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Epson Printers ...

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Arfa Daily, Sep 27, 2005.

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  1. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Hi all

    I am never EVER going to buy another printer from Epson. For years I used
    HPs without any problem at all. I then changed to an Epson on the grounds
    that the cartridges were cheaper to buy, because the heads weren't built in.
    First mistake. The heads used to clog up on a regular basis. OK, it was a
    cheap printer, so eventually I threw it away. Stupidly, I allowed a salesman
    to talk me into another much more sophisticated model, which had card slots
    for printing off my photos. And what does this one do ? Right ... the heads
    clog about once a week.

    This morning, as I was printing off a circuit diagram, I watched as the
    stupid piece of shite clogged on the black half way through the print. If I
    was using garbage inks or refills, I might be able to understand it, but I
    have ALWAYS used the genuine article right from the day it came out of the

    Of course, there's always the cleaning program. Yeah, right ...

    This piece of software is such CRAP, that it can only do ALL of the heads at
    once. It usually takes anything up to FOUR runs of this rotten program to
    clear a clogged head. Each run uses about a gallon of ink, so by the time
    you've got the black unclogged, you've also sprayed about 10 quids worth of
    Mag Yell and Cyan into the bottom of the printer for no good reason other
    than making the time a bit closer when you've got to line Epson's pocket
    again for some more of their ludicrously priced dye.

    I read somewhere the other day that home printer ink is the most expensive
    fluid on the planet. I can vouch for that.

    So, am I just being unlucky, or has anyone else had similar problems ? This
    one's close to being drop kicked down the garden ...

  2. Peter

    Peter Guest

    We've been running a half dozen newer Epsons (R300's, R800's
    etc) and haven't had a single clog on any of them.

    Are you shaking the ink cartridges several times before installing
    them? If not, you're supposed to. That gets rid of air pockets
    in the cartridges and settles the ink to the bottom.

    Also, are you using a power strip to turn the printer off? If so,
    you're bypassing the head seals, and that will cause a problem.
  3. 3T39

    3T39 Guest

    Hello, Peter!
    You wrote on Tue, 27 Sep 2005 09:06:29 GMT:

    ??>> So, am I just being unlucky, or has anyone else had similar problems ?
    ??>> This one's close to being drop kicked down the garden ...

    P> We've been running a half dozen newer Epsons (R300's, R800's
    P> etc) and haven't had a single clog on any of them.

    P> Are you shaking the ink cartridges several times before installing
    P> them? If not, you're supposed to. That gets rid of air pockets
    P> in the cartridges and settles the ink to the bottom.

    I've been using my old Epson Photo 870 for years and I always use cheap
    compatible cartridges, It only clogs occasionally, and that's usually when I
    ignore it for a few weeks. I find if I use every couple of days it never
    clogs and still prints terrific photos. Honest! Maybe the newer ones are not
    as reliable, I couldn't comment about that as there's no way I'm going to
    replace the 870 in the near future just to get a few more pixels per inch.

    with best regards, 3T39. E-mail:
  4. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Hi Peter

    Thanks for the advice. I haven't been shaking the cartridges prior to
    fitting, but then I've never seen anything in the paperwork that suggested
    you should, or in the " on screen " instructions that pop up when you start
    replacing a cartridge. I've also never had to do this with any other printer
    that I've owned, but I will give it a try on the next replacement ...

    As far as turning off goes, it is basically never turned off, but it is used
    pretty much daily, and I would have thought that there was seldom much more
    than 12 hours between uses. As far as head sealing goes, I would have
    thought that the standby " park " position was the same as the
    printer-originated power down " park " position, thus sealing up the heads
    during periods of non use but perhaps that's not so. What you're saying
    would suggest that this is what you believe, and the heads get left in an '
    out ' position if you just kill the power rather than allowing it to go
    through a power down sequence. If not, then I would suggest that that's a
    design oversight, and the heads should always be sealed when not actually
    printing. Even if it is so, I would not have expected bulk ink to dry in the
    nozzles that quickly, but perhaps I'm being over optimistic there. Comments

    Perhaps these ' cartridge only ' printers don't sit well with my patterns of
    useage. I do know that in future, I will be going back to an HP. Even though
    the cartridges are more expensive, at least I'm getting a nice new head each
    time, and if one does block up, the only thing that's scrap is the
    cartridge, not the whole printer.

