Recover after PiezoFlush "hibernation"

A year ago I put my R2000 in “hibernation” for a long period. I think I did everything to ensure it would stand this period perfectly: complete cleaning as shown in Dana’s video, set of carts with PiezoFlush, good nozzle check, then put in a plastic bag and stored in its box.

Today I planned to put it back in operation (with Piezography again). I though recovering the printer would be as easy as a couple of cleanings with PiezoFlush carts, and a couple more with Piezography carts, but I’m still struggling to get a perfect nozzle check with PiezoFlush.

I ran 10 cleaning and nozzle check repetitions; things improved quickly at the beginning, then stabilized with 3 lines missing in one channel and 7 in another, and four squares missing in the checkered pattern below.

Since the problems were at the same locations, I thought of a clog and so I tried PiezoFlush injected with the syringe for small printers. Here I made the mistake of injecting air, because I pushed all the liquid and then pulled and pushed again, which created bubbles (the instructions correctly tell to fill the syringe with 2ml and push and pull 1ml, but I forgot the right procedure, my bad). At this point the nozzle check was much worse.

So I tried the trick discussed recently of running one cleaning with the filling plug of the carts removed and the test pattern improved (the checkered pattern below is now complete), though I still have several missing lines (much more than the 3 + 7 I had earlier today).

Now I’m not sure what to do. I was thinking about some more cleanings without filling plugs or another pass with the syringe, this time not injecting all PiezoFlush to prevent bubbles of air from going through the head. Any other suggestions? Do you think the problem is just air bubbles and ink pressure?

Has anyone else tried long periods of hybernation with PiezoFlush?

This is one of those posts that frightens me. Nearly exactly two years ago, I purchased a new R2000 when they were on run-out, as insurance against the day when my R1900 might die. At that point it was not clear whether the P400 would be supported with refillable cartridges. Following advice from Jon, I tested the R2000 with flush carts and stored it as you described. I sure hope it comes out just as it went in. I wonder whether I should take it out and do a check.

There’s another thread running at present with someone else who is struggling to get a good nozzle check out of his printer. Although it’s not exactly the same situation, all the experience I shared with him probably applies to your case as well:

Thanks Brian. I read that thread, too.

I’m now pretty sure the problem is just air and no clogs, because comparing the nozzle check I got towards the beginning (the one with 3 Y + 7 Or missing lines, before I used the small printer cleaning kit, which was one of the mistakes I made) with those I get now (with 20 Y + 22 Or missing lines) the lines that are missing are not the same, not even one of them. The problem is that it is being very hard to get rid of these 20 + 22 missing lines.

After one night of rest, I went down from 33 + 30 to 22 + 23, then 20 + 23 after two head cleanings without fill plug, and finally to the 20 + 22 after several purge patterns. So patience seems to be the way to go, as you suggest in the other thread.

Now, speaking of purge patterns, its not clear to me what is the most effective way to use them to remove air: higher resolution to use more ink, one purge for each of the two channels, than several hours of rest? Or lower resolution? Or several purge prints one after another?

Do you think that, now that I am sure there is no clog, switching to the carts filled with Piezography instead of insisting with those filled with PiezoFlush would be better? Or should I continue with the PiezoFlush set?

Do you think that if I do an injection of PiezoFlush with the small printer cleaning kit, being extremely careful to avoid pushing the syringe to the end, leaving some fluid inside and without pulling, to be sure that only fluid goes through the nozzle and no air, would speed up the recovery?

You’re asking some fairly tricky questions.

Re what resolution, this is more art than science and I honestly don’t have an answer.

I’d be inclined to stick with the flush carts, as my experience is that these kinds of issues are easier to solve with flush. What flush carts won’t tell you is if you had leaking carts and there’s cross-channel contamination. You could always try ink carts and see how you go. A lot of what I’ve learnt has come from experimentation when the next step was not at all obvious.

Your suggested use of the cleaning kit - yes I have successfully used this trick to push air out, but not for a while and my memory is hazy on the details. I imagine that it was after patience and purge weren’t delivering the goods fast enough. It’s an advanced technique that I was hesitant to suggest to Paul W, given his reticence to use the cleaning kit.

I feel you have a good enough understanding of the options to be able to make your own judgements.

I have just found the easiest and (relatively) fastest solution to get rid of the air “clogs”!

It consists in forcing an Ink Charge (the procedure that is run by the printer when the first set of carts is installed) using the Service Adjustment Program (to be precise, not the official Epson version, but the one created by 2manuals to allow resetting the waste ink counter, which provides most of the functionality and is free to download and use except if you want to reset the waste ink counter).

After the first execution I was down from 20 Y + 22 Or missing lines to 15 + 11, after the second to 13 + 7, after the third to 9 + 4, after the fourth to 4 + 1, after the fifth to 3 + 1, after the sixth to 2 + 1, after the seventh to 1 + 1, and perfect after the eighth.

