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Author Topic: To print or to purge?  (Read 753 times)

texshooter

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To print or to purge?
« on: January 12, 2018, 05:12:33 PM »

I was taught that if you have clogged nozzles, you should clear them first by power cleans before printing any heavy jobs because printing first will drive the clogs even deeper.  Power cleaning uses high pressure to blow the clog out,  but printing merely wicks the ink through the line, which can make the clog more compact.

But this respected photographer say the opposite.  He says you should print before power cleaning.  So which is it?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=22s&v=jdhsx6wtxDw
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Mark D Segal

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 05:39:04 PM »

All of it is incorrect, based on everything I've learned from Epson over the years and seen from my experience with a range of these printers from the 2000P in yewar 2000 up to the SC-P5000 today.

If you have a clog, first try to clean it with a NORMAL clean. If that doesn't work, do a HEAVY clean. If that hasn't worked, run a print of the colour that has a clogged nozzle. Then repeat the previous cycle once more or just the normal clean if that is enough. After running the cycle of NORMAL - HEAVY - PRINT three times and it still isn't clear, shut the machine down for about 12 hours and then repeat. It will eventually clear if it's really a clog and not some other issue. Do not use Windex and do not despair.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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deanwork

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 05:53:57 PM »

I've used the 44" Epsons since the very first models and I agree with what Mark just said. I always try two normal cleans though before attempting a power clean. Under no circumstances would I do more than three cleanings of any kind in a row. You also need to do a nozzle check pattern after every single cleaning. I was always told by Epson that the nozzle check is an essential part of the cleaning process and in that sense it is pushing ink through the lines in a nondestructive way.

There is also the possibility of clogged dampers and just running ink through the system without pressure is unlikely to help that either and could make matters worse.


All of it is incorrect, based on everything I've learned from Epson over the years and seen from my experience with a range of these printers from the 2000P in yewar 2000 up to the SC-P5000 today.

If you have a clog, first try to clean it with a NORMAL clean. If that doesn't work, do a HEAVY clean. If that hasn't worked, run a print of the colour that has a clogged nozzle. Then repeat the previous cycle once more or just the normal clean if that is enough. After running the cycle of NORMAL - HEAVY - PRINT three times and it still isn't clear, shut the machine down for about 12 hours and then repeat. It will eventually clear if it's really a clog and not some other issue. Do not use Windex and do not despair.
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Doug Gray

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 06:18:47 PM »

I used to do power cleans on the 9800 but, in the last couple years I rarely do any at all. I do a nozzle check if the printer has been offline for more than 3 days. Even then most of the time the check is clean. When it isn't I just print about half a page of color patches from a generic target on top of the failed nozzle check print. Then I run another nozzle check. I haven't had to do any further cleaning in over two years.

Can't say enough about the Epson 9800 quality. The thing just keeps plugging along and the color has been rock solid.
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Wayne Fox

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 07:04:06 PM »

I was taught that if you have clogged nozzles, you should clear them first by power cleans before printing any heavy jobs because printing first will drive the clogs even deeper.  P
As mentioned by the others, this is pretty much opposite of what is recommended and best practice.  I'm surprised anyone taught this -  I've never heard it as a recommendation.

You really can't drive the clog "deeper".  You are pushing it out.  There are times after cleaning that there are more missing nozzles, but I think it's important to realize the many "clogs" are not actually clogs but caused by air in the nozzle not allowing the ink to get through. Many "clogs" will clear out just by printing a print.  In fact I recommend that after running a cleaning cycle a "purge" page be printed which exercises the all of the nozzles similarly to making a print, then check the nozzles. This is especially true of a power clean.  this will allow air to be purged.

As far as power cleans, never run a power clean except as a last resort. After a power clean it is especially important to run a purge page to make sure the nozzles and ink supplies are normalized.

I created a purge page a few years ago designed for my 9900 but it works pretty good with most printers.  There are several other sources for purge pages out there, most just send a specific RGB value to the printer, not sure which is a better method. .  Just print on plain paper but tell the printer it is premium glossy with the corresponding profile. 
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Mark D Segal

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 07:32:58 PM »

Hi Wayne - your advice on being sparing with power cleaning is prudent; however a couple of points on this: we don't know which printer model the O/P is using. If it's an SC-P5000, there are three cleaning choices: Normal, Heavy and Powerful (in the Admin menu). One always progresses through them if the lighter touch doesn't work. On other models there may be only Normal and Powerful, so if Normal isn't working, then Powerful can be used, but sparingly. If it is used with purge printing and not done more than three times in a day, it shouldn't introduce more problems. Whether the blockage of ink is caused by air in the lines, a damper obstruction or dried ink/dust on the printhead, the common solution - and based on what Epson techs have told me, the only real solution is running ink through it, unfortunately - but doing so as lightly as one can get away with and allowing the printer to rest overnight after a few unsuccessful cycles.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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deanwork

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 07:57:28 PM »

I have no doubt that different Epson authorized techs have advised different methods at different times for clearing clogged nozzles and with different models as well. It would be nice if they published a step by step user guide to codify these kinds of things. I've never seen one for any of the printer brands and as a result many users do the wrong things at the wrong times. One thing for sure is to use Power clean as a last resort.



