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Epson Durabrite ink printers- clogging print heads.

by catsigh / March 20, 2007 6:44 AM PDT

I have had a total of four Epson C series printers. I always use genuine Epson refills and replace the cartridges when told they need to be.

I just had yet another of this series clog. I put a brand new magenta ink cartridge in after executing the head cleaning process for the third time in a row because the cyan cartridge, which was about 3/4 full on the screen was stuttering. After I replaced the magenta, which was working fine previously, it would not print magenta at all. I sent it through numerous head cleaning and the other colors got worse rather than better.

I love the durabrite inks but Epson needs to figure out how to deliver it without the heads clogging. My C80 never had the problem, but the C82, C84 and my last model C86 all have had the problem and when it starts, the printer is done. I went through 3 CX4600 all in one Epson units with the same problem before they just gave up and gave me my money back.

I called Epson, and was asked to pay a fee for phone support, but having done this before, I knew it was a waste of money.

I have been a loyal Epson buyer but no more.

Epson needs to either correct the problem or stand behind their products. Obviously they do not plan to do so.

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My C82 clogged but after 2 years.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 20, 2007 6:51 AM PDT

This appears to be about the lifespan of said printers. How many years did you get?


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Durabrite printer
by catsigh / March 20, 2007 8:10 AM PDT

A little over 1 year. I am really disappointed that they know they have a problem and won't stand behind their printers.

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Epson scam
by nitelee / March 25, 2007 9:43 PM PDT

I am so furious, could spit nails. What is going on with this company and why are they getting away with scamming the consumer. I have a CX4600 that will not print. The ink is so expensive. doesn't need a chip included along w/ the dog & pony show from Epson. Purchased the first set of ink replacements when original ink ran out. Installed the new set and printer hasn't printed since. At the same time, tells me it's out of ink. Where the ink went, is a mystery to me when it hasn't printed one single letter in the alphabet. After researching forums for solution, have read the same comment from other victims of Epson scam. "Clogged Heads" is repeated over & over with several people saying they gave up & dumped the printer. My old Epson STILL prints after sitting dormant for a long time and the 4600 stopped printing after 10 or 15 uses. Is there any recourse or consumer advocate that can be contacted for help. Epson has a good thing going & needs some type of intervention, investigation into their horrible business practices. I don't want to "dump" the printer after 10 or 15 print jobs. Expected it to last for many years regardless of how often it's used. Appreciate having a place to vent my anger for the situation. Inclined to think I'm speaking for many others, far too many others.

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What I found...
by Willy / March 26, 2007 4:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Epson scam

Your experience and finding similar comments has been why I don't recommend Epson "inkjets" to anyone unless they need that x-model. No matter whose inkjet printer make or model, they all become candidates for an ink clog, what separates Epson from other printer makers is that they insist on keeping the printhead remain while replacing ink carts. Most other vendors replace ink and printhead as a unit when buying new ink cart. Thus, it only comes to a head over time that an Epson inkjet will become clogged and repeated cleaning or new ink carts don't resolve the problem. Using an IC chipo to keep new ink carts installable is the reason to remain within the Epson family of products and "supposely" reduce 3rd party refill/replacement issues but really its you keep you buying Epson ink. The whole isse with inkjet printers is to sell you an inkjet model for x-dollars and make more $$$ after the sale selling ink carts. More money is made on ink than printer over the useful life of the printer.

If you think you've been had, cxontact the state DA or local DA and lodge a complaint or contact the BBB if anything else. Of course learn your lesson and refrain from buying Epson again. Wink

tada -----Willy :

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What I found...
by nitelee / March 26, 2007 9:47 PM PDT
In reply to: What I found...

No doubt about it-you told it like it is. Will never buy another Epson product again. Because my old Epson printer was and still is a real workhorse, never considered another mfg. for a 3 in one purchase. At this point, will consider any other mfg. except Epson for the next printer. Although, it is a time consuming effort to file a complaint. seriously thinking it's a good idea. Eventually, Epson's customer base is likely to drop like flies which they deserve. "Genius" approach to insure repeat business. ^o)

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So now you know why NOT to buy a current Epson printer!
by Heimdall222 / March 30, 2007 8:29 AM PDT

I've been an Epson person (printers, scanners, etc.) from back in the days of dot-matrix printing, and I currently run a Stylus Color 980 - even though the ink is getting harder and harder to find. Sure, the print head clogs occasionally, but only when I don't print something every day. That's my fault, not the printer's. And with a clog, the head-cleaning utility always does its thing, and I'm quickly back in business.

