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Author Topic: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding  (Read 2195 times)

Roger_Breton

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Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« on: September 29, 2015, 03:44:04 PM »

This is a follow-up to my original series of post, I believe two years ago. I wanted to say that, at the time, my 4900 "Photo Black" was "dead", completely clogged. As usual, no amount of Power Cleaning would bring the head back. Right? So I undertook to take the head apart to clean it, directly injecting in each of the 8 ink ports good old Windex, with a syringe, right? Well, that didn't help. And so on. Eventually, I got the printer to work again. And I was a happy camper for a few months, until, one head started to clog, yet again, and slowly but surely, earlier this summer, it got to the point that the Cyan/Vivid Magenta tandem was completely clogged. So was the Yellow. Orange, Green, Light Magenta, Light Black were OK. The LLC and LLM were halfway clogged. Should I toss the printer, take it out of its miseries, buy a new one, or try to "fix" it, once more?

Well, I put in my set of refillable cartridges filled with cleaning solution, putting aside the "old" ones.

Then, I first did an Ink Charge with the help of Epson Adjustement Program, running on my trusty Thinkpad T30 under XP.
That supposedly charged all the lines, in other words "Fill each tubes with ink" and, more importantly, the way I see it, pressurize them and hopefully remove air bubbles.
Once this was done, I ran a Nozzle Check.
I was deligthed to see faint lines appearing under all heads!
Then I ran an Ink Eject, supposedly emptying all ink tubes. That must have completely filled my Ink Maintenance Tank because I had to put in a new one right after that.
Now, with the lines being "empty", I reasoned I had to do another Ink Charge, this time, I put all my old Ink Cartridges back in, removed the Refillabe ones" So I turned to the software and away I went, pressing the Run button for an Ink Charge this time.
The result?
I could not believe my eyes but the next Nozzle Check showed complete success!
So, now, I'm going to try to send a few test images and see what I get.
But the results are very encouraging.
And no need to take the head appart or anything messy.

Thought I'd share my little story...

 
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 03:53:26 PM »

That is encouraging Roger, but it makes me wonder how often you use this printer and in what humidity you keep it, for such problems to have reached the stage they did in the first place. It is a temperamental printer unless it is kept running quite routinely at least every other day and sits in about 40% or so humidity.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml

Roger_Breton

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 06:43:16 AM »

Hello Mark, yes, such a temperamental printer. You're right, with my busy schedule, not being a pro photographer selling prints for a living, the printer sits for days unused. That's what kils it, I agree. Humidity level is stable all year round, a little above and a little below 40% but never too dry. For anyone not doing regular work, I agree this printer is a "liability", a ticking bomb but it does such fantastic prints, how could anyone settle for less, professionally? The idea, as you say, is to keep it busy. Last time, I neglected to give it love regularly. This time, well, we'll see. I need to use it heavily at this time of the year for a client of mine for which I do their yearly calendar. I go out to take photos of their installation and products along with zillion of shots of their family. Naturally, because I do such good work, they always order a ton of prints from me. And I always need to show them some kind of GRACoL proofs of their calendar designs, proofs that I later bring with me at the different printers I have the job ran. It's always interesting to compare the quality of my proofs to those of printers I hire's proofs. I iterate my proofs using an iCColor through ORIS ColorTunerWeb. I get down to an average of 0.50 with a max of 3.00 -- not bad. It's a winning combination. When I show my proofs to my client, I'm confident that the color they see is "realistic". Thank you so much for allowing me to post my humble experience on your site to share with other users. The internet is a wonderful resource.
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2015, 04:02:50 PM »

Thought I was going crazy, after all this work. Was running into horizontal banding. Turned out a reduction from +0.27% to 0.00% of paper feed adjustment did the trick.
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jferrari

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 08:40:55 AM »

Don't forget to shake your ink cartridges. You wouldn't start painting your bedroom walls with a can of latex paint without stirring it first, would you?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 10:13:07 AM »

Don't forget to shake your ink cartridges. You wouldn't start painting your bedroom walls with a can of latex paint without stirring it first, would you?

Actually, this is not recommended unless the printer has been left idle for a very long time. The more often you re-insert those cartridges into their slots, the higher the risk of damaging the suction capability. Also, in shaking the cartridges one needs to be very careful not to damage the bladders inside that contain the ink - very gentle and as infrequently as necessary is the way to go if you need to do it all.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 07:05:21 PM »

Mark, to shake or not to shake has been a topic of endless speculation for years. From your post it seems that you may have an official position from Epson. If so, would you provide a link?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2015, 07:09:44 PM »

I am not so privileged. My information comes from the same sources we all read. Jeff Schewe's video interview with Larry Kaufman, available on this website, covers the issue of shaking the cartridges - quite an amusing exchange actually; and the caution about the suction mechanism has similarly been advised from knowledgeable technical resources in the forums - I can't pinpoint which-where from memory, but seek and ye shall find.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2015, 07:14:37 PM »

So, in reality, you are as much in the dark as the rest of us. Unless, it comes from Epson, it remains speculation, no matter the giver of the opinion.
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enduser

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2015, 07:24:24 PM »

So far as the importance of agitating pigment inks is concerned, iPF Canons regularly agitate ink while in sleep mode, and the ink is also regularly automatically sucked out and pushed back in from the bottoms of the cartridges. (Source: Canon Maintenance Manual).

