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Author Topic: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints  (Read 16482 times)

sanvandur

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Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« on: May 12, 2012, 09:41:04 am »

Hello there,
I'm printing on an Epson 9900, photo black, medium type premium luster 260. I've been getting the occasional tiny black dot on my prints. These are up to 40"x50" exhibition prints. A tiny black dot in the middle of any empty blue sky makes that 40"x50" print useless. Any ideas on how to prevent these little black ink dots from hell?
Thanks
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 12:48:18 am »

Sounds like  you may have some ink build up on the surface of the head.  You may also want to pop the door open when the print head is over to the left and examine the area around the capping station ... you may find some excessive ink build up there that head is picking up.

Also with some media this can be problematic, make sure the paper thickness is set correctly ... sometimes using a third party paper the epson media choice recommended doesn't actually set the correct paper thickness.  Also you may need to use a wider platen gap.
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bill t.

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Re: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 02:32:06 am »

Back in the day when I did large prints on the 9880, I noticed that I usually got splats towards the end of the print, and usually not on the first print but rather on the second and subsequent ones.  On a 24 inch wide roll I could pretty much count on edge marking starting at about 10 feet of printed length, and on-the-image splats at around 14 feet.  Maybe it had something to do with head heating.  I got into the habit of doing the old paper-towel + swipe the wiper thing before starting big prints, don't know if that's possible on the 9900.  Maybe you should do a cleaning cycle before the big ones.  On the 8300 I do a minimal cleaning cycle if I see so much as a hint of edge marking, that always clears it up for another few rolls.
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sanvandur

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Re: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 07:36:39 am »

Thanks for your replies.
Is there a way to get into the print head and wipe off that excess ink buildup? That's not the kind of thing I want to mess with without knowing.
The platen gap adjustment sounds like a good idea...
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chaddro

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Re: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 02:03:58 pm »

I've also had this occur, especially after performing a Paired Power Clean for a stubborn channel. It seem a lot of ink gets splashed back up onto the head.

There are three things to possible consider.

1) waste ink build up on bottom of head; which can possible be caused by:
2) a gunked up/damaged wiper or
3) gunked up flush box

To check your wiper blade, see Eric's video:
http://gotagteam.com/epson/Epson_7900-Wiperblade_change.html

To release the print head and either check the flush box, or clean the underside of your printed.

Enter serviceman mode by first starting with printer powered off then:

1) hold Down, Right and OK button and turn printer on
2) navigate to Self Testing > Mecha Adjustment > IM Sensor Gap
3) press the right arrow to disaplay the [Enter] Start
4) press the okay to release the print head

The print head is free moving (unlike when replace the wiper).
You will be able to see the flush box. As Eric posted in his thread, this should readily drain. Either spray some warm water or windex on this until it is flowing easily. I saw a post for a 4900 user that used a needle to punch some holes in his because it just wouldn't drain.

If you attempt to clean the underside of your head, use a good quality non-linting paper towel, or better some 12" pec pads. Fold over and tape both ends to the platten and lightly dampen with some windex. Run the head over once in one direction. Remove old towel, and repeat until your head doen't show gunk. Just DO NOT SCRUB the head back and forth.

These instructions are entirely DIY and are performed at your own risk.

Best of luck!
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 04:22:41 pm »

If you want to check the wiper you can do all that, otherwise just power up the machine, and when the head has moved over the left as it's starting up, pull the door open.

The wiper is most likely not an issue unless the machine has been in use for a while and the printer has required a lot of cleaning.  I don't think the wiper is likely to contribute to problems such as this, since it isn't touching the head except when the printer cleans.  If the spots only happened after a cleaning, then perhaps.

I would recommend not using anything that might tear easily, especially when wet.  As mentioned a pec pad works well, or perhaps better a high quality micro fiber cloth.  The cloth will hold more solution and is slightly thicker.

I'm not sure what harm there is in moving the head back and forth a few times ... It's not like there is sand or grit in there to scratch things. Because the pad or cloth is wet it will pull ink through the nozzles.  In fact you probably won't ever get a "clean" wipe, since the wet pad should pull ink each time, even if there isn't any on the head.  Also, in talking with with some Epson insiders (not their tech support line), windex can damage the coatings the head, they recommended using only distilled water. He recommended moving the head back and forth 3 or 4 times, then go for a clean area of the cloth or new one.  The head doesn't need to be spotless (they rarely are) just need to make sure there isn't a clump of gunk on there somewhere.

Usually the head is picking it up as it passes over the capping and cleaning station. Normally that's all that needs cleaned up to eliminate spots like this.

I wrap a pec pad or micro fiber cloth around a single or double thickness of Kodak photographic paper, epson luster would probably work pretty as well, tape the pec bad or cloth to the paper so it can't move get it good and wet, hold it in position and a couple of swipes normally is all it takes.  I don't worry much about getting it "cleaned" if the problem is just some splotches, as this is normally caused by a mess at the damper/capping station.

If the problem is deflected nozzles where the ink has gotten very problematic, I usually try to position the head over the wet cloth and let it soak.  There have been a couple of times I've had to resort to Windex to clear a deflected nozzle, but for most I've helped with these problems the distilled water works.
Quote

These instructions are entirely DIY and are performed at your own risk.
absolutely ... doubtful anyone calling epson for support would get this advice.  When trying to clean the head surface don't force anything.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 07:55:17 pm by Wayne Fox »
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chaddro

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Re: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 01:46:28 pm »

Hey Wayne,

Concerning Windex, is this in reference to the new heads on the x900 series? I was told my techs way back that windex was okay on both my 4000 and 7800. I thought this the same as onthe x880 printers.

I'd like to know more about this "coating". It's likely a teflon coating (just guessing here). Windex wouldn't damage teflon.

Who knows when no one will give us straight DOCUMENTED answers!
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Epson 9900 black ink stains on prints
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 07:31:20 pm »

Yes, we were discussing one of the new heads.  My personal guess is it was a case of he wasn't sure (the printers were pretty new at the time).  I don't know if it actually does damage or not, but I do know that distilled water is adequate most of the time, especially when dealing with issues like that of the OP. I guess if it doesn't work, windex might be worth a try.   The only head I've ever tried it on it didn't help, and I'm guessing that head has delaminated and is not repairable so probably not harmed by the windex.
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