    Thanks again, and if shaking and turning off seems to do any good, I'll post
    again in a few months, and say so.

  5. Dave D

    Dave D Guest

    Epson seems to endorse shaking cartridges. Here's a couple of Epson

    However this article says no, though they are talking about not shaking open
    cartridges, which is fairly obvious.

    Mind, any article with gems of astounding insight like "With regular use,
    printer ink may begin to dwindle." doesn't fill me with confidence.

  6. Anna Daptor

    Anna Daptor Guest

  7. Peter

    Peter Guest

    It depends on what model printer you have, and what kind of ink
    it uses. It's clearly stated in our R800/R300/R200 manuals to
    shake the cartridges downward several times right before installing
    them. The insert that comes with the ink cartridges says the same

    These printers use pigment-based inks, which are thicker than the
    dye-based inks used in most of Epson's lower-end models. This
    might account for the difference in instructions.
    Epson printers do seal their heads after a certain amount of
    inactivity. I was referring to turning the power off via a power
    strip, whereby the printer couldn't engage its seals.

    BTW are you using Epson or third-party inks? If the latter, all
    bets are off with regard to clogging problems.
    We've never found an HP inkjet that equals Epson's image
    quality. A few of their most recent models come close though.
  8. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi Arfa...

    Have a suggestion for you if I may.

    Grab yourself a copy of the ssc software (free) from

    A fantastic utility that replaces (or supplants) the Epson cleaning
    software. Allows you to clean only one head when required, rather
    than wasting ink cleaning both when not needed.

    Has a "power" cleaning mode as well, so that 4 wasteful regular ones
    aren't needed.

    Let's you reset the tank counters, so you can get every last bit of
    expensive ink from your carts.

    Lets you stop the counter if you wish, or reset it to full if you
    want to refill your own carts.

    Lets you hot swap carts without the printer insisting on re-charging them.

    And more, waaaaay more. :)

    Hope this helps, and take care.


    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with ssc, other than having been a
    user for years.
  9. I've been using my Epson Stylus Photo 960 for about 1.5 to 2 years now
    with no problems. It gets regular use with black text printing about 3
    to 5 days a week and color photo printing about once a week to once a month.
    I've only used genuine Epson Inks and have only had a head clog once.
    Selecting the "cleaning" program solved the problem but did waste a lot
    of ink. I cringed as I heard it squirt into the bottom sponge.
  10. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    Back in the late 90s I paid heaps for an Epson Stylus 500 printer.
    It was great at first, but then started producing "banded" printouts.
    I wasn't really surprised, because it didn't get much use. Eventually
    it got so bad that it was unusable.
    When I took it apart, I was stunned by how much massively expensive
    ink the thing had pumped into the huge absorbent pad under the
    mechanism in its unstoppable self-cleaning cycles. I vowed that I'd
    never ever touch another Epson printer, or inkjets in general if I
    could avoid them.
    However a mate loaned me his old HP Deskjet 500 which was totally
    reliable for years until I decided to upgrade.
    A couple of weeks ago I bought a little HP Laserjet 1020 which is
    perfect so far, for the small amount of invoice etc printing that I

  11. Chuck

    Chuck Guest

    I have a C60 that I use once a week. I use only Epson cartridges and
    it plugs up at least every other time I use it. We have used HPs,
    Canons and Lexmarks in the past, none of which plug up. Chuck
  12. Dave D

    Dave D Guest

    Yes, I had the Stylus Colour 500. It cost me about £275 IIRC and never lived
    up to the print quality of the 'sample' image. After a period where it was
    unused, it clogged up so badly that nothing would shift the blockage. It
    ended up in the bin. I always used Epson cartridges BTW. Not only was the
    print quality disappointing, the paper feed was dismal.

    Some people knock HP printers, but at least I can put any old crap ink in
    the cartridges and it can't damage the printer. If the print head gets
    blocked beyond hope, I simply throw the cartridge in the bin and start off
    with a new one.

  13. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Hi Ken.I've got it and installed it, so we'll see how it goes. Thanks very
    much for the reference.

