Trying not to waste ink in an Epson 4900

is a lot of ink wasted when removing an ink cart from an epson 4900 and inserting peizoflush?

is this ok to do back and forth? maybe when changing an ink shade to a different blend?

I am not certain how much ink is used in the Initial Fill cycle with a 4900, and that may be best answered by Epson. Without knowing for sure, I would guess it’s about 20-30ml per channel.

We recommend installing PiezoFlush carts and flushing ink from a printer that will not be used for a month or longer. If you print ever few weeks, it doesn’t make sense to flush ink between printing, but you should do a few cleaning cycles and/or make a print at least once a week to keep ink moving and to avoid drying/clogging. We also recommend regular ink cartridge agitation to maintain in-suspension pigment, as all pigment inks settle over time when left sitting still (this is true even with Epson ink). Proper temperature and humidity levels are also very important in the printing environment for the best function of your printer, inks and papers.

I hope this helps.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

if the pigment is not in suspension what happens? clogs? badly toned prints?

if i take out a cart and agitate and put it back in is any ink wasted due to recharging that slot?


Epson states that if you have inserted a cartridge into your printer and have not used all the ink within six months you should discard the remainder of ink and buy a replacement. An alternative to this is removing the cart and gently shaking it every few weeks so that you can prolong the use of the ink.

If you do not do this, the pigment in the cart begins to settle. The outlet port is in the middle of the cart. The ink therefore can be denser or thinner and it does affect color.

If you do not use your printer very often, the Epson ink inside the ink lines of the printer also begins to settle and eventually it forms a lining of thin solid pigment. This can dislodge in sheets and fill the dampers. PiezoFlush is engineered to dissolve it and break it up into particles.

All Epson pigment printers are made for “professional” type users who are expected to use their printers frequently. Ink wastage in this case (trying to make up for not using it) is not ink wastage - but preventative maintenance to prevent expensive repairs. Use it or lose it applies very much to Epson pigment ink printers. They never tell you this…of course!

but if i take out a cart and agitate and put it back in is any ink wasted due to recharging that slot?

just wanted to know if any ink is sent to the maintenance tank in the process.


I hope so. I hope at least a few ml of Epson ink is pushed through the ink lines and out the print head to keep everything flowing.

If you really want to keep as little ink as possible from flowing through the printer, and you need to agitate carts because you are not using a lot of ink - then simply do your agitation when the printer is turned off.

But, you will be giving up any benefits to the ink lines and dampers and print heads when trying to perform some preventative maintenance due to inactivity. I think it defeats the purpose.

If you are not already a ConeColor customer - you should be. The costs of ConeColor ink in an Epson 4900 are 21 cents per ml compared to 52 cents per ml for Epson ink - based on our smallest bottle size. You can save even more when you begin to print more on the basis of 4-5 sets of ink a year. Plus we have no reports of ruined print heads using ConeColor.

does running a nozzle check on the 4900 every few days help keep the printer clog free, or is a nozzle check only to see if there are clogs present?

thank you.

The nozzle check is designed to see if clogs are present. It does use the most minute possible ink when printing, although it does use ink to clean itself prior to the nozzle check. Because it prints less ink than it cleans itself with, it is not the best way of keeping a 4900 printer clog-free. The clean cycles produce wear on the cleaning parts and the cleaning parts are designed to be replaced easily. Most people do not do that type of PM.

From the questions you are asking it seems you print infrequently. So, what would make you print more often? That will be your best preventative maintenance. If you love taking photos to print them - take more photos!

If your warranty has not expired - extend it so that your replenishment of consumable printer parts will not be so expensive.

is doing a print session once every 2 weeks with my piezo inks enough to keep my printer healthy?

should i aim to print at least once a week?

I think every two weeks is ok as long as a “print session” consumes enough ink to bring fresh ink through the ink lines and print heads several times. If you produce ten to twenty 17" x 22" prints, then that is a “print session”.

If you just make a single print, then probably not. You would be better off using and maintaining an Epson R2880. It does not use remote ink tanks, nor have filter/dampers, nor have long thin ink tubes in it.

As long as you are running an EPSON Pro printer - you should run it with a healthy amount of production - or eventually you will have maintenance issues. It’s just because of how Epson designs their Pro printers that they really need to be printed with.