This Epson 7900 is back together, almost. As it turns out the "Pump and Cap Assembly" comes completely assembled from Epson. No small feat indeed. This "one" part includes everything from the metal framework which supports all these parts, to the two drive motors, their sensors, a wiring harness with a total of nine plugs, gears used to move the capping station back and forth, the flushbox up and down along with the wiper blade mechanism, the pump motor, it's hoses, a huge plastic shroud containing all these moving parts, and on and on. This "Pump and Cap Assembly", no kidding, it's 1.5 cubic feet all together, weighs 3lbs and looks like it's taken from a scene in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory". All that for $250? Doesn't make sense. You know what else doesn't make sense though?
....The wiper blade is not included.
My first reaction to learning that was, "WTF?" But then I thought about it. What does that tell you? I don't know what it tells you. But I know what it tells me - you and I are not the only ones who now know the wiper blade is meant to be replaced more often than the pump and cap assembly. FYI, the wiper blade mechanism snaps into place, and out of place, with nothing more than a simple squeeze of your finger tips. You don't even have to remove the right side cover of the machine. The only hitch in so simply replacing the wiper blade mechanism will be coordinating the placement of it with the release of your printers head. At this point, because we won't fire this printer up until mid-week, I can't tell you if the wiper blade assembly will be retracted up into it's "garage" when the head is released or not. It travels up and down in a range of about three inches. When it is up you can't access it. When it is down it's right there out in the open.
We lost so much ink in the first and second failed DIY clog attempts that we have to wait for new carts to show up mid-week before we can charge this machine. At least now it's together though. Almost.
Once done soaking it's chin and upper lip in cleaning solution, our head looks fantastic. We checked it with a loop. Pretty wild looking device. But still I had a lingering concern that if something foreign was lodged inside this head, up against an opening the Epson pump pressure was never able to force it through, well most likely it would still be there. After all our soaking method looked amazing, and sounded really cool, but the one thing it did not do was reverse the direction of ink-flow - something both Steve and I felt was a necessary step. We took a syringe with a section of clear hose fastened to it's tip, fit it over the nipple on the rear of the head of each color - one at a time - and sucked cleaning solution up through the head's face from the small bowl just below it. Each color filled this clear tube with traces of it's native color channel. All but the PK channel was crystal clear of any foreign pollution. But the PK channel definitely drew up some crap. It's a good thing we took this extra step.
So we wait now for the Lone Ranger to show up with carts filled with ink. It's good to see this 7900 together again, almost. Assembly went without a hitch. But I do have to admit, at this point there is a terrible lingering fear I can't seem to shake that the first landscape we run through this machine will come out look more like an infrared wartime surveillance image than a fall mountain range in mid-October. Time will tell..
Again and again and again I need to hear myself advise anyone looking to clear un-clearable clogs all on their own, on an Epson 79/9900, do NOT waste your time or money buying re-fillable carts with the intent to fill them with cleaning solution to flush your system and head. HUGE waste of money, won't solve the real problem your printer is suffering from, and it will re-define for you what exactly a "Huge waste of ink" actually is.