Persistent Epson 9900 G Nozzle clog


#1

The machine has had very light use in its service life, since acquiring it new in 2010—244 pages is the total print count. All carts in it now are 350ml Epson inks, and all are at least half full, according to the LCD panel.

I have had clogs of various inks in the past, especially because of sometimes long idle times. All have cleared, usually in short order, never with more than three or four cleaning cycles over a protracted period.

Recently, the machine sat idle in my studio while I was away, the heat kept to no lower than 55 degrees and no higher than 68 over the course of three months. It is winter and I am in the Philadelphia area.

When last used, it worked perfectly, approximately three months ago, printing in both full color and b&w modes, and with no hint of trouble in nozzle checks before each print session.

I started the machine on my return, and did a nozzle check, which was successful, except for the green ink. For the past 10 days there has been a persistent total clog (evident from repeated nozzle checks) of the green ink. Nothing works. Using powered pair cleanings judiciously. Leaving a PiezoFlush saturated strip of virgin cleaning towel (non-woven cloth) under the printhead overnight on three separate occasions. The last resort has been an initial fill cycle using an IJM green position cart filled with PiezoFlush fluid. The nozzle check prints are perfect for all EXCEPT the green position, which is totally blank, even viewed under a loupe.

I am not prepared to attempt anything more than a thorough cleaning of the flushing box, wiper blade, and capping station, although on inspection they are not particularly clogged with crud or debris. I don’t have the time or inclination to try self-repair, i.e., replacement, of the dampers, and least of all to touch the printer head or ink hoses, never mind try to replace it myself or to aspirate the green channel.

Aside from a cleaning, the usefulness of which I am skeptical about, is there anything else to try before calling in an authorized tech? The machine is long since past its original warranty, plus a two year extension, which, needless to say, was never invoked, as it always worked perfectly well. Thanks for any advice. And, lest it be mentioned, I know a new printhead is exhorbitantly expensive. It is still less than a new printer, especially one that has had so little use.


#2

Has the firmware been updated? You may need to do this and then do another init-fill.

It seems like back flow of air into the damper. You need a new damper and new cleaning assembly. If you haven’t printed with the printhead since it’s last perfect nozzles check it really shouldn’t be that. I think it’s your damper.

-Walker


#3

[QUOTE=walkerblackwell;10393]Has the firmware been updated? You may need to do this and then do another init-fill.

It seems like back flow of air into the damper. You need a new damper and new cleaning assembly. If you haven’t printed with the printhead since it’s last perfect nozzles check it really shouldn’t be that. I think it’s your damper.

-Walker[/QUOTE]

Thanks Walker. You sound like, unlike me, you know what you’re talking about.

First, the latest firmware has been installed since it was released. I try to keep things up to date.

Second, I couldn’t imagine how the printhead could go south while unused, but I don’t know enough to be sure. I suspected from my reading that somehow or other the line was air-bound going in one direction or the other, but didn’t know how to correct. On the other hand, I read enough to suspect the dampers and, indeed, even as I wrote this new thread, I had an order prepared on Compass Micro for two sets of dampers, and, I guess, if they can supply it, a new cleaning assembly. You’re right, it will be cheaper than a printhead. And I assume it will be easier for me to attempt replacement of these parts than to essay the printhead.

If these don’t do it, then I’ll have to do some serious investment in repairs.

Thanks again. You give some reassurance that my intuition was beginning to put me on the right track. I’ll report back on how I do…


#4

[QUOTE=howarddinin;10395]On the other hand, I read enough to suspect the dampers and, indeed, even as I wrote this new thread, I had an order prepared on Compass Micro for two sets of dampers, and, I guess, if they can supply it, a new cleaning assembly. You’re right, it will be cheaper than a printhead. And I assume it will be easier for me to attempt replacement of these parts than to essay the printhead.

If these don’t do it, then I’ll have to do some serious investment in repairs.

Thanks again. You give some reassurance that my intuition was beginning to put me on the right track. I’ll report back on how I do…[/QUOTE]

Having looked at the relevant pages in the Epson 9900 Field Repair Manual (available for viewing online), concerning replacement of the Damper (Selector) Assembly, covered in 13 pages, plus the required draining of all ink before proceeding (which itself requires 11 drainage carts), I guess I am still going to have to call in a tech to manage this laborious, semi-delicate, messy job. Then I’ll just have to hope that does it. I have also taken note that the SureColor P9000 costs $5995. I am wondering if the new printhead design technology is any less clog-prone…


#5

The P9000 will have the same problems as the 99. Nearly guaranteed. A pro on the EpsonWideFormat board already has one clogged. :frowning: