R1900 individual ink drining while idle

I have one cart that will go from full to empty (physically, not from the indicators) in about a day, while simply sitting unused. Probably related, while full it tends to dump big drops of ink on the paper while printing. I have older refillable carts that have been through a lot of abuse, the printer as well. Does anyone know if this is likely a cartridge issue, or an issue in the printer itself, where the cartridge seats perhaps? It happens to be the GO position, which at present is filled with a K7 ink for mix test purposes, could there be some difference in the nature of the particular nozzle to accommodate the GO?
I’ll happily get new carts, I’d just like to know if that is the likely problem first. I have a backup r19000 I could go to if necessary.

I think that several of us have been having problems like this recently. The symptoms are slightly different, but I think that it’s the same underlying problem in each case. Either one or two of a set of carts is faulty, or they’re not compatible with that particular printer (which is pretty much the same thing). I have two printers doing this at the moment: an R1900 (used for piezo) and an R2880 (used for colour), which are essentially the same printer (physically).

The R2880 I bought second hand recently. I initially had carts draining (discussed here). I thought I had solved that by following the filling instructions to the letter, but then I had further problems keeping a nozzle check (discussed here). I haven’t updated this thread yet, but after letting it sit with flush carts for a short while, I cleaned it yet again to a very high standard, filled and inserted the carts to the letter of the instructions, and printed. Initially it was fine and I did a reasonable quantity of printing. But after a couple of days I had gaps in the nozzle check again and bleeds between channels, and then I discovered that the PK & Cy channels had drained. All in the matter of a few days. Like your case.

The R1900 has been operating quite well since I got it. But recently I switched from K7SE to neutral, which meant inserting new 2, 3, 4, 5 carts. I also did a capping station and wiper blade clean. (I’ve since also done a head clean.) Now I’m getting nozzle gaps like I did on the R2880, and perhaps a little channel bleed, but mercifully no carts have drained so far. I will post about this when time permits.

I think Bob’s problem is similar.

I think that in each case the carts are leaking. If they leak a little you get gaps. A little more and you get channel bleed. More still and you get blobs (i’ve had some of these too). And more leaking and the carts drain.

So why are all these carts draining? I’ve done all the right things and the humidity is high here at the moment - it’s been raining quite a lot. I’m starting to lose faith in IJM carts. You said “I have older refillable carts that have been through a lot of abuse” - so it’s newer carts that are leaking? That would gel with my R1900 experience. I have no point of reference for the R2880, since it’s new to me.

p.s. I’m seriously thinking of reverting to OEM for the colour work on the R2880, as it would be simpler and cheaper. But that’s not an option for piezo work, unless I switch to ABW. :rolleyes:

Not sure my problem is 100% related to those in your post. My 1900/carts worked fine for years, I use the 1900 to play with test mixes. When I say the carts have been used and abused… they’ve been filled and often emptied then refilled with new mix after tests many times. Emptying means pressing a larger home made nozzle, with a small side slot, in the bottom to suck out the ink. So maybe that seal which fits over the nipple in the ink bay deteriorates, not sure. But then I would have imagined the bay itself full of lose ink, and it’s not. I have no newer carts, these old ones are what I’m referring to about this problem. It could be in my case the carts have come to their useful life end, and I should get newer ones, but the printer has been resurrected from the dead a few times too, so not sure if it’s a printer issue,

OK, I misunderstood your comment about older carts. It’s just that your post struck a nerve given the problems I’m having. Sorry for hijacking your thread.

I recall your problems with your R1900. It had to dry out for 6 months, didn’t it? In your case I’d try a set of new carts. The usual recommendation is to replace them every year. I think that this is a bit excessive, but sooner your later you’ll need to replace them, and also the inks if they’re also too old. This solved issues I was having with my R1900 a year or two back, although not draining. Beyond new carts and new inks, Dana’s usual instructions are to clean the printer as per her video, follow the filling instructions exactly, and keep the humidity levels up. My problem is what do I do now, having done all this? Hopefully new carts will solve your problem and it won’t come to this for you.

just ordered new carts, the new resetting alone should save me a lot of ink and time compared to the constant unnecessary cleanings the old ones make the printer do. Hopefully that will solve this problem too. Yes it did dry out after sitting for some time, I was surprised, it was 10 seconds from the dumpster…

In my experience of testing/using our refillable carts in several different Epson desktop printer models over the years, my results have been pretty consistent over the years, so I don’t feel the R2880 or R1900 carts have changed over the past few years (before mid-2011, we had vacuum filled desktop carts with a circular exit channel, then changed to the current cartridge design later in 2011, and have been carrying the same style cart since then). The R1900 and R2880 use the same shape/size/style carts, but with different chips attached.