But I'm Epson-all-the-way no longer. After reading threads like this and listening to the (many, many) complaints of folks for whom I consult, when Number One Wife needed a new printer, I bought her a Canon Pixma. After about a year of rather heavy use, NOT ONE CLOG. That's right, NOT ONE CLOG!

It's sad, really, to see an old-line company go down the tubes in the name of ALmighty Profit. I have a *very* strong suspicion that the sort of nastiness we're hearing about is engineered into the C-series. Let's not forget that Almighty Profit dictates that the printer be given away and the ink be sold for an arm, leg, and chunk of first-born child. Regularly and often, ethics and morals be damned!

A new generation of inks required by a new generation of printers engineered to fail after a designed-in amount of time is the ultimate obeisance to Almighty Profit. Hail, all hail Almighty Profit!

But the word gets around, and ROI goes down when a knowledgeable buying public goes over to the competition. Unfortunately, the appropriate folks are never fired for cause. (Maybe because they have the negatives and surveillance tapes?)

Again, it's sad, really....

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Why not to buy an Epson printer.
by CactusPrick / March 30, 2007 8:46 AM PDT

I had one Epson printer and that was one too many. The heads constantly needed cleaning. I finally junked it when I could no longer keep them clean (about a year and a half after purchase). I called Epson and was told to make sure I shut if off after each use - that was why the heads were always clogging.

Replaced it with a Canon iP4000 and have never had a clog or needed to clean the heads - even if I forget to shut if off after use.

I had HP printers before the Canon and they too required some head cleaning, but nothing like the Epson.

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Happy with my current Epson
by GLSnyder / March 30, 2007 9:37 AM PDT

I have owned three Epson printers. The last two were upgrades from a previous model. My current is a Stylus Photo R300. I do a lot of work with photographs and the results I get (using Epson ink and Epson paper), are 10 times better than friends of mine with Canon, Hp, etc. I had to use "head clean" all the time with my previous Stylus Photo 825 but I have never had to use it on the R300 in the year that I have owned it.

I also bought it to print CD/DVD labels which it does beautifully.

I was considering upgrading again so I could take advantage of the Durabrite ink. But after reading these posts, I think I'll stick to the one I have. It's sad to see a good company do this.

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it's the durabrite ink
by catsigh / March 30, 2007 10:20 AM PDT

I never had any problem with the older models except that the durabrite ink looks great.

Unfortunately the repeated cleanings with the durabrite sometimes actually make it worse rather than better. I had their folks lead me through repeated cleanings on the CX4600 and had the quality actually get worse and worse until it quit completely. Additionally you waste a huge amount of ink. This last time an ink head that was working quit when the new magenta cartridge was installed. The cyan was skipping and despite repeated cleaning it quit. I really wish they would correct this problem.

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Epson printer problem
by hokiebob / March 30, 2007 9:14 AM PDT

I had a similar problem with an Epson Photo EPX785 (not sure of number). I had constant problem of clogged print heads despite going through frequent cleaning procedures. Epson was no help. The cleaning procedure itself wastes a lot of costly ink. I ended up throwing the printer away. I now use a Brother Laser printer for B/W, and after editing on my pc, send color out for processing. Result - no expensive paper, no expensive ink, and no frustrating time with expensive Epson printers.

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by rae2_2 / March 30, 2007 9:15 AM PDT

I too have been loyal to Epson since their dot-matrix days but they've screwed me over with their ink-jets one too many times.

I've had a series of C84s and C86s. Every damn one of them has developed clogs. While SOMETIMES the clog can be cleared with their cleaning process, the clog returns quickly.

What Epson charges for their ink should be listed as a felony. Especially when you must use a significant amount of each cartridge just CLEARING CLOGS! They've clearly engineered their products to FAIL and suck as much $$$$ as possible from the DIM BULBS who keep buying their crap.