    Interesting to see, if you follow the thread down, that I'm not the only one
    having these woes with the Epson. As a matter of interest, to all of those
    who comment on what inks I am using , they are the genuine article. Branded
    Epsons in Epson boxes, bought from high street retailer. I know many people
    who have come to grief with third party inks, and as this machine has fixed
    heads, I have never even contemplated using anything other than genuine
    manufacturer's inks. Just for the record, the printer is a " Stylus Photo
    RX425 "

  14. none

    none Guest

    Epson printer's are pure crap, at least the one's I've wasted my money
    That includes the following models:
    Epson Stylus Pro and Pro XL.
    Epson Stylus 1500 and the later "Colorado" model.
    Epson 800

    I have a storage locker full of Epson crap that we had to sideline
    because of the constant problems associated with these printers,
    namely clogging and loss of seal integrity on the ink tanks.
    I'd even managed to burn out the pezio heads on a couple of them
    running the endless cleaning cycles Epson insists would "fix" the
    banding problems.
    We run a pro print shop and in the mid to late 90's saw inexpensive
    inkjets as a solution for "spot color" work in our smaller print
    runs(offset). Also as a low cost proof system on our bigger four color
    The Epson's failed miserably, they were neither reliable enough to
    cost effective and Epson never came out with any pantone ink
    cartridges that were work a fck.
    We finally went with a couple of mid level plotters from Encad and
    haven't had any problems since.
    We've also purchased a few Lexmark printers as well as two of Canon's
    better offerings that have done a bangup job for our low-end work.

    I can't emphasize enough that one should stay away from anything
    I'm only hanging on to the pile of Epson crap that I have because I've
    invested thousands into it and hope that someday some third party will
    offer upgrade kits to replace the head and ink supply system so that
    these units will actually print something besides test sheets and
    cleanup patterns.
  15. none

    none Guest

    What shaking is supposed to do is settle the ink into the bottom of
    the cartridge.( the cartridge contains a sponge that's soaked in ink)
    Why a sponge is beyond me, it just allows the introduction of air
    bubbles and promotes dry clogging if the cartridge is allowed to sit
    for more than a day or two.
    An old trick that many Epson owners used to use was to place the
    cartridge in a sock with the ink ports pointed outward and give the
    sock several fast hard spins in an attempt to drive the ink into the
    bottom of the cartridge and force the air either out the feed port or
    into the top of the cartridge.
    Some have even claimed this worked.
  16. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Lexmark? Lexmark?? I wish you'd include your company name,
    so I can be sure to keep my customers at least 100 feet from it.

    Were you using third-party inks?

    We had occasional clogs on our old Stylus Color 800, and zero
    clogs after nearly a year on our R800. Apparently Epson has
    addressed the problem, at least partially.
  17. b

    b Guest

    none ha escrito:
    I have used the old stylus 500, was given a few other epsons a while
    back (i think they were 450s) and relatives have a photo810. In both
    cases i experienced the same clogging and hassle. After a massive clog
    resulted in no output and the cleaning cycles did nothing but wasted
    all the colour ink, The photo 810 i ended up dismantling, unscrewing
    the print head, removing it and cleaning the nozzles manually with a
    wet-wipe. That solved the problem, dunno how long it lasted. So at
    least it is possible to restore them that way. I know opening them up
    sounds time consuming but look at it this way: you'll spend as much
    time opening them up as you would fruitlessly running the cleaning
    But in short: avoid 'em!
  18. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    I had an old Stylus Color IIs that worked beautifully and never clogged.
    Later I had a Stylus 600 which would clog constantly. I also had a couple
    Canon printers that behaved similarly, HP is the only one that seems to be
    decent but I got a laser printer for my B&W stuff now and it never clogs.
  19. clifto

    clifto Guest

    I started keeping alcohol wipes in the computer room when my H-P would
    clog almost every time I used it (occasional use). I kept on keeping
    them here for my Lexmark, which clogs less but still often enough.
  20. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Yes, it's curious how the internals of these cartridges are constructed,
    isn't it ? You'd think that if air bubbles in the cartridge was a problem,
    they'd work the design up so that it wasn't the case.

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