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Author Topic: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..  (Read 513 times)

CrazyPugLady

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Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« on: September 30, 2018, 11:51:03 AM »

Hey folks,

I hoped I would never have to write about clogs again (after my experiences with an Epson 4900), but here we go again with my Epson 7900 -.-

I got it early last year, a used machine, and I have been taking care of it. I regularly cleaned the wiper (it's spotless!), I cleaned the spit pad, I cleaned the capping station... It never failed me (except the belt snapped, but I replaced it) and it made some truly brilliant prints.
After it survived a period of 6 weeks without printing (as the belt snapped last year), I didn't think much of not using it for a period of 3 weeks this year, when I was on vacation. Well.... the nozzle check was perfect before my vacation and it was blank afterwards. A light standard cleaning brought back every color, but yellow has about 1/3 to 1/4 missing. Whatever I did, yellow would not recover.

I have tried the towel method, I tried paired cleanings, about 3 or 4 power cleanings (not directly after each other but spread over several days), I tried printing purge patches, nothing helped.

And yes, I have read the infamous 7900-clog-thread about 2 times now, completely.

I am just not sure what the BEST way is to tackle the problem. I know, the head could be shot. But I want to at least try to recover it.

So, should I:

- Remove the head and soak it in cleaning fluid? I find this risky, as it could be damaged quite easily, so if there is a chance I could get it clear without this option, I'd prefer not to remove it.
- Insert refill carts and cleaning fluid (which one?) and do some initial fills?
- Do initial fills with ink instead cleaning fluid?
- Do an SS clean? I didn't dare to touch that option yet...
- Replace the pump cap assembly and the ink selector just because, or are there any clear signs the pump/cap assembly is done?

And, while I'm having your attention :D

Is it possible that the head/one channel suddenly dies without ever showing any signs before? I would understand if the nozzles dropped out one by one and it would gradually get worse, but going from 100% working, never a problem, to 40% nozzles dead? Is this usual?

And, if initial fills with cleaning fluid would be the way to go... which one should I get? I heard good things about the pink piezo flush, but I could also get one liter of the infamous red Epson fluid and the clear neutralizer for the same price. Which would you recommend?

I would really really love to get this printer working again. It's the only printer that can handle my thick cotton paper with the straight paper feed, no Canon or HP can print on it.

So I'm grateful for any advice.

Thanks in advance and kind regards!
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Garnick

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 12:16:39 PM »

Hey folks,

I hoped I would never have to write about clogs again (after my experiences with an Epson 4900), but here we go again with my Epson 7900 -.-

I got it early last year, a used machine, and I have been taking care of it. I regularly cleaned the wiper (it's spotless!), I cleaned the spit pad, I cleaned the capping station... It never failed me (except the belt snapped, but I replaced it) and it made some truly brilliant prints.
After it survived a period of 6 weeks without printing (as the belt snapped last year), I didn't think much of not using it for a period of 3 weeks this year, when I was on vacation. Well.... the nozzle check was perfect before my vacation and it was blank afterwards. A light standard cleaning brought back every color, but yellow has about 1/3 to 1/4 missing. Whatever I did, yellow would not recover.

I have tried the towel method, I tried paired cleanings, about 3 or 4 power cleanings (not directly after each other but spread over several days), I tried printing purge patches, nothing helped.

And yes, I have read the infamous 7900-clog-thread about 2 times now, completely.

I am just not sure what the BEST way is to tackle the problem. I know, the head could be shot. But I want to at least try to recover it.

So, should I:

- Remove the head and soak it in cleaning fluid? I find this risky, as it could be damaged quite easily, so if there is a chance I could get it clear without this option, I'd prefer not to remove it.
- Insert refill carts and cleaning fluid (which one?) and do some initial fills?
- Do initial fills with ink instead cleaning fluid?
- Do an SS clean? I didn't dare to touch that option yet...
- Replace the pump cap assembly and the ink selector just because, or are there any clear signs the pump/cap assembly is done?

And, while I'm having your attention :D

Is it possible that the head/one channel suddenly dies without ever showing any signs before? I would understand if the nozzles dropped out one by one and it would gradually get worse, but going from 100% working, never a problem, to 40% nozzles dead? Is this usual?

And, if initial fills with cleaning fluid would be the way to go... which one should I get? I heard good things about the pink piezo flush, but I could also get one liter of the infamous red Epson fluid and the clear neutralizer for the same price. Which would you recommend?

I would really really love to get this printer working again. It's the only printer that can handle my thick cotton paper with the straight paper feed, no Canon or HP can print on it.