We have MANY printers in our R&D lab. Some, like our R2880s are used primarily (several times every week), and other models, such as the R1900, 1400, 1430, R2000, R3000 and 3800/3880 are all stored with PiezoFlush and used occasionally when needing to test a specific model. We have storage bins filled with ink carts for each printer model. When we fill a new set of carts, we write on the side to indicate the date filled, and the ink filled with. We leave ink carts in the R2880 printer if we are using it regularly. When we need to install a new set of carts, we remove the first set from the printer, plug the air inlet points, and either put a rubber band around and put them in the bin if they’ll be used again soon, or in a sealed zip lock bag if they won’t be used in a while. We then install the new set of carts (after moving the vent plugs), and do 2-3 cleaning cycles to purge the previous ink, and get ink from the new carts flowing thru the head. After printing a nozzle check to confirm all channels are fully printing, we test as needed to check ink color, density, color accuracy with a profile, and ink flow consistency while doing back to back printing. We document our results each time, notating everything including printer, cartridge and ink performance, as well as environmental conditions. If we don’t have normal good results, we start by cleaning the printer and checking the room temp/humidity. We have a humidifier in our R&D lab, and have noticed the best results when the humidity level is over 30 or 35%. As per the Epson user manual, we try to maintain humidity levels between 40-60% and temps around 65-75F, for the best results with printers, inks and papers. We have a wide range of cartridge ages, ranging from over two years old to brand new. When used and stored properly, we usually get well over a year of good use from carts. Yes, I believe the o-ring seal and exit valve spring can wear out over time of removing/installing carts, and this can effect ink flow. If we experience unusual issues with ink flow, we start by cleaning the printer and checking the room conditions, then if results aren’t back to normal, check the carts to see how old they are, and if they have any obvious issues. If we determine a cart isn’t working correctly for whatever reason, we will often just replace that cart and continue using the others in the set. If the carts are old, or haven’t been properly stored (left out on the counter, and dried out), then we will generally replace the whole set (we try to avoid this, but sometimes get so busy that we can’t get to everything in time, though it’s good testing to determine what the carts can handle and how they work best). It’s very rare that we experience cartridge issues, and generally have very good/consistent results, so I’m puzzled why Brian is still experiencing issues, after we have thoroughly gone thru everything including printer cleanliness, cartridge filling and use, and environmental conditions… It’s understandable that Tyler is having issues after years of good results, and has emptied/refilled carts many times while experimenting with custom ink blends, and I expect new carts will resolve issues and work well.

I hope this info of our experiences and practices is helpful. Please keep me posted with your results, and let me know if you have questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards and happy New Year~ Dana

thanks for this detailed reply Dana. New carts are ordered, I’ll report back about it here to keep info available. Happy New Year to you, I miss you all over there and wish everyone the best.

I still have an unused set of those pre-mid-2011 carts. I also have several sets of the current version. Was there any reason for the change? As part of diagnosing my R1900 problems I was debating whether to use the older carts. I assume that they should be useable.

Also, the (2010) filling instructions for those carts had the initial fill as vacuum and gave a choice of vacuum and non-vacuum for refilling. With the passage of time, is there now a preference for how these older carts should be filled? Vacuum filling is a little more tedious, but perhaps it suits these older carts better.

Thanks Tyler. Please do keep me posted, and we miss you too! I enjoy seeing your updates on FB, wish you the very best for 2015, and hope to see you again in the not so distant future!

Warmly~ Dana

Hi Brian~

The older R1900 carts work well, and in combination with the current carts. We switched simply due to supply from the manufacturers, as they changed their mold. We tested several sets before accepting the new design, and have been having very good results for several years (and mostly good reports from customers using them).
The older style carts have separate exit chamber, so carts had to be filled using the vacuum method to get ink into this chamber. As per the older instructions for those carts, if the exit chamber is at least 1/2 filled with ink, carts can be injection refilled, but if the exit chamber is empty or less than 1/2 full, the carts should be vacuum refilled to get ink in the chamber again for proper ink flow.

Best~ Dana

Thanks for this clarification. The filling instructions that I think came with the carts (dated 2/4/2010) don’t seem to make this distinction.

I assume that any of these desktop carts can be vacuum filled, but some of them must be vacuum filled (such as the R2400 carts and these older R1900 carts if the exit chamber is less than half full).

Correct, the R2400 and older carts with exit chambers must be vacuum filled + can be injection refilled if the exit chamber is about 1/2 or more filled with ink, but if less or empty, carts must be vacuum re-filled to get ink in the exit chamber again.


It turns out the draining was indeed an old cart, the new carts have been great, so there’s no printer problem. Being able to reset them in a rational manner with ink remixes etc, has been a big help, rather than the constant and irrelevant ink-out status’ and subsequent cleanings. I should also note, that my old 1900 blinking lights meltdown simply went away. So the mention that it can get overcome with ink inside, particularly with a leaky cart, and effect the circuitry, and over time just dry out, makes some sense.
Brian, I’m pretty loose with my refilling techniques and have never had any problem, but no matter how I do it, I always make sure there is ink down in the outlet, usually by pulling some through there after a fill, that’s the only thing I can think of that would hamper performance after a fill. But compared to their Lab and Dana’s experience, mine is limited.
Thanks Dana, and all.

My 1900 is working. Seems I had two faulty new carts. Details here. The R2880 is a work in progress at the moment. I am working on the assumption that I had another faulty new cart or two in it as well. I’ll know in a day or so whether that’s fixed the problem, or if some of my desktop fillables lessons apply to it as well, esp #7 & #8.

If the carts are old (and a little abused) then it’s easy to understand how replacing them solves the problem. I’ve had that experience too. What is causing me grief at the moment is a rash of faulty new ones.