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Author Topic: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?  (Read 8123 times)

cerett

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Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« on: December 29, 2014, 06:19:09 pm »

I just purchased a very reasonable humidifier to run in the same room I keep my 4900. The humidity range is from 30-60% What would you recommend as an ideal setting?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 06:59:38 pm »

Around 40. But you still need to run prints every several days.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Sluder

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 09:41:01 am »

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Pro/SeriesStylusPro4900/Specs.do?BV_UseBVCookie=yes

Environmental Characteristics
Temperature
Operating   50° to 95°F (10° to 35°C)
Storage   -4° to 104°F (-20° to 40°C)
Relative Humidity   20 to 80%
Operating   40 to 50%
Recommended storage   5 to 85% (no condensation)

Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 09:43:49 am »

Yes, that's the official story, but I reported on my experience using this printer for over three years now, which indicates that the safe place to be is 40% or higher.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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dgberg

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 10:07:07 am »

I ran my 7900 and 9900 for 3 years with no humidity control and was clearing clogs three or four times per week.
With my humidifier set at 45% clogs have not been eliminated but I am down to a couple a month.
It is that important.

Wayne Fox

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 04:00:16 pm »

I ran my 7900 and 9900 for 3 years with no humidity control and was clearing clogs three or four times per week.
With my humidifier set at 45% clogs have not been eliminated but I am down to a couple a month.
It is that important.
My results are similar. Averaged 3 times a month before (so not as bad as Dan), now only every month or two.

And this is not an Epson problem but a pigment inkjet problem, with Canon and HP you are just not as aware.  Maintaining humidity will extend the life of the heads substantially if your printer is in a dry environment, so good for anyone who is trying to keep costs down. 
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Stefan Ohlsson

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 04:23:54 am »

I ran my 7900 and 9900 for 3 years with no humidity control and was clearing clogs three or four times per week.
With my humidifier set at 45% clogs have not been eliminated but I am down to a couple a month.
It is that important.

It's not only important for the printer, the papers don't dry out as much and will be more flexible. We try to have a humidity as high as 60 % in the printer room.

Best regards

Stefan
http://www.korta.nu/profiler
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disneytoy

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2015, 12:51:34 am »

what kind of humidifier should I look for?
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howardm

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2015, 08:48:20 am »

I just started (literally, just yesterday) using this one after a number of recommendations....... (was on sale during the summer :) )
The unit & my print area is in open 'loft' area so I'm going to assume it will not be able to really keep up but it did bump the % from 30 to 38% (unit on medium) although the unit had shut off (run out of water) in about 18 hours.  Not enough runtime data to reliably say much more

http://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-QuietCare-Humidifier-Technology-HCM-6009/dp/B000G0LDRI/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1420119952&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=quietair+honeywell

Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2015, 11:07:32 am »

Thanks for the link Howard; this is for a cool mist humidifier. There are also warm mist humidifiers on the market. I wonder whether there is any particular advantage of the one over the other?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jan Morales

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2015, 11:08:31 am »

The heating system in my house was keeping indoor humidity at around 20%, so last week I had my trusted HVAC guy install a humidifier directly to the heating system. It cost me $750 installed, and now humidity in my house is between 35-45%. The unit connects directly to the house's hot water supply and drains into the utility sink in the basement, so no need to fill tanks every day. It's an evaporative humidifier, so there's no dust either. Folks may want to consider this option since it's not that much more expensive than room humidifiers and is hassle-free.

I didn't really do it for my printer (I have an Epson 4900) but I am looking forward to seeing what positive effect it has on clogging.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2015, 11:11:07 am »

That only works if you have forced-air heating. Not applicable to homes heated by hotwater/radiator systems.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jan Morales

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2015, 11:19:40 am »

That only works if you have forced-air heating. Not applicable to homes heated by hotwater/radiator systems.

Of course there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Also, this humidifier kicks in only when the heat comes on, so it doesn't help in the summer. Then again, I live in the Washington D.C. area so lack of humidity is not a problem in the summer here. For my climate and house, I think this setup will work very well.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2015, 11:27:43 am »

Of course there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Also, this humidifier kicks in only when the heat comes on, so it doesn't help in the summer. Then again, I live in the Washington D.C. area so lack of humidity is not a problem in the summer here. For my climate and house, I think this setup will work very well.

Indeed, having lived there I have "memories" of Washington DC summers. We had A/C which dries the air of course, but at the time I lived there the Epson 2000P had just been put on the market and I don't recall experiencing clogging issues with that printer. (As a side note, while we complain about clogging, when I compare the gamut of that printer with what I get from my 4900 today, we lose some and win some - clogs or no clogs, the technology has come a long, long way!). 
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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tsjanik

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2015, 11:33:55 am »

I purchased a room humidifier for my 4900 last winter.  I also use a tray of water in the printer during dry conditions.  I use water soaked sponges to increase surface area and avoid any possible bulk water spills.  I know this tactic has been dismissed by some; however, I've used a hygrometer to measure humidity inside and outside the printer and find an increase of about 15% inside. I sometimes also apply some AIS cleaning solution to the docking station; it's slow to evaporate and helps keep the nozzles moist.  If I do all this, I have little trouble with clogs.  When I get inattentive or lazy, I have clogs and just dealt with a major one.

