Raw & Post Processing, Printing > Printing: Printers, Papers and Inks

Clogged Light Black Ink on Epson 7900 (same line on each nozzle check pattern)

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Hey guys,
So I have a 7900.  It's just out of warranty and I have gotten a clog in the light black ink which manifests on the same line of the nozzle check pattern after each run.  Sometimes it's the entire line and sometimes it's just 2/3's of all the steps in the line.

I've done multiple cleanings (regular, pairs, power), put it in maintenance/service modes and done CL2, CL3, and CL4 cleanings, and printed MANY nozzle check patterns.

The printer had previously been unused for a few months (but turned on and off to do nozzle checks and cleanings, occasionally) and prints had been done successfully in January (50+ sq ft).

I am near Indianapolis and I have a company scheduled to come look at it today but it's expensive (2hr roundtrip drive @$65/hr plus $145/hr labor) and they think it's the pump and ___ assembly which will run $250ish for a grand total of at least $500.

Then there's the reality that the printer had service in service where the printer was drinking ink for cleanings which just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Any suggestions on ways I might de-clog the printer before I commit to the service?  I do have some cleaning solution I had used before on my Epson 4000 which de-clogged just about any problem I ever had.


Mark D Segal:
Have you called Epson tech support to discuss the issue? Regardless of the warranty status, they are normally responsive and helpful, and they may be able to answer these questions before you spend all that money. Did you bring these defects to their attention while the printer was still under warranty? If so, I wonder whether that would give you grounds for repair support on their account, as an unresolved issue from during the warranty period, but I'm not certain of the legalities. It would be good to get a second opinion on whether a defective pump assembly could cause nozzle drops only specific to the part-row you mention. This sounds weird, even though I'm no printer tech. I would surmise that a problem with a pump assembly would show more pervasive issues.

Randy Carone:
If only one color is problematic it could be the damper for that ink. Doubt it is the pump if only one line is starved for ink.

Mark D Segal:

--- Quote from: Randy Carone on April 21, 2011, 10:17:45 AM ---If only one color is problematic it could be the damper for that ink. Doubt it is the pump if only one line is starved for ink.

--- End quote ---

What's a damper? I'm interested, because I'm seeing rather unique Cyan nozzle check gaps on my 4900 if not used for more than a couple of days.

Randy Carone:
The damper is a small plastic ink reservoir just above the print head that holds a small amount of ink. I just tried to copy a page from a Service Manual pdf with no luck. If you Google 'ink dampers' you should be able to find a picture of one. Most users of Mutoh, Mimaki and Roland replace dampers fairly regularly. They all use Epson heads, but the dampers are not the same as on Epson aqueous printers. If you find a pic it will be immediately obvious what function they perform.


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