A good factory indication that agitation is necessary.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2015, 07:28:04 PM »

So, in reality, you are as much in the dark as the rest of us. Unless, it comes from Epson, it remains speculation, no matter the giver of the opinion.

Except that Larry Kaufman is the Epson Product Manager for the 4900 in Long beach California, and the caution on the suction issue came from someone with a technical background in these printers. I watch who says what I read and don't deal in speculation. If you need "official confirmation" write to Epson and see what they tell you.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2015, 07:43:22 PM »

We both know the Epson response. Your definition of speculation obviously differs from mine. I've had my fill of dead horse flogging for today.

I will leave you with another bit of information confirmed by measurements. Using Cone K7 inks in a 3880 will leave sediment in the lines if a printer remains unused for a month or so. I found this when I used MK without switching to PK. I measured a test strip when I switched to PK and it was significantly different. This may not   obvious on colour but it screams at you in B&W.

My observation from this is that shaking the carts may or may not be a good but you will get sedimentation in the lines which you can't shake.
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jferrari

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 07:11:42 AM »

Actually, this is not recommended unless the printer has been left idle for a very long time. The more often you re-insert those cartridges into their slots, the higher the risk of damaging the suction capability. Also, in shaking the cartridges one needs to be very careful not to damage the bladders inside that contain the ink - very gentle and as infrequently as necessary is the way to go if you need to do it all.

Bull$hit. Epson instructs the user to shake the cartridges prior to initial installation. Why? Because they have likely just been sitting around and may suffer from pigment settlement. If you use these "Professional" printers as they have been designed - frequent usage - so that the ink cartridges are depleted entirely in just a few months, you should have very few problems. For those users that only print infrequently common sense would dictate that the cartridges should be shaken periodically.    - Jim
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2015, 08:26:46 AM »

Putting dollar signs into expletives doesn't change them from being expletives - thank you very much. Turning to the substance - yes I know those initial installation instructions because I did that myself for every Epson printer I've either owned or tested over the past fifteen years. However, the discussion was about doing this on a routine basis, and all I was trying to do was introduce a word of caution about the practice based on information I've seen from totally reliable sources.

For that I get accused of being "speculative" and told I'm talking "b...s...." I'm sorry that this forum is becoming such a grotty, intolerant place in which to conduct what should be civil dialog, regardless that people can have honest technical disagreements with each other.

Taking it back to the main point of the O/P, I am pleased that Roger was able to solve his problem. Yes, this printer needs TLC, but the upside is the gorgeous output.

I'm now out of this thread.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2015, 06:14:37 PM »

From the Oxford English Dictionary: Speculation - The forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence

I'm out too.
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- New happy unfolding
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2017, 01:13:10 PM »

Things were going well, printing nozzle checks here and there, printing whole images on a regular basis from Photoshop but I *missed* the VLM disappearing completely and the Yellow partly clogged. Tried my luck with the usual, power cleanings, wait a day....nothing. So, I purchased two bottles that "Epson ink cleaning solution", filled up my old refillable cartridges. Had difficulty with the printer "recognizing" certain cartridges? But it finally accepted them. Did a full "Ink Discharge" from Epson 4900 Adjustment software. Waited a few minutes. Reinserted the Epson ink cartridges back and did a full "Ink Charge" and got perfect nozzle check! Printed a few pictures from Photoshop, wow! Worth all the trouble, after all these years. Moral of the story is still the same, keep this baby churning BUT with some cleaning solution and the proper tools, it's possible to salvage it.

I'll keep you posted as I go along.

Shameless plug... I have a few videos on ICC color management on YouTube . Sound is not that great (for the moment). I intend to create many more... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lk_-dgNLtc&t=344s
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Farmer

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2017, 07:51:05 PM »

It's not speculation when you have a video of the Epson product manager providing information.

SMH...

Mark is correct. 
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Phil Brown

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Re: Epson 4900 Ink Clogging -- happy unfolding
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2017, 09:13:43 PM »

If Epson techs were so smart they would have discontinued the 4000 series Long ago. It is a disgrace how these things have performed. It is not the users responsibility to keep these things from clogging. The responsibility is directly in the court of Epson. How many sad versions of this series have they produced over the years. What is it like a decade of this garbage people have endured?

john


It's not speculation when you have a video of the Epson product manager providing information.

SMH...

Mark is correct.
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