So I'm grateful for any advice.

Thanks in advance and kind regards!

If possible, from your nozzle check, please scan the Yellow channel along with the two on each side and post that scan here.  Perhaps take it into Photoshop or another app and darken it a bit so that the yellow channel is easier to read.  There are specific issues to look for on a nozzle pattern to determine whether a head is either dead or well on its way.

Gary
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CrazyPugLady

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 12:30:46 PM »

OK, will do that tomorrow morning. Not had and deflections if you are referring to this.
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CrazyPugLady

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 03:29:28 AM »

Okay, so here are the nozzle checks. These are the first ones after the first cleaning in August. I found out that using some UV torch enhances the contrast quite well, I hope it's good enough. On close observation I can now indeed see a faint deflection - not good?

Currently, the nozzle check for yellow is blank. The yellow was low and I replaced the cartridge, but the channel is gone. Weird enough, the VM also ran low, I inserted a new cartridge and the channel is now blank, too. I really hope the problem is not the print head but the pressure system. Any idea how I can find out? Just yesterday, the orange went low and I don't want to risk it blow out too, so no more fiddling with it until the orange replacement is here.

Any advice for me? Toss the printer and don't bother, or is there any hope? I have a working Epson 4900 with refillable carts, so the ink is not lost, I can use it with this other printer.

I have the idea of repurposing the printer for other things, but I would need a good RIP that can remap the channels, just like QTR but with colors. Any advice on this, too? Don't mind if it costs some money, I will need a good RIP in the future anyway.

Thanks!
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Garnick

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 07:45:31 AM »

Okay, so here are the nozzle checks. These are the first ones after the first cleaning in August. I found out that using some UV torch enhances the contrast quite well, I hope it's good enough. On close observation I can now indeed see a faint deflection - not good?

Currently, the nozzle check for yellow is blank. The yellow was low and I replaced the cartridge, but the channel is gone. Weird enough, the VM also ran low, I inserted a new cartridge and the channel is now blank, too. I really hope the problem is not the print head but the pressure system. Any idea how I can find out? Just yesterday, the orange went low and I don't want to risk it blow out too, so no more fiddling with it until the orange replacement is here.

Any advice for me? Toss the printer and don't bother, or is there any hope? I have a working Epson 4900 with refillable carts, so the ink is not lost, I can use it with this other printer.

I have the idea of repurposing the printer for other things, but I would need a good RIP that can remap the channels, just like QTR but with colors. Any advice on this, too? Don't mind if it costs some money, I will need a good RIP in the future anyway.

Thanks!


Yes, there is a slight deflection in the Yellow pattern, but not really what I was looking for in this case, or at least not ALL I was looking for.  However, other than that it does exhibit somewhat the same problem that caused me to have a new head installed in my former 9900 in early 2016, after almost 6 years of reliable service.  I sold the 9900 in early 2017 and moved my business home and a new P7000.  None of which is relevant to your situation of course.  One procedure I would recommend to perhaps get all of your channels back is the following.  Remove all carts and then reinstall them in the proper order from right to left.  You might find that any cart that showed empty has then appeared to be charged with ink again.  However, if that is not the case, shut down the printer and leave it for a few minutes before starting up again.  There have been reports of this same issue from others, where replacing an empty cart can sometimes cause another cart to appear to be empty, even though you know it isn't.  I have seen this in reference to the "P" series printers, but not sure about the "SP" series.  However, the procedure cannot do any damage, so give it a try.

Also, please send a recent nozzle check as well for an up to date assessment.  I don't find the ultraviolet version to be any better than the original, so please just send the original version.  And yes, to you question about a head dying with no obvious signs.  In my experience that can definitely happen.  The SIGN may very well be what you are seeing now with the Yellow channel.  However, if you do indeed recover all other nozzles you probably can re-purpose the printer.   

Gary   


« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:49:15 AM by Garnick »
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CrazyPugLady

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 08:37:44 AM »

Hello Gary,

thanks for your reply!

I attached a current nozzle check, straight out of the printer as I'm writing!

Now, there are already 3 channels missing - saturday it was only two. Funnily, exactly the channels that have new carts are missing... Yellow ran empty, I hoped the "clog" would be insufficient pressure, bought new cart, inserted, gone... Magenta ran empty, inserted new cart, gone... The broken orange patch your seeing.. guess which color is currently the lowest? Exactly. Orange. But I have no idea why the Cyan patch is empty, too. Cyan still has enough ink left in the cartridge (30%?) and I haven't touched it.

I did as you advised with re-inserting the carts, but it didn't change anything. Will power it up tomorrow and see if something happened.

