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nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers

by urigro / September 30, 2004 3:13 AM PDT

Printers made by Canon and, I believe, also by Epson use inks based on alcohol. This makes their printheads prone to drying. The problem is particularly severe when they run out of ink. In my Canon 6200 it happened to me already twice, when replacing an ink cartridge, that the nozzles got clogged due to drying and were not cleanable, so that I had to replace the entire head (once black and once color), at great expense. My questions are:
1. Has anyone else had this experience?
2. Is the problem as severe in Epson printers, or does Epson have better means of detecting low ink conditions?
3. Does anyone sell replacement printheads at reasonable prices?

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Re: nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2004 4:36 AM PDT

Happens to me all the time. But we have some hundred printers. The good news is a new printer is cheaper than having if fixed.

Bob

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Re: nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by urigro / September 30, 2004 5:41 AM PDT

Thanks for the good news. The question remains: How can one best beware of getting there? Which brands and model lines are better at it?

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The ones that don't have nozzles and such are...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2004 5:43 AM PDT

units like the HP which have the cartridge with the printhead in it.

Upside? Immune to your issue.

Downside? You pay a little more per page.

Bob

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Solution to drying
by halsue / September 30, 2004 7:27 PM PDT

My experince is with Canon printers.

First rule, never let a cartrige dry. Refill it before it is empty. If not, air gets in and blocks the replacement ink from being exiting.

My S800 did stop ink flow. It has a seperate removable holder for the cartridges. I removed and warm water flushed the holder and it worked.

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Re: nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by trivino / October 1, 2004 3:58 PM PDT

I had exactly the same problems with my Lexmark Z32 printer.
And refilling gave a bad result.
I dismantled my printer, made a small orifice at the top of the cartridge (material available in every shop which sell material for aquariums), and put two 250 cl. tanks outside the printer (at a higher level), and connected the cartridges to the tanks.
I got the ink to fill the tanks from my local printing office.
I use this setup now already for 2years with the same cartridges without problems (the 250cl tanks are still half full)

Carlos

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nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by xin / October 4, 2004 1:11 PM PDT

wow! can Carlos give details of your fix? It seems you have the magic fix but i can't get it. Please provide details of the materials required for your setup.
Drilling plastic containers is piece of cake but what other materials do i need from aquarium shop to set it up?

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Re: nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by Tech-N0! / October 2, 2004 6:06 AM PDT

Yes! I've had an experience where I left my computer printer for five months without printing anything. The black toner cartridge dried up and you could see the steaks through the hard copy print. In Epson Stylus C62 printer there is a print module that cleans out clogged print nozzles. It works pretty good too. Though I could not say that about the color tank until I got a new cartridge. Suddenly, both of them began to work well. The color cartridge had only a half tank of color toner left too.

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Re: nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by caktus / October 2, 2004 9:17 AM PDT

Refill ink from STRATITEC says it is specifically desined for use with my EPSON Stylus 860 cartridges as well as abput 150 others. Been refilling the cartriges about 3 years now with no problems. Colors seem to come out almost exact unless the ink chambers become contaminated with other colors. As per instructions it's a good idea to let refillied cartridge set upright about 24 hours to let air bubbles rise.

EPSON specifically says do not use alcohol to clean printer but does not mention weather it's in the ink.

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Re: nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by rjohn272 / October 3, 2004 9:23 AM PDT

I've also had the print head dry out on our Canon 4300 and I had to replace it at considerable expense. I replace the ink cartridges as soon as they appear to be running dry and I haven't had the problem since.

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Re: nozzle drying and clogging in ink-jet printers
by Willy / October 4, 2004 11:24 PM PDT

I don't how you use your printer but if you have to stop to swap out ink when it becomes empty, then do so, NOW! If you wait you pay the price if taken too long. Most ink printers have "monitoring" to help in this regard, provided you don't mess-up or somehow short-chage it process, it makes good sense to change when it states so. You do have some ink available but to actually go until its out only stresses the printer's ink heads. Epson uses a "piezo" type inkhead and these aren't too good when they become clogged and may burnup. While Canon uses a "thermal" ink head, it usually burns-up if repeated printing with no ink as the ink is used to help cool the ink head. In either case, it just doesn't make good sense to repair these brands as "replacement cost" is more practical. HP and Lexmark(or similar) tend to be easy to fix as the "whole ink head" can exchanged during a low ink condition and thus remove itself from wear&tear of usage when the ink head remains and only the ink source is replaced.

Last, you should do a "proper shutdown" procedure using the printer's ON/OFF button rather than anything else so the printer can properly park to help keep the ink head "apped", when not in use. Also, printing on a regular basis helps too to "rejuvitate" the ink canals and thus keep from drying out, just turning it on but a short printout is better.

good luck -----Willy Happy

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