I contacted Epson via email for help. I was ignored for the longest while and then I got some terse reply suggesting that I must be using other brands of ink and for me to replace all my ink cartridges with Genuine Epson brand and try again.

NOT BLOODY LIKELY. A full set of cartridges costs MORE THAN THE PRINTER. Ridiculous.

I have one C86 left and it's just about out of ink. It has begun to clog so will be going to the garbage/recycler. I don't know what I will replace it with... but I'm thinking NO INKJET at all.

I've come to the conclusion that a $100 B&W laser printer not only will do a BETTER JOB of printing text but cost FAR LESS to operate than anything Epson can offer. If I want a color photo, I can get one in an hour for $.19 at my local photo store.

Bye bye, Epson. You don't get away with treating customers like suckers forever.

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c series printers.
by davey007 / March 30, 2007 10:20 AM PDT

I dont know about the C series printers ,but I am running tne R300 and it prints lovely pictures with no ink problems what so ever. I think I've had this printer for over 2 years.

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Epson Inkjets
by levekk / March 30, 2007 10:33 AM PDT
In reply to: c series printers.

The problem is not with the cartridges but with the machine itself. The printing heads are part of the machine. For both to work well you have to use them every day or shut the power off if not using. I suffered major clogs that I took care by using 70 % alcohol to dissolve he clogs. When it's working properly, the Epson offers quality printing but... I now own a Canon Pixma iP 3000 and I am quite satisfied.

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Epson Printer
by gbw / March 30, 2007 12:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Epson Inkjets

I own an Epson Stylus Photo 2000P, I bought it for my photography/photo-restoration business in October, 2000. It is my only printer for photo work. I have had a few clogs over the years, but the cleaning utility does it's job. The only time I have clogs is during a slow time, when I don't use it often enough. It produces beautiful prints, my customers appreciate the long display life of the Epson Archival (pigmented)inks. I rely on this printer for the output of all my work, and it delivers. I have cranked a lot of 13" x 19" prints through this printer. This is a pro model printer, a real workhorse. I guess you get what you pay for. I hope to get several more years of service from this great printer! I will not even look at anything else until this unit simply breaks. The printer wasn't cheap, and neither is the ink, but like I said, it delivers. Sorry I am apparently the only happy one responding here, but I figure the service I have gotten from this machine deserves some credit. By the way, I previously owned an Alps printer, it lasted two years, and it died. Too many moving parts swapping ribbon cartridges around. Before that I owned a $500 dollar HP Photosmart printer, it died two weeks after the one year warranty. My Epson, one year warranty, and I bought way back when? 2000!

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Epson class action suit.
by jabo130 / March 30, 2007 1:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Epson Printer

I have purchased a Epson 480sxu and when it went bad, I bought a Epson 4600. Less than a year later, this printer went bad also. I informed Epson through an e-mail about my dissatisfaction with Epson. After several heated e-mails, Epson sent me a new CX 4800 which has performed quite well. About a month after I received the CX 4800, I was informed through a letter that a class action lawsuit had been filed against Epson for owners of Epson's C82's, CX 4600 and several more. I was asked if I wanted to be included and naturally, I said yes. The suit was granted against Epson and they have appealled. I don't understand why no one on this forum is aware of this since some of the printers mentioned are the printers involved in the lawsuit, I was given a choice of ink refills or a monetary award. You can get the info at but I believe the time for registering for the class action suit has run out. If the CX4800 keeps performing as it has then I will stick with Epson even though their Customer Service leaves a lot to be desired.

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RX 500
by awkn / March 30, 2007 3:39 PM PDT

Add the RX500 to the bad Epson printers. I had it for almost two years and it quit working since one ink was clogged. I called tech support and they said I could return it and they would fix it but it was going to cost me more than a new one would so I bought a HP. It is not as good as the Epson but at least I feel that I will get better support for it, at least I hope so. The RX500 has a wonderful scanner and I can not even use it since nothing will work if there is no ink in it. They make it so that if it gets clogged with ink and you can not print anymore they do not want you to scan anymore either so they have it set to not scan with out the ink jets working. I will never buy an Epson again and always tell everyone I know in the computer world why so they do not get stuck with a worthless machine. I expect more than two years out of something I buy.

