Specific suggestions for "keeping alive" a brand-new P600

I “killed” my old R2880 by not using it in a place with 0 to 10% humidity. (I will give it one more try with the InkjetMall flush kit that is on its way.)

  1. Humidity? I have seen suggestions from putting the printer in an air-tight box (these cost more than my new P600!) to keeping a wet sponge inside the printer when it’s not being used. Is there a way to attack this issue? Has anyone used a drug store humidifier? I am gone for three or four weeks a couple of times a year taking photos to print when I get home. Should I look for someone to take in my printer as they would a pet dog or cat?

  2. Flush kit? Do I have the suggestions regarding using flush kits right? Remove the ink cartridges and cap them? One hole or two to plug in each? Will I have the plugs? Put in the flush kit that has been sitting unused (plugged? same question here) and do exactly what? Put in a paper towel soaked in PiezoFlush under the cartridges first? Aren’t there ink lines in this new-generation Epson? How many times should the cleaning cycle be run for this printer after the flush kit is installed?

Please! Help me keep this P600 alive! Thanks.

My 0,02$ comment:

My 3880 is older than 5 years by now, and I had very few clogs using IJK or OEM inks. I try to follow the epson representative tips who gave a seminar at B&H video on printing years ago. May I say that I don’t print much having just use 3 sets of ink carts in over 5 years, with a total prints of 762 as indicated on the printer display (mostly 8.5X11).
1- Avoid any pet animals from being near the printer such as cats, or any animals attracting dust.
2- Dust is the nightmare of printers, as well as low humidity. I always keep a bowl of water near the printer
3- Make a cover from plastic or tissue that cover your printer all the time except when printing.
4- Print regularly as you know, every few days if possible a few sheets.( I rarely follow that advise)
My own:
1- Before turning on the printer prepare as many print jobs as possible. After printing I immediately turn off the printer, and cover it.
2- Clean the capping station every 3 weeks, with piezoflush. Check if the liquid PZF is draining correctly to assure the suction pump is working properly.
3- Do a nozzle check at least every week.
4- Every few weeks ( 2-3) remove all the carts and shake them as shown on IJK videos.
5- Every few weeks, up to 4 times slightly lift the front of the printer , to create a rocking action to prevent the inks in the ink lines from sedimentation.
6- Be carefull with fine art paper, that the paper edge on the start side of the sheet is not curl up hitting the printer head.

Based on my own experience and what I’ve read, the two main factors in avoiding a clog are regular use and maintaining the humidity level. In your location and environment I would definitely invest in a decent device to maintain humidity levels. I would also leave the printer on and program a computer to print a purge pattern once or twice a week. This can be done on either Mac or Win. These two should be sufficient while you’re travelling.

My advice would have been different for the R2880. For that printer I would install flush carts. You can do that quite economically in a printer with carts on the print head. Because the P600 has ink lines and dampers, you’ll waste a heck of a lot of first ink then flush in doing this each time. I understand that there’s 10-15 ml in ink in each of eight ink lines (nine if you count the second black ink) and you’d need to purge that amount of ink to hibernate the printer and that amount of flush to resurrect it. Some people are prepared to do that, just be aware of the cost. Also, IIRC the P600 doesn’t have a maintenance tank, so you’d need to install a waste ink tank and be prepared to purchase keys to reset the waste ink counter from time to time.

The comments from Luc are good general preventative maintenance tips, but I am not sure that they are directed at clog prevention. I don’t see how they’re going to help when you’re away for extended periods, as you won’t be there to perform them. I’ve read a lot of discussion on other forums about whether one should turn the printer off. I don’t believe that there’s any point. The printer parks and caps the print head when not in use, and on an ink lines and dampers printer the printer will depressurise the ink lines after a period of inactivity, so it’s not clear to me what more turning the printer off will do.

P.s. there’s also this IJM page about infrequent printer use.

Which is more about pigment sedimentation than clogs. In your case, in addition to sedimentation concerns, your low humidity location would also significantly increase the chances of a clog IMHO.

When I’m going to be away for a while (I have an Epson 4900), I use the set-up described by Martin Bailey to run a print a day that will cover the color spectrum. You can see and hear his podcast on this here: https://www.martinbaileyphotography.com/2014/11/17/prevent-printer-head-cleaning-with-automation-podcast-448/. It’s been an effective way to ensure that the printer isn’t sitting idle for too long. The only hiccups in using this strategy are power outages, or automatic software updates that stop LR (or any other program you choose to use). When I’m away, I turn off all auto updates. Good luck with this. I’m trying to decide between a large format Epson printer and Canon printer even though I’ve used Epson for many years. Just tired of the endless problems. But I suspect the reason so many of this tolerate this is the fact that when all is working, the prints the Epson printers generate are among the best you can get from ink-jet printers. Canon seems awfully close with its latest generation though.