David Plummer wrote:
Is there any correlation with the age of the ink in the printer and printer clogs? That is, does clogging become more prevalent if the cartridge has been in the printer for several weeks? Would agitation help to minimise clogging?
The 6 month limit is ultra-conservative at least for the generation of UltraChrome used in the 4000 and 7600/9600. I and others have used past-expiry ink with zero problems of any sort, including colour matching. I haven't experimented with agitation, being concerned that removing than reinserting cartridges might introduce air bubbles, perhaps someone else can comment.
My own experience with clogging is that I rarely have a spontaneous or naturally-occurring clog. Instead, almost every time the clock-initiated cleaning cycle runs - something like every 3 days - the cleaning cycle CREATES
clogs that were not
This was driven home to me most clearly a few months ago. I had been printing all morning and the day before that with no clogs. A clog-free print finished with another one waiting in the queue. The 4000 took that moment to decide it was time for that wondrous clock-initiated cleaning cycle to kick in and performed it. Voilą: instant clogs. About $50 in ink and several hours later I was free to resume work.
I don't usually use auto mode, but I did in this case:
You can see from the top strip that the three light inks on the right - that were clog-free a minute prior - now have various degrees of clogging. After a second clean cycle the light inks are now largely clog-free, but the problem has been moved to the dark inks on the left.
Often I'm lucky and the resulting clogs can be cleared with much less trouble. Are these problems unique to my 4000 unit or even the 4000 series? Nope. I buy my ink and paper from CCBC
in Toronto, a shop that specializes in inkjet and computer consumables. The staff obviously have extensive contact with other Epson owners as well as their own experience, and they find nothing a-typical about my experiences: clogs are frequent and shift from nozzle to nozzle. I don't remember having this many clogs with the 2200 I had before the 4000, but it had larger-bore nozzles.
(I should add that this is the only
issue I have with the 4000; in every other respect it's given me yeoman service, print quality is excellent, and the supplied profiles are spot-on.)