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What Printer Instead
by wexmary / March 31, 2007 1:54 AM PDT
In reply to: RX 500

I am chucking my C86 now for reasons that others have stated. I will not print much color, I have a small Lexmark laser for most of my needs. But every month or so, I need color, a picture, a chart.

What do the folks here recommend??? Looking for $70-100

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Epson Printers
by nitelee / April 12, 2007 5:37 PM PDT
In reply to: RX 500

Appreciate the input from all who posted. Along w/this forum, have read more of the same in other forums. Certainly speaks for itself.
The lawsuit addressed the premature warning message for "out of ink" before the cartridge was actually empty and is another issue.
I too, would like to know the procedure for cleaning the print head. More than willing to try and fix the printer myself if I can follow the correct procedure. The printer can't end up any more useless than it is now.

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epson suit
by jthirtyfour / April 2, 2007 4:30 AM PDT

My understanding is the class action law suit has to do with the printer not printing if you are almost out of ink. The fact these printers are peices of junk and you can't clean the heads is a whole different issue.

I was really glad to see this thread because I have been really frustrated at how bad my color copies have gotten. Customer support was not any help. I bought this printer based on reviews from CNet, but I will never buy an Epson again. They seem to be willing to lose customers over this issue.

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Cleaning solution (Chemical?) for Epson 2000P
by drdarrow / April 20, 2007 2:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Epson Printer

You may be the wrong person to ask, since you just reported having no problems, but I just acquired an Epson 2000p from a lady who did not want it anymore, and am having a lot of difficulty getting (only) the black head to unclog. Many cycles... still nothing, and I believe it's got ink in it. (Status reports 70%)

Is there a chemical I can "dump down the ink hole" that will loosen some of the crap in there?

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What to "dump down the ink hole"
by Heimdall222 / April 20, 2007 5:23 AM PDT

I've had the most success with 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Do NOT use a solvent like xylene, lacquer thinner, acetone, etc.
-- a. Apply the alcohol sparingly, 1-2 cc's at a time.
-- b. An eye dropper is good to get the alcohol down the ink hole.
-- c. On some printers, the alcohol will run down out of the ink hole, so put the printer on newspaper to catch any drips.
-- d. Squirt in the alcohol, let it work for a minute or so, and use a cotton swab to soak up what you can out of the hole.

Repeat at least 5 times (patience!!), then try the cleaning cycle again.

I've had to repeat all of the above several times on stubborn clogs, but eventially it worked.

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Where is the whole
by drdarrow / April 20, 2007 5:48 AM PDT

Actually, I may have sounded like I actually KNOW where the hole is. Fact is, I only presume it is near/at the "poker" that pokes into the ink membrane...

But where exactly should I shoot the solution?

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The hole, and other stuff
by Heimdall222 / April 20, 2007 7:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Where is the whole

Here are some things to try:

1. Make certain that you have a hardware problem and not a driver problem.
-- a. Uninstall both the Epson Stylus Photo 2000P and its drivers.
-- b. Download the appropriate (latest) driver, starting at
-- c. Re-install both the driver and the printer.
-- d. Run the head cleaning utility 3 times.

If the problem is still there and shows up in 1440 dpi mode and not 720 dpi mode, the fix may be head replacement. Or the following may help.

2. See Epson?s ?Print Quality Could Be Better? at

3. Do you have the printer set up properly? See Epson?s Printer Basics at and User Manual/Reference Guide at

4. Where?s the hole? Remove the ink cartridge from the printer and look down into the well from which you removed it. The ?poker? on the cartridge goes through a membrane, and that?s where you squirt the alcohol. You may need to ? very gently ? push the end of the eye dropper through the membrane before squirting.

5. Consider commercial cleaning cartridges. For example:
-- a. Lyson Cleaning Cartridge for Epson Stylus Photo 2000P Printer (Black Cartridge), B&H, at
-- b. Lyson Cleaning Cartridge for Epson Stylus Photo 2000P Printer (Color Cartridge), B&H, at

6. See also Marrutt Digital Solution?s Epson 2000P Printer Support Page at, especially ?Clearing Dried ink using Isopropanol Cleaning Solvent?. This gives you another way to clean the print head - from the bottom side.