I would LOVE to repurpose the printer, but the software I need to remap channels (Wasatch RIP) costs as much as a new printer... soo....
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 08:42:50 AM by CrazyPugLady »
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Garnick

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 07:02:59 PM »

Hello Gary,

thanks for your reply!

I attached a current nozzle check, straight out of the printer as I'm writing!

Now, there are already 3 channels missing - saturday it was only two. Funnily, exactly the channels that have new carts are missing... Yellow ran empty, I hoped the "clog" would be insufficient pressure, bought new cart, inserted, gone... Magenta ran empty, inserted new cart, gone... The broken orange patch your seeing.. guess which color is currently the lowest? Exactly. Orange. But I have no idea why the Cyan patch is empty, too. Cyan still has enough ink left in the cartridge (30%?) and I haven't touched it.

I did as you advised with re-inserting the carts, but it didn't change anything. Will power it up tomorrow and see if something happened.

I would LOVE to repurpose the printer, but the software I need to remap channels (Wasatch RIP) costs as much as a new printer... soo....

At this point all I can offer is for you to make absolutely certain that all carts are seated properly.  The only other possibility might be the Selector, which is attached to the print head and used to be referred to as the Damper assembly.  If that part is not performing as prescribed it can certainly play havoc with the inks getting through to the head.  However, as mentioned, that part is attached to the head and is rather difficult to get to for maintenance purposes.  Otherwise of course the cleaning assembly as well as the pressurizing assembly.  Beyond that it would seem to come down to a faulty print head.  Not much more I can contribute at this time I'm afraid.

Gary   
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CrazyPugLady

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 03:24:36 AM »

Hello Gary,

thanks for your reply again! :-)

You are right, the damper assembly could be the problem, too. I have no problem changing this, I just don't want to mess with the head itself if I can get around it.

I wish these things were easier to diagnose, exchanging all of these parts sum up to 600 bucks, and no guarantee it's not the print head. Including the head, I could get a new printer for the same price, so.. difficult.

As much as I love Epson printers, but I think this will be my last one. I heard Canon make nice printers, too, with much less hassle.
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BrianWJH

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 06:25:12 AM »

Hello, reading through your posts it strikes me that it may be ink supply low pressure causing the issues, either the pressure pump or pressure tubing leak or an ink cart valve failure or a leaking cart case.

Have you noticed any difference in start up, running or shutdown noises e.g. motors running more frequently or low/no pressure release upon shutdown?

Generally a failing pressure pump will cause an error code to be generated.

The pump is not hard to replace you just need to remove the rear cover and locate the pump which is mounted midway in the chassis, undo 3 screws and 2 pressure tubes and 2 electrical cable connectors, one on the rear of the pump motor and one on the pump assembly, costs about $75.00 plus shipping, might be worth trying and a lot easier and cheaper than replacing the selector/damper assembly.

Brian.
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CrazyPugLady

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2018, 06:57:14 AM »

Hey Brian,

thank you!

Do you know how I could find out if it's the pump itself or a valve failure? I don't think it's a leaking cart as the ink slots look dry and clean. But I agree it really could be a problem with the pressure.

I don't think I noticed any different noises in start up or shut down, but this machine is quite loud anyway and sounds totally different than my Epson 4900. When powering down, I can hear the normal pressure release. However, I don't know which sound it makes when it pressures it on start up. There are a few whirls and fans and other noises, but no idea which one applies pressure to the cartridges.

I think the pump is this part: PUMP ASSY. PRESSURIZING UNIT ESL ASP, 1504215. Replacing it really looks simple, I think I might just give it a try.

Kind regards!
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Paul2660

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2018, 07:25:54 AM »

That pattern shows a damaged head, you can attempt to clean, soak, whatever, but those dead nozzles will not come back.  This is almost the exact same pattern I had when my 9900 lost it's magenta. 

Simple test, is to run a SSCL from Maintenance mode or a 4 CL cleaning in Maintenance mode picking only yellow and LLK.  If after a 4 level CL cleaning, and you don't see any change, the it's time for a new head.  You can try a SSCL (1), and again if nothing changes, new head.  There is a similar cleaning you can run in service mode but it's basically the same thing as a SSCL from Maintenance mode. 

There is no magic to pull back dead nozzles.  The heads just fail and it's a sad state of affairs with Epson.  My 9900 lasted 6 years, with 1 head replacement under extended warranty.  2nd head failed after 2.5 years of average use. 