Tom
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2015, 02:06:48 pm »

I think an evaporative humidifier is the best to use. Cool mist humidifiers will put a white fine dust in the air unless you use RO water or distilled water. Dust can also create nozzle problems.

I use this essick air model, which has been modified with a auto fill float mechanism which is connected to an RO water supply. I add some bacteriostat every few days and clean it out well every few months when I change the wick.

Most of the time the fan at its lowest speed is enough to keep the humidity constant. I have in floor heat so the humidity doesn't get forced out in the winter.
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Garnick

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2015, 02:46:31 pm »

I purchased a room humidifier for my 4900 last winter.  I also use a tray of water in the printer during dry conditions.  I use water soaked sponges to increase surface area and avoid any possible bulk water spills.  I know this tactic has been dismissed by some; however, I've used a hygrometer to measure humidity inside and outside the printer and find an increase of about 15% inside. I sometimes also apply some AIS cleaning solution to the docking station; it's slow to evaporate and helps keep the nozzles moist.  If I do all this, I have little trouble with clogs.  When I get inattentive or lazy, I have clogs and just dealt with a major one.

Tom

Hi Tom,

To get into the discussion here I'll add that I use a Bionaire Tower type humidifier in close proximity to the 9900 as well as a 10Litre bucket of water just behind the business end of the printer.  I add a small amount of bleach to the water to hopefully prevent algae buildup and I change the water every two weeks.  Until I started the humidifier waltz I was experiencing nozzle gaps on a regular basis(especially in winter months), but I am now a true believer and a registered member of the Inkjet Printer Humidification Cult.  Membership is free of course, but the benefits are numerous.  That said, my initial reason for this reply was in regards to the efficacy of hygrometers.  I have three of them within a 6 sq ft area and they all exhibit quite different readings.  Of course the one that's attached to the humidifier shows the highest reading, for obvious reasons, such as proximity.  The other two are approximately 12 points different from the humidifier hygrometer and from each other as well.  Has anyone found a hygrometer that can actually be trusted to produce a standard accurate reading?  I sometimes just average them all and go from there, usually about 42-45%.  No idea how accurate that is, but for the most part it seems to be working.  

An addition: I'm open 6 days a week, and before I leave Saturday I remove the two filters/wicks from the humidifier and soak them in water with a few drops of dish detergent.  When I get back in Monday morning I rinse the detergent out of the filters and place them back in the unit. That procedure seems to be working very well to preserve the life of the filters/wicks.  Probably useless info, but perhaps useful for someone. Just a thought.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR and a 45% winter to all, especially those in the GTA! :) :) :)

Gary




« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 04:03:33 pm by Garnick »
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Gary N.
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tsjanik

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2015, 10:12:46 pm »

Gary:

I have two hygrometers and their readings are quite close.  No idea of the absolute accuracy, but I'm confident that a higher reading means higher humidity, so I'm convinced that keeping water in the printer raises the humidity higher than ambient.

I would suggest you try the AIS fluid applied to the docking station as well, it appears to work for me.

Good printing,

Tom
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2015, 10:17:59 pm »

Gary:

I have two hygrometers and their readings are quite close.  No idea of the absolute accuracy, but I'm confident that a higher reading means higher humidity, so I'm convinced that keeping water in the printer raises the humidity higher than ambient.

I would suggest you try the AIS fluid applied to the docking station as well, it appears to work for me.

Good printing,

Tom

Tom, how long have you been using AIS fluid, and what confidence do you have about it not causing cumulative long-term damage to the printhead? I think the water in the sponges can only be helpful, but the fluid I wonder about.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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tsjanik

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2015, 10:50:23 pm »

Tom, how long have you been using AIS fluid, and what confidence do you have about it not causing cumulative long-term damage to the printhead? I think the water in the sponges can only be helpful, but the fluid I wonder about.

Hi Mark:

Well, I do too and I would prefer not to use it.  I started using AIS solution about a year ago when I had an intractable clog.  I have no idea of the long term effects of using the fluid on the printer.   That said, a non-functioning printer is useless and, as much as it's contrary to my disposition, I realize that printers are expendables. The use of the AIS fluids may reduce the theoretical life of the printer, but in my case, it seems to have  increased the useful life. I wouldn't use it if the other techniques had been effective (remember puddle soak for the 4800?). 

Tom
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