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Author Topic: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer  (Read 2209 times)

Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2018, 05:13:55 PM »

I started by calling 905 709 3839 and was greeted by a friendly operator who, while routing my call, gave the "new" direct number for my printer model, (562) 276-1305. That's when "Kay" came on the line. Kay took all my grievances but then put me on hold for five minutes while she "checked" with specialists... See? I could not speak directly with a specialist...

BTW, in an earlier thread, I found some exchange with regards to some "Super strong" cleaning cycle while searching the web for am "INIT FILL" command for the 4900. Indeed, that "Super strong" command is nowhere to be found on the Maintenance Mode menu. I thought there was still a secret power on key combinations to access some "Service" menu but I can't find any. Seems to me the only way to ever access any sorts of "advanced functions" on this printer is through that "Adjustment" utility.

A) Have you ever used that utility yourself?
B) What the situation with the P5000: is the same as the 4900 with regards to "Advanced service mode commands"?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2018, 05:20:57 PM »

OK, you started with the Ontario number and they directed you to Long Beach. That's fine. The lady you spoke with most likely did confer with a specialist and she conveyed their advice. That's fine too. You most likely would not have gotten further directly yourself.

Epson doesn't provide users with anything stronger than what we can access directly from the LCD. There are other measures that can be implemented, but those require the Service Application or Service Program whatever they call it (Windows only), and it is not legally available to non-trained people. You need to be an Epson approved tech to have legal access to it. If one visits you, they bring it to your premises on a laptop.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2018, 06:03:42 PM »

I followed your suggestion, Mark, "purging" the printer first and "filling the lines" after, using Epson inks (instead of the cleaning fluid). The result is attached below (After cleaning with inks.png). As you can see from the picture, VLM and LC are considerably clogged. The other colors (mostly) are also showing signs of deterioration, and I can't say the printer has not been left unused recently. So that worries me.

With regards to the Epson Adjustment Utility, Kay told me that there is no such thing as an "Epson" program for this model printer and if one such existed, it wasn't made by Epson? I attached a screenshot of that "Adjustment program" for others to see.

At this point, I feel like attempting some Power Cleaning cycles on the VLM/LC pair -- making sure NOT to do successive cycles without printing some images in between, I got that loud and clear.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2018, 07:39:29 PM »

Roger, as far as the shot of the nozzle check goes - I've seen worse - there's hope. Especially because you've tinkered with fluid other than ink it could take a while to get this back to normal. It's better to be patient and do these cleanings and printings no more than three in a row per day for the channels needing it. It could take some days for it to clear up under this treatment. Use Power Cleans on the standard LCD menu.

That Epson Service Program you show in the other photo does exist - it's as I mentioned - not meant for you and me, so you aren't going to get any joy from Epson on that one.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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sportmaster

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2018, 08:04:18 PM »

My three 4900 printers were clogged freebies so I had nothing to lose in case of failure.  Three years on and they are still printing perfectly after numerous flushings and cleanings with full strength Windex.  [/size]
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2018, 09:05:11 PM »

Could you expand on how you "flush and clean" with full strength Windex?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2018, 09:28:07 PM »

Authorized Epson service technicians have told me that Windex can destroy the printhead by eating away at some laminates. Just in case they are right I would be careful about this if it were my printer.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2018, 10:43:23 PM »

My three 4900 printers were clogged freebies so I had nothing to lose in case of failure.  Three years on and they are still printing perfectly after numerous flushings and cleanings with full strength Windex.  [/size]

If you had nothing to lose, that's fine, and perhaps you've been fortunate. Something cited as a risk doesn't necessarily happen on any predetermined timing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2018, 10:43:53 PM »

Mark, I'm not about to experiment with Windex... although I've tried to place a scotttowel sprayed with Windex under the printhead overnight. It didn't do anything for me...
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2018, 10:46:39 PM »

Not surprising. Your problem is most likely inside the printhead or somewhere down the ink path behind the printhead.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Smoothjazz

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2018, 12:02:42 AM »

I traded in my 4900 for an Epson P800 a year ago, and am very pleased thus far. No clogs whatsoever; I believe the technology has improved in the latest generation Epson printers.
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2018, 06:54:00 AM »

Thnk you for your encouragements, smoothjazz. I might very well purchase a P800 as a replacement.
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sportmaster

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2018, 07:19:03 AM »

Could you expand on how you "flush and clean" with full strength Windex?


I tried more extreme procedures when Epson's recommended cleaning methods failed.   With a hopelessly clogged printer what have you got to lose?

Using Windex in refillable carts, I run numerous ink charging cycles, via the service program until all traces of ink are gone.  Verify by occasionally printing nozzle checks until only Windex shows.  Letting the Windex soak the system overnight is helpful.

Next, run charge cycles with ink until it appears in the nozzle checks.   Keep running until 100%.  You will use lots of ink and need extra maintenance tanks.

I feel normal cleaning cycles don't push enough ink to dislodge persistent obstructions.  The service program ink charging cycle pushes the most volume of ink/cleaning fluid through the system.

My evidence is purely anecdotal, but these methods worked for me many times over a three year period.  Be aware of the claimed risks when using Windex. 

