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Thread: Printer problem

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    charzes44's Avatar
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    Printer problem

    I have an Epson Photo R800 inkjet printer, and I use Permajet CIS inks and papers. The quality of my prints are superb. However, I now spend between 2 and 6 months of the year away, and on my return I find that my printer has dried up and the nozzles are blocked, terminally this time. So I will need a replacement printer. My priorities are: superb print quality, doesn't get blocked if not used for up to 6 months, and inexpensive to run. What do you suggest? Dye based or pigment based inks? Epson or Canon? Is there something that I could leave on a timer to switch itself on/off say once a week. ( With the R800, one has to physically press in the on button after an interruption in it's power supply.)

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    Re: Printer problem

    This may not help much but I have used both Epson and Canon printers. Currently using Epson R1900.

    I have found that all my Epson printers needed unclogging quite frequently while the Canon never had a clog.

    But having said that, my previous printer was a Canon and although it gave good results it eventually died from print head leakage after what I considered to but too short a period of use. And it wasn't one of the 'cheapies'.

    So I returned to Epson but accept that I will suffer clogging from time to time.

    I did read that it helps if the mains power is always left on but that could just be another 'urban myth' and there is always some fire risk by leaving equipment switched on while unattended.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 13th August 2011 at 06:55 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Printer problem

    Hi Charles,

    Is it possible to take the head off and pop the nozzle end into an ultra-sonic cleaner for a few minutes (available on eBay for a few $$$)?

    The inks are generally water-based, and I wouldn't be surprised if they make fairly short work of clearing them.

    I'm a little surprised that they've blocked this badly in the first place - most printers have a rubber cup that seals around the nozzels when not printing (provided the printer is powered off correctly).

    As an "after-thought", is there anyone you can leave the printer with while you're away (and get them to do a print every week or two?).

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    Re: Printer problem

    Thanks for your response Geoff. It doesn't help to just leave the printer switched on as it doesn't do anything! What I really need is a device that would physically turn it on from time to time. As I mentioned previously, after an interruption in power, the "on" button has to be depressed, then the cartridges go through their start up routine. this uses a small amount of ink, but would prevent the nozzles from drying out.

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    Re: Printer problem

    Hi Colin. Thanks for your response. Taking the head off, that's a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. I will let you know how I get on. Before I went away (end of March), I powered off my printer, and clamped off all the tubes that feed the cartridges, as recommended by the supplier (Permajet). If I can get my printer working properly again, I will also consider asking a friend to look after it for me. Another great idea. You have been most helpful Colin.

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    Re: Printer problem

    You're most welcome Charles. I run an Epsom 7800 and face similar issues occasionally.

    Another thought is to get a wet cloth in between the head and platen so the head can soak a little.

    I'm hoping that pinching off the lines didn't force ink through the head and actually cause the problem in the first place.

    Does the printer have a nozzle check / power clean option?

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    Re: Printer problem

    Hi Charles, for the inkjet printers I had in the past and needed to address this issue, I just ordered a replacement head. Perhaps there is one available for your printer?

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    Re: Printer problem

    You can also get head cleaning solutions. These are really nothing but a mild ammonia solution. My previous printer was a Canon S9000, which had a removable head / cartridge carrier. That printer had a lot of clogging issues. You could either soak the head or put in a cartridge with the ammonia solution in the offending color and then print a bunch of purge pages. Purge pages are available from MIS inks at http://inksupply.helpserve.com/index...temid=12&nav=0.

    There were quite a few posts about these issues in other forums at the time. Lots of discussions about drying with a hair dryer or drying for days, etc. I always just cleaned it, put the ink back in, ran a nozzle check, and if it printed clean, started printing.

    Ultimately, I gave up on the Canon and bought an Epson Photo 1400. The Epson has far fewer clogging problems and does not seem to mind sitting idle for up to several weeks at a time.

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    Re: Printer problem

    Thank you Colin, Frank and Homer for your suggestions. I have performed power cleans, I have had the print head sit on tissues soaked in various cleaning fluids for several days, and I have even used a system that (gently) squirts chemicals into the print head with the cartridges removed. This system can also be used to suck out all the dissolved ink, only my ink doesn't seem to dissolve! And I have visited countless websites that specifically deal with clearing the nozzles in Epson R800 printers. Homer, your mention of the Photo 1400 is interesting. I think this uses dye based inks, am I correct? I understand that dye based inks are less prone to clogging than the pigment based, but I know of nobody who lets their printer stand unused for months at a time. Can your printer be powered on just from a timer switch, or must you press the on button? Also, according to reviewers on the Amazon UK website, there seem to be issues with paper feed problems with this printer. Your comments will be most welcome.

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    Re: Printer problem

    If I am leaving my printer off for months at a time (like I do during summer break), I put some windex on the resting pad of the print head which allows the head to remain moist. However, that said, it may not be a problem with the print head per se, but instead the individual print cartridges and the little stips of electronic interface areas. I've had inks get onto those areas and block the "signal" to print. Using a similar flushing solution, I've had to clean (gently) these surfaces to get the printer to talk correctly with the computer.

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    Re: Printer problem

    Charles:

    I probably don't leave the printer off for more than a couple of weeks. It gets excercised printing non-photo grade prints fairly regularly, but does sit idle and off for days at a time frequently. You are correct in that the printer is a dye printer, not a pigment printer. That may be a big difference.

    My general experience with the 1400 has been very positive. Considering that the thing only cost $200 (with an Epson $100 discount) and can print up to 13" wide, it is certainly a good value. I used up the Epson-provided ink in about a month and then switched to MIS ink, which I had used before with the Canon S9000 (same company, different inks). These have worked very well without any significant clogging problems. Once in a while I get a little head clogging, which takes one or two head cleaning cycles to clear, but so far has always cleaned up without issues. As for paper loading, I've had no issues. I regularly print on Red River Arctic Polar Gloss, which is 66lb. There have been no sheet feeder problems, though I print one page at a time when printing 11 x 17 sheets. I load multiple 5.5 x 8.5 sheets for proofing and have never had feeder issues.

    As for color and print quality, it's hard to say how good it is without comparing prints side by side, which I have no way to do. But, I can say that the prints look great. Could they be better? Perhaps.

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    Re: Printer problem

    If all you want to do is to have the printer turn on while you are away, why not get one of those timers that you plug the house lamps into to convince strangers that someone is at home. Set the time you want the printer to come on, turn it on, and it will go on and off as you have set the timer.

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    Re: Printer problem

    Quote Originally Posted by gsrunyan View Post
    If all you want to do is to have the printer turn on while you are away, why not get one of those timers that you plug the house lamps into to convince strangers that someone is at home. Set the time you want the printer to come on, turn it on, and it will go on and off as you have set the timer.
    Hi Glenn,

    I believe one also needs to press the power button.

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    Re: Printer problem

    Have you ever thought about taking the cartridge out seal it with gladwrap or food wrap an put it in a little plastic container , the container should be one that can seal food, then store it in a cool place untill you want to use it.
    Bye the way I dont print any of my pictures becuase it is so cheap to get them printed at any store.
    Also in Australia you can buy a printer for half the price of a catridge.
    $40 for printer with catridges compared to 80-100 dollars for cartridge (and thats a good Epson or Cannon)

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    Re: Printer problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Sony-A390 View Post
    Bye the way I dont print any of my pictures becuase it is so cheap to get them printed at any store.
    That was my plan originally, but I had so many quality problems (colour casts / levels etc) that I came to the realization that the only way to "do it right" was to do it myself. No regrets.

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