Hi Tony~ What is the “150C fault” your new printer had? Is this the error with the APG sensor or motor?
Yes, you should always make sure a printer works perfectly with OEM inks before installing any third-party inks/carts. This is true even with brand new printers, because they can occasionally have issues right out of the box (as you experienced).
Epson doesn’t provide any cleaning procedures because they’d prefer if you keep buying new printers instead of maintaing a machine to last several years like we do. With regular maintenance and proper use, printers can last significantly longer than without.
The general maintenance routine I recommend for any printer model is:
*Agitate ink cartridges every 1-2 weeks to maintain in-suspension pigment and use printers at least once a week to avoid settled ink in the pro model internal ink lines and to keep the print head moist.
*If a printer will not be used for a month or longer, we recommend installing a set of carts filled with PiezoFlush and purge ink from the printer before turning it off for safe storage. Keep in mind, with printers that have two black channels, only the one that the printer is in the mode of will be effected when you do cleaning cycles or flush a printer, so to flush the second black line, you must do a black ink change. If you only print with one black and not the other, you can install PiezoFlush in the unused black position to keep it from clogging and drying out, so it’s available in the future if you want to use it.
*Keep printers clean by cleaning waste ink build up from the capping station, flushing box and wiper blade every few weeks. If there are any problems such as mis-firing nozzles, stubborn missing nozzles or ink smears/drips on the paper during printing, gently clean waste ink build up from the bottom of the print head (I have included our video link and written instructions for some of these procedures below).
Use humidifiers in the Winter and AC in the Summer if needed to maintain humidity levels between about 40-60% for the best function of printer, inks and paper.
I hope this helps!
Best regards and happy printing~ Dana
NOTE: Please watch our YouTube video on small format printer maintenance to see these two procedures preformed (as well as other cleaning procedures), here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUysQFDH6u0
Clean the capping station
This tip is easy to perform and often highly effective in fixing not only missing nozzles, but also any residual color you may see in a print shortly after installing a set of Piezography inks in a printer for the first time. This tip is especially helpful if you see a nozzle check pattern become worse after running more and more cleaning cycles.*The capping station should be cleaned 1-2 times a month (depending on frequency of printing and the amount of cleaning cycles done) to keep the print head clean and working well.
The capping station is a rectangular flat sponge surrounded by a raised gasket. When the print head is in the “parked position,” at the right side of the printer carriage, the gasket of the cap presses against the print head, sealing it. One purpose of this is to keep the print head from drying out due to air exposure. The second reason is that the cap is used as part of cleaning cycles: the sponge in the cap is porous, connected to a small vacuum pump underneath. During cleaning cycles, ink is pulled or printed out of the print head, and the ink drains into the sponge, with help from the cap. The ink is then deposited on an absorbent waste pad inside the printer. Sometimes the sponge will clog up, due to dried ink, or due to paper fiber in the sponge, and this keeps the ink from draining out properly. The excess ink will then make contact with the print head, and transfer onto the print head’s nozzle surface. This can cause blocked nozzles, or can even cause the printer to print the wrong color, if leftover color ink is pulled back into the nozzles and printed out again.*
Cleaning off the sponge and gasket of the capping station allows the print head to stay clean. This can often make an ink jetting problem disappear instantly. The steps for cleaning the capping station are listed below. Please note that certain printer models have two caps.*Pro model printers also have flushing boxes, which are square pads located to the left of the capping station- this pad should also be cleaned as waste ink is deposited there during cleaning cycles and drains down into the waste ink tank. If the flushing box pad is blocked by waste ink build up or dried ink, the ink will not drain thru correctly nor will cleaning cycles be as effective because the suction on the print head is restricted by the dirty pad. Flushing boxes and capping stations should be replaced every few years to get the best function and longest life out of your printer.
- Access the cap: Move the print head off the cap in order to inspect and clean it.
- Desktop printers: Push the “ink change” button to move print head off the cap. Unplug the printer then move the print head to the left side to access the capping station on the right.*
- 3000 printer: Unplug the printer, and manually slide the print head to the left side.*
- 3800/3880 printer: Turn printer on, unplug printer when print head moves out of the right side during start up process then open the top lid and manually move print head to the left side to access capping station on the right.
- Large format Epson printers: Turn off the printer and open the front cover. Press down on the spring loaded paper cutter located on the front of the print head, which will unlock the print head so it can easily be moved with your hand (release the paper cutter once the head is unlocked). Move the print head over to the left side to access the capping station + flushing box on the right.*
- Look inside the printer case, below where the print head was originally sitting, to find the cap or caps. A cap is a rectangular piece, approximately 1” high by 2” wide (the exact size varies from printer to printer). It is mounted on a spring loaded mechanism.
- Look at the cap, using a flashlight if necessary.*
- It should be horizontal to the print path (depending if it’s a desktop or Pro model printer), not tilted at an angle. If it tilted, there may be a problem with the fixture supporting it. This can cause ongoing problems due to ink drying out in the print head. This problem usually requires the printer to be serviced professionally.*
- The surface of the sponge must be flat, and sitting below the level of the gasket. Make sure that it does not bow up at all. Sometimes, the sponge will lift up in the center or an edge. When this happens the sponge will always contact the print head, and cause ongoing problems. Older model printers are more prone to this problem. Newer models have a metal grid holding the sponge down.
4.*Clean the cap. Sometimes you may notice a buildup of residue or liquid in the cap or on the gasket; other times you will not. Use a drinking straw to deposit PiezoFlush solution or warm distilled water, or use the tube from the inside of a bottle of Windex to deposit Windex, onto the sponge. Use your finger to dispense only two or three drops of liquid at a time. The liquid will remain in the cap for a few seconds, but will soon drain out. Repeat this several times. Do not let the liquid spill around the cap, and into the printer, some model printers have important electrical components located under the capping station area and can be damaged by liquid (the 2100/2200 are especially sensitive to this).
- Fold a paper towel into a 4”x4” (10cm X 10cm) pad. Press the towel gently on the sponge to dab away ink and PiezoFlush, water or Windex. As you push on the sponge, gently push down and slightly to the right, to protect the spring-loaded mechanism that supports it. Pushing too hard, or pushing to the left can damage the capping station (and hence the printer). After dabbing several times, you will remove much of the liquid, but you can never remove all of it. Make sure the capping station returns to it’s normal position and sits flat for a correct seal with the print head.
- Dip a cotton swab (Q-Tip) in water, and use it to wipe gently around the edge of the capping station gasket, to remove dirt buildup there. Again, be careful not to push the capping station out of alignment. Take care not to leave any Q-tip fibers behind on the capping station sponge or gasket.*
- Return the print head to the parked position (on far right side), plug the printer back in and turn it on if necessary.* Run one or two print head cleaning cycles then print a nozzle check pattern. If the nozzle check pattern is better, but not perfect, do one or two more cleaning cycles and print another nozzle check pattern. If the nozzle check pattern continues to show missing nozzles, contact Inkjetmall’s support department for assistance.*