Hi Wayne - your advice on being sparing with power cleaning is prudent; however a couple of points on this: we don't know which printer model the O/P is using. If it's an SC-P5000, there are three cleaning choices: Normal, Heavy and Powerful (in the Admin menu). One always progresses through them if the lighter touch doesn't work. On other models there may be only Normal and Powerful, so if Normal isn't working, then Powerful can be used, but sparingly. If it is used with purge printing and not done more than three times in a day, it shouldn't introduce more problems. Whether the blockage of ink is caused by air in the lines, a damper obstruction or dried ink/dust on the printhead, the common solution - and based on what Epson techs have told me, the only real solution is running ink through it, unfortunately - but doing so as lightly as one can get away with and allowing the printer to rest overnight after a few unsuccessful cycles.
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Farmer

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 08:10:34 PM »

One or two normal cleans with nozzle checks in between.  A heavy clean or two, again with nozzle checks in between.  There are sometimes other options in terms of the type of clean being done, but that's the basic guideline that works.  Doing a block colour can help if there's air in the lines.

As others have said, you can't push the blockage deeper - it just doesn't work that way.
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Phil Brown

texshooter

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 08:30:24 PM »


As others have said, you can't push the blockage deeper - it just doesn't work that way.

What about nozzle damage?  Is it possible to permanently damage a clogged nozzle by voluminously printing without first unclogging it?  If one either ignores the clog or fails to clear it completely, is the clogged nozzle itself at risk of irrecoverable damage (if not a deeper blockage) after continuous use?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 08:35:52 PM by texshooter »
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deanwork

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 09:50:29 PM »

Can you damage nozzles by continuing to try to push ink through them when the clogg won't go away? Damn good question that I've never found the answer to. I've been told that but don't know if is accurate or just how durable the nozzles are. I know they don't want you doing more than a few cleanings at a time without time in between.


What about nozzle damage?  Is it possible to permanently damage a clogged nozzle by voluminously printing without first unclogging it?  If one either ignores the clog or fails to clear it completely, is the clogged nozzle itself at risk of irrecoverable damage (if not a deeper blockage) after continuous use?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 09:55:33 PM »

Can you damage nozzles by continuing to try to push ink through them when the clogg won't go away? Damn good question that I've never found the answer to. I've been told that but don't know if is accurate or just how durable the nozzles are. I know they don't want you doing more than a few cleanings at a time without time in between.

My understanding from previous inquiries quite some time ago is that excessive sequential cleaning can induce the intake of air into the printhead which firstly defeats the purpose of cleaning and secondly can cause damage. But I can't be sure of the latter.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 10:51:05 PM »

I have no doubt that different Epson authorized techs have advised different methods at different times for clearing clogged nozzles and with different models as well. It would be nice if they published a step by step user guide to codify these kinds of things. I've never seen one for any of the printer brands and as a result many users do the wrong things at the wrong times. One thing for sure is to use Power clean as a last resort.

The manual for the SC-P5000 does explain an appropriate print head cleaning protocol in the event of gaps in the nozzle check pattern. It actually recommends doing three Normal cleans before doing a Heavy Clean and only if that doesn't work to do a Powerful cleaning from the Admin menu. Note that the SC-P5000 has three levels of user-accessible cleaning rather than the usual two in previous 17 inch models.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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ajz

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 02:36:37 PM »

Well....me too!!!
My 2009 3800 has been a champ-until yesterday. Managed to mistakenly switch to Matte Ink. Last time I printed in matte was 2009! Switched back to Photo Black, ran a test page - alas no dark blacks showing up only grays. Ran a Head Clean and test page - same results as before. Ran a Nozzle Check - all but PB or very little black showing up. Alignment looks fine for what shows up. The MB cartridge is original to 2009! Waiting for the LM cartridge in order to run a Power Clean - the LM was too low. It has been a great printer with no problems until now. I suspect the change over from PB to MB then to PB has caused my issue. Fingers crossed that a Power Clean will do the trick. Otherwise a P800.

ajz
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Mark D Segal

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 02:53:36 PM »

The MB cartridge is far too expired for safe use. My experience indicates that anything more than two years beyond the expiry date can be risky. That may be the source of the problem. You may need to do some power cleaning to get the system back, but do the above referenced procedures first.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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texshooter

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 02:54:10 PM »

I suspect the change over from PB to MB then to PB has caused my issue. Fingers crossed that a Power Clean will do the trick. Otherwise a P800.
ajz

I'm in the same boat. I'm afraid to do the PK/MK switch. Might blow up.
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texshooter

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 04:47:56 PM »

My experience indicates that anything more than two years beyond the expiry date can be risky.

2 years after the install by date or 2 years after the use by date?  Some boxes have two expiration dates printed on them.

Also, when the box only has one date stamped, is that the install by date or the use by date?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 04:56:44 PM by texshooter »
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Mark D Segal

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 05:02:32 PM »

In the first photo with the two dates, the earlier date is the issue date and the later date is the expiry date. In the second photo the date clearly says to Use By, so it is the expiry date.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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texshooter

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 10:15:57 AM »

Regarding expired ink only...

Should I never allow an expired cart get bone dry before replacing it?  Doesn't the  risk of clogging and head damage exponentiate the closer to empty an expired cartridge gets?

Is it best to swap the old for the new before the printer stops? My Magenta expired in 2014 and is running very low.  Probably best not to let it run all the way empty, right?  Like pouring coffee.  Just like the last few drops of coffee in the kettle always have coffee grinds and particulates in it, old ink carts probably have coagulants and sediment floating around, which will likely clog the print head for life.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 11:28:09 AM by texshooter »
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Randy Carone

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Re: To print or to purge?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 10:35:54 AM »

NO. Wait until the printer stops before changing the cart. Epson would be happy to hear your method. I once had a customer who let his printer beep from Friday to Monday, awaiting the arrival of a yellow cart. He replaced it and the 54" wide print continued without a visible indication of the stop. I'm sure many pro users on this forum can tell you the dozens of times they have replaced ink only when the printer stops. I've never heard of a problem as a result of waiting for the printer to stop.
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