Since I installed the external waste ink tank before using the printer for the first time, I’m not worried by the exhaustion of the waste pad inside the printer; also, since the waste tank and the printer were clean yesterday when I started, I’m reusing the PiezoFlush that gets expelled (otherwise I would have consumed about 1l by now). The only drawback is that a full set of carts can barely stand four ink charges, so I had to refill several times (every 3 charges, because as we know ink level status is not reliable).

Now I’ll try using Ink Charge also to speed up the switch from PiezoFlush to K7.

I’ll write a post in the other thread about the use of Ink Charge.

I’ll reply about your results in the other thread, to keep all the discussion of how to deal with these types of symptoms together. Out of interest, how old was your R2000 before you hibernated it? How much use had it had?

I purchased it brand new a year ago (leftover at a local camera store), put it in operation straight with K7 glossy, printed around 50 A4 photos (with an additional pass of GO for each) in a couple of weeks, then cleaned it, installed PiezoFlush carts, got a perfect nozzle check, and stored it in its original plastic bag inside the original box (which is not air sealed, a detail I could have improved).

Sorry for not being clear at the beginning. We cannot tell from my experience whether the recovery after the hibernation is easy or difficult, because I committed at least three mistakes that caused the introduction of air in the print head:

1 - A year ago, I had the printer already stored with the vent plugs of the PiezoFlush carts removed, then after discussing with you about hibernation, you told me that the only thing I made different from your case was not putting back the vent plugs; I though it was an important detail, so after a week or so I unpacked the printer, but in my case, since I haven’t removed the cart cover (my understanding is that you have to break the hinge to do so), I had to turn on the printer, put it in cart changing mode, open the cover, put the vent plugs, close the cover, and then press again the cart changing button. This triggered an automatic head cleaning; probably if you press the cart change button, don’t remove any carts, and then press it again, the printer doesn’t perform an automatic head cleaning, but if the printer has been disconnected for a while, it does even without removing the carts.

2 - A couple of days ago, when putting the printer back in operation, I forgot about the vent plugs. I ran probably a couple of nozzle checks and cleanings before remembering about them.

3 - A couple of days ago, after having removed the vent plugs and run several nozzle check and cleanings, which recovered perfectly all channels but two, seeing that I had Y and Or with about 10 missing lines each and no sign of improvement, I though of doing a PiezoFlush application with the small printer cleaning kit, but not remembering the correct advice of not emptying completely the syringe, I emptied it completely and then pulled, which created a lot of bubbles, and made the nozzle check of those two channels even worse (though at all different locations, hence I was sure I didn’t have a clog).

All the next steps have been attempts to remove air from those two channels.

So, knowing all this, we can probably conclude that PiezoFlush hibernation doesn’t produce clogs, though we cannot tell anything about whether the recovery, if one doesn’t make any mistakes, is straightforward. This is why I was asking for somebody else’s experience.

It can be done without breaking the cover. I’ve done it several times. There is a certain trick to it, and I broke one before I discovered the trick, but not the other three.

For my R1900, if I press the ink exchange button but don’t actually remove a cart then I don’t get a head clean. I think that’s also true for other desktop printers of that vintage, but for the R2000 my understanding is that you will always get a head clean after moving the head into the ink exchange position, even if you don’t remove any carts.

Easy enough to do. I suspect that this is the main initial source of your now-solved troubles, rather having the printer in storage minus the vent plugs. The way you used the syringe may have exacerbated the problem. Moreover, the compulsory head clean after inserting the vent plugs meant that you may have put it into store with air in the system. I’m not sure how to prevent this with the R2000, other than by removing the cartridge bay cover, and even then, one or two vent plugs would still be hard to insert with the head in the parked position. Tricky.

Just a quick note to say that this year the recovery from one year of hibernation of my R2000 has been smooth and painless.

Same procedure of the previous year when storing it (complete cleaning as shown in Dana’s video, set of carts with PiezoFlush, good nozzle check, then put in a plastic bag and stored in its box), except I didn’t put the vent plugs on the PiezoFlush carts.

Taken out of the box after one year, the first nozzle check with the PiezoFlush carts was PERFECT. So this proves that the problems I had last year were indeed caused by forgetting to remove the vent plugs prior to putting it back into operation.

I switched to the K7 carts, did a head cleaning, and now I’m back, up and running with Piezography.


I wish I had recalled this post last week, because I briefly took my R2000 out of over three years of hibernation to test it. The printer was purchased new and so far has never seen ink, only flush. I made the same mistake of forgetting to remove the vent plugs. You certainly feel stupid when you make this mistake!

I quickly got back to about 98% good nozzles, but then no further improvement for four days. The interesting thing was that on four channels it was just the first few nozzles (I.e. top row left) and/or last few nozzles (i.e. bottom row right), suggesting that air was lodged in a few corners.

I didn’t resort to initial fill, because, as you said, it’s wasteful. I tried the cleaning kit to try and push air out, but matters became worse. I eventually cleared it with a couple of consecutive head cleans, contrary to my usual advice to other people. When you do this my understanding is that the second one is more powerful. Whatever, it worked. Much to my relief.