Nozzles dropping out midway through print - 9900

I have a reoccuring problem with nozzles randomly dropping out midway through a print on my 9900.
Nozzle check is always perfect before I print.

There is no pattern to which nozzles are dropping out, it’s always random. Also no particular colour, also random.

I’ve spoken to an Epson service tech, he suggested the 3rd party ink / cartridges could be a problem.

Could it be the carts not pressurising properly or a bad seal somewhere allowing air to enter the system?

Many thanks in advance!

Hi Shannon~

I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing frequent nozzle drop outs during printing, this is not normal. I have some questions below to help me figure out what’s going, and how to resolve your problems.
After reviewing your order history, I see you bought the set of carts last November, along with a set of ConeColor inks, and bought more ink last month.

  1. Does your printer’s pressurization pump come on while your printer sits idle?
    1a. If so, about how often does the pump come on while the printer sits idle?
  2. Do the missing nozzles occur shortly after a cartridge has been removed + reinstalled?
  3. Do you always make sure the exit channel is primed with ink before installing/reinstalling carts?
  4. When “nozzles drop out”, about how many nozzles are missing- one or a few individual nozzles, 10-20 nozzles or a few full rows, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 of the color channel, or is the entire channel blank?
  5. When nozzles drop out, do they return after one regular cleaning cycle?
  6. Do you do regular all channel or regular paired cleaning cycles to bring nozzles back, or deeper cleaning such as power clean or SSCL, etc?
  7. So, nozzles drop out randomly during printing, in any/all positions, or are there specific positions that you have the most problems with?
  8. Have you manually cleaned your printer? If not, please check out this video:
  9. How old is your printer?
  10. Have any parts even been replaced in this printer?
    10a. If so, what part(s) and how long ago?

Please let me know so I can help.
Thanks~ Dana

  1. It does make a sound after about 10 mins but I’m pretty sure it’s just the paper clamp/ rollers engaging
  2. There is no relationship between removing / installing carts and missing nozzles
  3. I double checked all the cartridges to make sure the exit channels were fully primed/ no air
  4. Usually a few nozzles, sometimes one, sometimes two, occasionally several
  5. Responds well to nozzle cleans
  6. Generally do normal paired cleans, sometimes powerful paired cleans. Never SS
  7. No specific position where the nozzles drop out on the print, just random positions
  8. I regularly inspect/ clean the wiper, flushing box. Although I haven’t cleaned the capping station for a month or so
  9. 7 months old
  10. Lots of parts replaced on this printer!
    2 x ink selectors - a few weeks back and 2 months ago
    2 x wipers - a month ago, and 3 months ago
    1 x pump cap assy - a few weeks back
    1 x Head - a few weeks back

I did notice when i removed the ink selector, the damper visible on the outside had air in it. I thought this was odd, it shouldn’t have any air in it, unless it sucked air in when the selector was removed??

I’ll attach an image of this

Here is the image of the damper

here is the image of the damper

Also changed the multi o-rings/ rubber seal where the ink lines connect to the ink selector, because I thought that would be a possibility for air entering the system. No luck

Also worth noting- Last week, after I left the printer sit idle for 3 or 4 days it printed like a dream all day?
Then half way through the next day, the nozzles dropped out again midway through a print.
My only theory on this is whatever air leaks it may have had, may have filled up with ink and the ink dried and sealed the leak??

Update, the LLK channel seems to be the most problematic??

Also I’ve noticed the wiper keeps coming out skewed?? (here’s a photo of two that i have changed and my latest one looks the same now)

Any ideas Dana?

Ok to be fair I haven’t manually cleaned the print head, to use a fibrous paper towel on such a delicate print head seems crazy to me

Hi Shannon~

I’m sorry for not responding sooner, I was on vacation last week, and just back to the office.

Something is certainly off if your wiper blades keep getting skewed to the side… I’ve never seen this before, but it can’t make a good connection to the print head like this.
Yes, cheap scratchy paper towels can be bad for cleaning printers and print heads, which is why we say to use [U]Bounty White[/U] (NOT Basic) paper towels, and the smooth side is best on the print head. I would figure out your crooked wipe blade issue first, as the wiper blade has a lot to do with the cleanliness of your print head.

It’s normal for there to be some air in the dampers, though they should be mostly filled with ink.

Best regards~ Dana