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Printer head cleaning question

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Jstein, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. Jstein

    Jstein Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I am having an issue with my Epson R260 inkjet printer. I recently
    tried to print a document and discovered that cyan was not printing.
    The printer was inactive for roughly 3 weeks. I performed numerous
    head cleanings and nozzle checks and nothing seemed to solve the
    problem. The rest of the story is long and complicated but I
    contacted the merchant whom I bought this printer from and he informed
    me that the print head on the r260's are prone to "freezing" and that
    I should contact Epson to follow up on their warranty. Epson claims
    they are not responsible because I am using a continuous ink system.
    I personally believe the cyan ink I was sold contained sediment and
    the seller does not want to admit this. I have gone back and forth
    with these people and I have now decided to take matters into my own
    hands. My question is this:

    I have removed the print head assembly which contains the 6 plastic
    nipples on one side with the print head on the reverse. There appears
    to be 3 screws connecting the print head to a small plastic base which
    is connected to a larger plastic housing. Where these two plastic
    pieces join, there are small amounts of a white epoxy. Does anyone
    have any advice as to how I can clean this? My initial reaction is to
    unscrew the print head and try soaking that but I am concerned that
    their is a seal that might be broken between the jets and the head.
    Can the whole assembly be soaked in an ultrasonic bath or will this
    damage the pcb and connectors? A similar image of the print head can
    be found here:

    Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. I would really
    love to get this printer up and running again. Thank you in advance.

  2. Bob Shuman

    Bob Shuman Guest

    The older Epson printers are notorious for clogging. I tried everything I
    knew , but could not get two of them unclogged after I received them after
    sitting unused for several months/years. If you do a web search, you will
    find many who can share their own tales of frustration with that design
    (print head is separate from the ink delivery.) Good luck.

  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Look on the web, there are many thousands of people who feel and share your
    pain. Epson ink-jet printers are (or at least were) extremely prone to
    clogging. Once the head is clogged, it's often not possible to get it
    unclogged. Throw it out and buy another one.

    I've found ink-jet printers to be expensive and frustrating. Sure, they're
    giving them away with new PC's, but the cost of consumables is at least 5
    times that of laser. And they clog. And they're slow. And the ink runs
    when it the prints get wet. What I ended up doing is buying a color laser
    printer for my day-to-day stuff, you know, prints off the web, proofs of
    docs, etc. I have a print shop do my high-quality work, they are cheaper
    than ink-jet prints. I bought a Brother HL-4040CN color laser and it's
    worked great for a year now.
  4. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    I too mostly gave up on inkjets a long time ago. I've resisted buying a
    color laser based on the cost of consumables. A full complement of
    replacement cartridges cost more than the printer in most cases I've

    I guess there's no middle-ground. Color ink is expensive, too. At
    least I had the sense (when I did use them) to find printers with
    separate tanks for the various colors. Even then, I consumed more ink
    in cleaning cycles than I ever laid on a page. I found when I tried to
    dispose of ink carts on eBay that they were worthless, and ate a large
    chunk in tossed-out consumables when the last printer I used, died.

    Do color toner carts expire? My ink carts (Brother brand) did--probably
    why I couldn't sell them--and I assume that most other brands have an
    expiration date as well.

  5. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    I looked into those a long time ago. ISTRC some issues with them, so
    when they were being dumped off at clearance prices; I passed. I guess
    that could have been a mistake. My recollection of the time was that I
    feared consumables would become unavailable. I guess it 'was' a
    mistake, then.

  6. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    Color laser cartridges seem to last just about forever in storage,
    just like B/W toner. Although they are expensive, they are still
    cheaper than inkjet per page. I've also had good luck refilling color
    laser cartridges, unlike inkjet. I highly recommend OKIdata's color
    LED printers. They have fewer moving parts than a color laser, but
    the printing technology is similar.
    Andy Cuffe

  7. Jeroni Paul

    Jeroni Paul Guest

    Three weeks seems a very short time to clog. When I had these problems
    I managed to remove the clog by injecting ink cleaning liquid
    (solvent) through the ink input. You will find it appears jammed but
    repeatedly and carefully trying with a syringe slowly starts to flow
    after a while and you are there (the air compresses slightly and
    that's the way to get solvent inside). Do not apply too much pressure,
    you can break the piezo elements, after several attempts let it sit
    for a while now and then so it can penetrate and break the clog. That
    way no head dissassembly is requiered. I got some Epsons back in
    business with this method.

    Epsons (especially old) are reliable but when used with proper inks.
    Some low quality inks tend to clog frequently and irreversibly while
    others never cause trouble. When there is a partial clog, using good
    ink will fix that in a day or so (no amount of cleaning cycles with a
    bad ink will do). I guess good ink has some kind of solvent.

    I had problems with third party cartridges when I tried a refill kit
    sold at Aldi (branded Zolid). On Epsons it is easy to refill a
    cartridge and I never had a clog with that ink, even when unused for
    months. In my experience the ink really makes a difference.
  8. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    That's good to know. It wasn't always such. I remember the first color
    copiers had toner shelf-life problems. My first laser was an Okidata.
    It didn't turn out to be so reliable, and the consumables were
    astronomically high; but that was fifteen years ago.

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