From the printer control panel:
Normal clean – 3ml
Powerfull Clean – 15ml
Switch Black Inks – 4ml


From the Service Adjustment program:
Ink Charge – 115ml
Ink Eject – 79ml
CL3 Clean – 51ml
CL2 Clean – 18ml
CL1 Clean – 4ml



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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2018, 07:52:38 AM »

I traded in my 4900 for an Epson P800 a year ago, and am very pleased thus far. No clogs whatsoever; I believe the technology has improved in the latest generation Epson printers.

Yes, the technology has improved with the newest models. That said, the 3800/P800 line and 4900/5000 line are different kinds of printers. The P800 is an update from the 3800/3880 line, while the 5000 is an update from the 4900. Between the lines, build is different, print heads are different, intended production volumes and productivity are different, gamut volume potentials are different. The 3800-P800 line is meant for more casual use, the 4900/5000 for more sustained use. Both make excellent prints. Clogging performance is generally thought to be much better for the 3800/P800 line than for a lightly used 4900. Hard to know why without being a printer technologist, but perhaps the difference of nozzles per inch in the printhead may explain it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2018, 07:01:36 PM »

Dear smoothjazz,

Indeed, what have you got to lose? Please allow me to make sure I follow.

By "service program", you mean Epson's Adjustment utility, running on Windows?
By "Using Windex in refillable carts", you mean pure Windex?
By "numerous ink charging cycles", you mean Ink Eject cycles followed by Ink Charges cycles? All in the same day?
By "run charge cycles with ink until it appears in the nozzle checks.   Keep running until 100%.", do you mean you keep pressing the Run button with the Ink Charge radio button selected? I did not know more than one Ink Charge cycle would "work" at a time, and you seem to imply that one Ink Charge cycle may not be enough to "fill the lines"? Enough to show on nozzle checks? I sometimes observed that, after Ink Charges, a particular nozzle, like Yellow, would only show faintly while all its nozzles are visible. Could that be related? I never knew how to explain this. As though, the nozzles were not clogged but only "partially showing".

I've gone through 4 Maintenance Tank so far...
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sportmaster

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2018, 11:59:07 PM »

Using full-strength Windex, not ink, I run multiple, back to back, ink charge commands from the Epson service/adjustment program on a Windows 10 computer.  I print nozzle checks between each ink charge cycle to check the ink flushing progress. 

I use the Ink CHARGE function instead of EJECT because it moves the largest volume of ink (115 ml) and would have the best chance of clearing any blockage.   Ink EJECT function only pumps out 79 ml of ink. The goal is to power flush everything from the lines, damper and head assembly. 

Continue running the ink charge command (with Windex or cleaning solution) until all ink is ejected.  This is verified when you are able to  print a nozzle check pattern and only Windex appears on the paper.   I my case, it took 5  - 6 of these cycles until the system came clean.  I would also mention you have to look closely to see the Windex pattern.  It is very faint.  In the middle of this process I let the machine set overnight with Windex in the system to help dissolve any clogs.


Next, I use the same ink CHARGE command and refill the system with fresh ink.  This initial 115 ml ink charge will probably not push enough ink to fully recharge so continue pumping using adjustment/service commands CL3 (51 ml) , CL2 (18 ml) , and CL 1 (4 ml) as needed, and to conserve ink, until you achieve a 100% nozzle pattern. 


Good luck.

 

« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 12:30:22 AM by sportmaster »
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2018, 08:50:54 AM »

Your ideas make a lot of sense -- thank you, especially the idea of pushing through ink or cleaning solution using consecutive ink charges. In the past, when I ran into my first serious clogging, one Ink Eject followed by one Ink Charge brought back the nozzles as new. That's why, I had difficulty wrapping my head around the idea of "multiple" ink charges. Also, the way you explain how ink charges work, I realize "Ink Eject" are not needed, again something novel to me for the way I modeled this printer in my head.

In Epson's Adjustment program, under what menu do you find CL3, CL2 and CL1?
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tsjanik

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2018, 04:08:17 PM »

I feel your pain Roger, having used all the techniques you've reported on my own 4900.  It became increasingly common for me to start a printing session and spend the whole time trying to clear a missing nozzle.  I finally gave away my 4900 and replaced it with a Canon 6400.  I still prefer the Epson UI and build quality, but I find the print quality of the Canon the equal of my 4900 (I'm not Mark, so my comparisons are not detailed) and, most importantly, I spend no time clearing blocked nozzles.  That's not to say the Canon is aggravation free: just this week it asked for a new print head, easy enough if you have the $470 US; upon replacement of the head, the printer demanded a new waste tank, again easy and only $65 US; then it informed me that three ink cartridges were empty!
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2018, 04:19:09 PM »

Wow! I feel your pain, tsjanik.

I wish I could simply get a color laser printer -- end of discussion -- but nothing comes close to the gamut of inkjet printers :(
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sportmaster

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2018, 05:34:39 PM »

I can report no serious clogs in the year since I ran the last "power flush".  The printer continues to work like new.  I have successfully used this same procedure on two other machines that I obtained FREE because they had "unclearable clogs. 


I bought a $30 chip resetter to end the purchase of always full maintenance tanks.  I also buy Epson inks on Ebay and Craig's List at a substantial discount. 


I recently obtained a 44" HP Z3200p that I use for rolled paper.  Compared to the Epson 4900, the $80 USD replaceable print heads and NO maintenance tank are great.   Unfortunately the HP's single sheet feeding procedure is cumbersome so I use the Epson for sheet up to 17".



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