all lack confidence in non-Epson inks. I did notice that on your website you do say that the Cone’s technology for these inks has evolved to a point where they are comparable to Epson inks. That does suggest that changes have been made to them over the years. Do you know of an avenue whereby I could arrange to be reimbursed by Epson for the cost of making this switch? -Nori


There have been no changes to ConeColor inks that you are using in your 9600. So - no worry on that. Epson does reserve the right to use its inks in its testing - although they still have to warranty your printer with 3rd party inks. So, their request is fair in that regard - though most customers tell us that most Epson techs bypass that and just repair the printers while our ConeColor inks are installed and especially when our Piezography inks are installed.

So, maybe you should try and buy a set of used Epson 9600 carts that are half full… or buy some 110ml carts if they are still made by Epson. Or find another technician. You mentioned your first head replacement was a disaster - shouldn’t that be an indicator of the quality of repair from those folks?

When customers of Epson 7800 printers began complaining of print head cleaning issues and Epson documented that the OEM Magenta has a tendency to over-foam in the cleaning box (they repaired this with the 7880 by changing the Magenta and the cleaning cycle timings) - we decided to reformulate Vivid Magenta - and at the same time we increased dramatically the glossiness of K3 LK and the dMax of K3 PK. But none of these inks are used in your 9600. They can be - but you will need to make custom ICCs for the Magenta color space. So you are on one of the longest most non-changing inks we have released.

You either have to try a new (to you) maintenance technique, or bite the bullet on Epson carts, or get a better tech in there than what you have had. There does remain the possibility that hey are sourcing cheaper lower grade 9600 print heads. They are available from China in droves. Epson buys them as well - but sells only A-graded ones.

Dana, I am sure, can suggest a new maintenance technique.

Best regards,


Jon, I have been working with the fellow who seems to be the only Epson tech in my area. So, I am stuck in that regard as well. Epson tech phone support has in conversation said that they don’t have to warranty printers with 3rd party inks. In the face of that stance, users like me who can’t resort to expensive legal means are stuck even when the printer is under warranty. At any rate, thanks for the idea of obtaining half-used cartridges. -Nori

Hi Nori~

As Jon already explained, the ConeColor ink you are using in your 9600 printer is the same as it’s been since the beginning, there have been absolutely no changes in the ConeColor K2 ink since it was first released years ago. We have a ton of customers who have been happily printing with our K2 inks for years (like yourself), and have received no other reports of the problem you’re experiencing, so we are confident that the inks are working well and suspect something related to your printer is the culprit of your blob problem. As you pointed out, the first new print head was “a disaster”, so the Epson tech installed a second head. I agree that it’s strange that a new part doesn’t work correctly, but as you’ve already experienced- it’s not impossible, and should still be considered as a possible cause to your problem. The same goes with dampers- many years ago (before I started servicing our printers), we had an Epson tech come out and service our 9800 with new dampers, but immediately after it started having missing nozzles/channels and ink drips on the paper, so we called them back- and they discovered two of the new dampers they installed were defective, so replaced them a second time and it’s been working perfectly ever since (I’ve been routinely cleaning the printer, and change the dampers every 2 years since the Epson tech worked on the printer).

If you want to eliminate possible factors, and rule out the ink as the cause to your blobs, I recommend you install PiezoFlush in your printer instead of Epson ink as a more economical way to test, and flush out your printer at the same time (a 110ml bottle of PiezoFlush costs $24 vs. an Epson 110ml cart costs $87).

Please let me know if you have questions, keep me posted on what you do and your results, and let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.
All the best~ Dana :slight_smile:

Dana, How did they discover that the dampers weren’t working? The Epson tech thinks mine are working OK. I appear to be stuck with going for Epson inks for testing purposes because the techs are insisting upon it. They won’t do any work with any 3rd party inks in the printer. -Nori