If you are willing to tear apart the printer, you can still purchase a head, dampers and replace them yourself.  However you still need the Epson software that realigns the new head and adds the new head to the printers main board (electronic serial numbers).  I have heard there are places to download it, but without it, you can't finish a new head install.

I new head from Epson installed will run $2500.00 and if you add dampers (which I would) around $3K.  Epson had made this repair too expensive to contemplate unless you are under some type of warranty.  Also if out of warranty, and you have Epson do this work, you only get a 90 day warranty.

Net you can purchase a new 9000 or 7000 for about 1K more.   

Epson, makes a great printer, but their head maintenance design, sucks, period.  HP and Canon both allow user replaceable heads. 

Paul C
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2018, 10:15:09 AM »

Are there any improvements in the head reliability and maintenance design for P9000?
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CrazyPugLady

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2018, 10:49:13 AM »

Paul, how can you be sure it's a damaged head and not damaged dampers or a non working pump? I don't doubt your statement, I just want to know.

I am no stranger in exchanging parts in the printers, I have exchanged heads and dampers from my 4900, the software for adjustments and the new head code is no problem, I have it. A new head is 1.100Ä and new dampers is 90Ä, but still, this is pretty much money to put into an old printer that doesn't bring me income, just sorrow ;-)

If I'm sure, the head is really blown, I would rather invest in a used Canon LF printer. But I'll give exchanging the pressure pump a try - the other 2 lost channels were perfect before, no missing nozzles, and they were gone out of the blue without any cleanings, just cart exchange. So if a new pump fixes these 2 channels, I could still use the printer for something that doesn't require Yellow - whatever this could be ;-)
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Paul2660

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2018, 11:52:22 AM »

Hi
There is no way to be 100% sure, however if you run a CL4 on Yellow and LLK, and there is no change to the pattern odds are very close to 100% the particular nozzles are damaged. 

The pump, dampers, etc, would IMO effect the entire channel.  What you tend to see with that is a entire missing channel. 

The SSCL is the other check I would consider, only 1.  From Maintenance mode, run the SSCL, it takes about 5 minutes to complete.  If you get no change at all to the pattern, time for a new head. 

Both times my head went on my 9900, I had the exact same looking pattern.  Slightly deflected nozzles near the missing ones and then a big clear pattern with nothing.  2nd time, I actually had what appeared to be a physical impact on the paper. 

If you have the necessary software, not sure if the 4900 software is the same as the software for the 9900 but as you stated it can be found, and can replace the head yourself, then for sure I would do it.  If you do, I would also replace the dampers.

If you havenít already, google 7900/9900 head replacement and find the site MYX900.com.  His site has a ton of info and at one time had a video on the entire process of head replacement for the 7900.

Paul C
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2018, 12:16:25 PM »

Are there any improvements in the head reliability and maintenance design for P9000?
It might still be too soon to say, but theyíve been around about 3 years now, and I havenít seen a report of a dead head yet. I also havenít seen any threads about major issues with the new printers and missing nozzles. I know both my p9000 and p5000 perform much better than my 9900 and 4900. So anecdotally it seems the new heads improve on the previous generation.
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2018, 01:43:26 PM »

That is great news! Thank you Wayne.

Best of luck with that clog. Just in case, see if there are any bubbles in the lines, although deflected nozzles point, most likely, to the worst case, unfortunately.
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CrazyPugLady

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2018, 02:21:17 PM »

The pump, dampers, etc, would IMO effect the entire channel.  What you tend to see with that is a entire missing channel. 

This is exactly what's currently happening... it went from missing nozzles in the test pattern to 3 missing channels in a matter of days, without me doing any more heavy cleanings. So I'm not sure anything good would come out of some heavy SSCL cleanings if I do it now.

I know for sure that the Cyan and the Magenta channels didn't have any clogged nozzles before disappearing. They went from 100% to 0%. With the yellow channel, you may of course be totally right and the head is done.

@Wayne Fox
Do the new printers have different head designs? Or is the printer design on the inside different?

Edit:
Interesting. A quick search shows that the printhead for the P7000 (F191140) is also linked to the SP7900. That means that the improvements were not made to the hardware of the printhead, but maybe to the inks, inkselector, capping station etc... Would be very interesting to see which parts can be replaced with parts from the P7000. Inks should be no problem with refillable carts, selector/damper, cleaning assembly etc. could be worth checking out.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 02:28:40 PM by CrazyPugLady »
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DougDolde

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Re: Evil clog (Epson 7900) - several options..
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2018, 01:36:18 PM »

My took my 7900 to the local landfill a few years ago. I'd NEVER buy another Epson. 
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