Last but definitely not least, there?s the old saying about physically abusing a deceased equine (or Epson printer). Canon, HP, Lexmark, et al offer excellent printers, and as I said earlier in this thread, I bought my wife a Canon Pixma?.

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What a wealth! Thanks!
by drdarrow / April 20, 2007 8:36 AM PDT

Thanks so much for all the detailed, linked help. (And let me apologize for misspelling "hole" -- klutzy fingers, more so than daft mind).

I haven't had a chance to review all the links before thanking you, but I will follow them all. BTW, I am on a Mac G4 with OS X 10.4.9 -- do I need to uninstall/reinstall there, too?

Is there a description somewhere on how to go about creating an ICC profile? I attempted to download a P.I.M. file for Mac OS X from the Epson website, but it is a file that can only open from within native OS 9 (which I did) and then installs itself somewhere, but not the right-where.

The lady who gave me the printer (is an artist) and gave me the printer because I am an artist, too, -- -- and she got tired of all the messing around with it, knowing I am a more patient person. She also gave me a box of "sample papers" including Arches watercolor paper and others, but I would not have a clue as to what printer settings to use on such, and don;t want to burn through samples just trying anything.

I'd like to reproduce my art as high-quality, archival prints for sale, and I think this printer might be the financial jumpstart to a wide format printer later...

Can anyone point me the right direction?

I feel very lost with this probably-outstanding printer. I want to put it to good use.

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Epson downloads
by Heimdall222 / April 21, 2007 4:36 AM PDT
In reply to: What a wealth! Thanks!

If you downloaded P.I.M. II Plug-in v2.2 from the Epson Stylus Photo 2000P Drivers & Downloads page at (scroll down to Macintosh Operating Systems), the details for this file say that the installer places a folder on your desktop labeled "epson11224". Always click on the [+] next to the file name to see the details! There are also other downloads on this page that you might need.

As a starting point for ICC profiles, etc., take a look at
-- Epson?s ?Color Managed Workflow for Epson Scanners and Printers? at
-- Epson?s ?PRINT Image Matching II Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements? at

These PDF files are found on the Epson Stylus Photo 2000P Documents & Manuals page, which also has other downloads of interest.

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by drdarrow / April 21, 2007 1:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Epson downloads

Thank you Heimdall, I appreciate your time and all the links. Will give it all a read.

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epson print head -- manual cleaning
by Randy00156 / April 11, 2007 12:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Epson Inkjets

You mentioned cleaning with 70% alcohol. Can you tell me how you accessed the print heads and did the cleaning?

I am just as frustrated with this problem as others who have written, although I had good service from my CX6400 for about 2 years before experiencing what is now a constant problem.

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by sosterman / April 1, 2007 12:16 AM PDT

They really have come out with a frustrating product. Didn't they test these duraclot inks and printers? I have a CX4600 which has never worked right, but cost me about $60 to try and fix with new Epson refills. My old COLOR 740 was a workhorse. Way to lose loyal customers.

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Dump Epson
by nexus323 / April 1, 2007 12:56 AM PDT

I have had similar problems with every Epson I've had or work with. So many so that I no longer use nor recommend them... I have a small computer repair business, mostly Mac. They work for a few months or so and then ink clogs up. I've had great success with Canon so far... in fact the MP 160 has been flawless in 6 installations over the past year or so.


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Try brute force-sort of
by psidd / April 27, 2007 1:09 PM PDT

I'm glad to know that other Epson printer owners have the same problem. I have a CX4600 and have clogged heads virtually everytime I print which may be because I dont use it very often. But even after fitting new carts, I couldnt believe they cloged again, I've done loads of head cleaning cycles but they dont work, in fact it ruined the printer by dumping loads of black ink behind the small cover on the back.
Eventually I just tried brute force, actually I take out each cartridge and shake them vigorously/tap them several times on a hard surface. That solved the problem for me, simple and effective, plus this way you can take out your frustation on them!
Sorry for late post, I only read this forum today.

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