Peripherals forum

General discussion

Inkjet Printers and Dried Ink (HP v. Epson)

by Confed / February 21, 2005 1:54 AM PST

I've got an Epson C80 that I use only occasionally and, as a result, the ink dries and clogs my heads. The headcleaner uses the printers ink to clean the heads and it doesn't do it very effectively. I recently spent over an hour trying to clean and realign my heads, to no avail. I would try to remove the ink cartridges, but the manual says I really don't want to do that.

So someone recommended HP inkjets, which use heat to clean the printheads which, by the way, are on the ink cartridge instead of in the printer. That probably means more $$$ for the cartridges.

So here's my questions: Is there any easy way I can clean my Epson and get it working again without replacing mostly full cartridges? I've heard good things about the H&P 5150's image quality; however, H&P apparently has this ongoing problem with paper feeding and paper jamming with all of its gravity fed paper feeders -- not good. It's medium quality also is horrible I understand.

I like the archival inks Epson offers, but obviously can't maintain them. Can someone recommend a decent printer with good economic inks (no remanufactured or third party) that will last me more than a year or two?

What about the Canons and other brands?



Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Inkjet Printers and Dried Ink (HP v. Epson)
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Inkjet Printers and Dried Ink (HP v. Epson)
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
If drying is an issue, then "ink" is a bad idea.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2005 2:02 AM PST

You may have to move to a color laserjet to escape ink drying and clogging issues. However, the C80 I had did die and a replacement printer was not much more than a set of Epson inks from the local stores.

What I have found to be a good deal is the inks. I can't tell you if they will meet your needs, but it's what I'm using now.


Collapse -
New Printer
by Confed / February 22, 2005 9:38 AM PST

Well, I'm at the point where I can just pop into a drug store and get my own prints for about 30 cents apiece; however, occasionally, I want to write a letter and include some pictures with wrap-around text.

Do you know if it's okay to manually remove the ink cartridges from the C80 and clean the heads with a cleaning solution? I hear if you take electrical tape and tape over the punctures in the cartridges, you can just repuncture them again when you put them back in. Have you ever tried anything like that?

Finally, have any improvements been made on the Epson Stylus printers since the C80? They were rated economical to use ink-wise when they first came out but, as I said, reviews don't judge those types of things anymore and I want to get as much splash for my cash as possible.

Thanks for the tip on Amazon inks. If you like 'em, I'll try 'em.



Collapse -
When the c80 died...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2005 9:44 AM PST
In reply to: New Printer

I had just put in a set of inks. Fortunately another c80 owner here was crying the blues about ink and I pulled the carts, put scotch tape over the vampire taps, but each into ziploc bags and mailed them away. They said it arrived fine.

However, such would be a bad idea for the c80. The nozzles are very small and you'll likely get some dust spec in the nozzle and that would be the end.

As it stands, "ink" sounds bad for you.


Collapse -
try epson bulk system
by jack1957 / February 22, 2005 7:24 PM PST

>I like the archival inks Epson offers, but obviously >can't maintain them. Can someone recommend a decent >printer with good economic inks (no remanufactured or >third party) that will last me more than a year or two?

Epson has the best photo printer, however, there is no maintainence-free printer. You oughtta do some regular maintainence.

If you want to save more money and time, spend less time on maintaining your printer, and get rid of clogging, you can try the spongeless bulk ink system from

Their system can meet your requirement:
1. good economic inks
2. last me more than a year or two

Basically their system can last forever (your printer wont), you can continuously use their bulk system on your future printer, for example you can use their ink kit for R800, and R1800 ...etc. pretty neat and no brainer.

Here is their site:

Collapse -
Compatible Ink cartridges
by topinksy / April 30, 2005 2:49 AM PDT

Recently I found out that compatible ink cartridges saved me money. They don't cost me as much as manufacturer's. And they work on my printers, too.


Collapse -
As last resort...
by Willy / May 3, 2005 2:47 PM PDT

Far too many ink printers use a simple "parking/cap" method when not in use. If allowed too long in non-use the ink will dry, plus the capping method tends to eventually collect its own gunk. One reason a simple wiper is used to remove build-up found in many ink printers.

Since, I've repaired far too many printers to count, here's some good advice. Even, if you don't use the printer often, print a simple test page or document just to keep the ink path ways "fresh" and renew the ink. Plus, when on an Epson, you place a small clean cloth swatch damp with simple glass cleaner on the parking pad between the ink head and cap. This will redampen old ink and ink head, let it sit for 10-15min or more if needed. Do this only if repeated cleaning cycles(at least 6) fail. The media lever should be on "envelope" to widen the gap to install the swatch. Depending on the Epson model you need to remove cover for full access or be very handy otherwise. Of course you take this at your own risk.

tada -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
C80 ink
by rgk / May 7, 2005 6:07 AM PDT

Even though the Epson C80 is a good printer and economical to use, there was a drawback. You couldn't remove the ink and expect them to work when you reinstalled them. The later models do have that capability. They have a small chip in them. The printer reads the chip and knows how much ink is left in the cartridge. The C80 and earlier versions do not have this capability.
A couple years ago, my C80 was replaced by the C84, for just this reason. I left the ink in place and, along with a couple spare cartridges, donated it to a church for their annual sale. I also attached a note saying not to remove the ink unless they were empty.
I worked in retail sales for a number of years and found that both HP and Epson had their advantages. I presently use both the C84 and CX6400. Same ink in doth units. I lean toward Epson because of the individual ink. If you buy all 3 colors at the same, the cost is about the same. I have found the Epson color seems to print more pages per cartridge. With the high capacity black, I can get 1250 pages with the regular capacity it is about 850. This is using the draft mode @ 22 pages per minute. I haven't lived long enough to see how the color photo will fade, as they estimate upwards of 75 to 85 years with the correct paper and storage methods.
I agree with one thing though. Regardless of which one you get, it is best to print out a test page once a week to keep the ink flowing properly.
Even though a lot of people use refil kits, I question the chemical makeup of the original vs the refil. All manufacturers have their own lab. The problem is that they all change their ink chenistry every year to two. They say it is to improve it. How can a refil kit, with the same ink, refil both the Epson and HP ptinters? I can't be sure, but rather doubt that the stores use totally different ink for all the printers on the market? Do they have different barrels in the back room for HP, Epson,Canon, Lexmark, Xerox, etc.?
I switched to Epson because they were the first to have both parallel and USB, which could connect to 2 different computers at the same time, PC and PC or PC and MAC. Which ever sent the print job, that was the one to print out. This was a cheap way to share a printer without a network. I used a desktop and a laptop. Desktop on parallel and laptop on hot pluggable USB. Now it doesn't matter too much as most are USB.
Just my opinion.

Collapse -
Epson vs HP vs Cannon
by Al N. / May 16, 2005 4:31 AM PDT

John .... I was an Epson fan for about 15 years. However, I just bought a Cannon Pixma IP4000 and Cannon has made a new friend. My wife's Epson C80 has done good considerering it rarely gets used, but my last Epson, C82, finally pushed me over the top. I've had to many problems with the last several Epsons, although customer support was good. The cannon is a fantastic machine. It's construction and features are quite good. It's quiet too! Something really nice about the Cannon, if the head does go south on you, just flip a lever and out it comes for replacement. It's a well thought out machine and put's Epsons to shame, in this price range anyway. Cannon seems to be more concerned about the customer than does Epson. Oh, one other thing, the Cannon software is better than Epson also. Hope this helps. Al

Collapse -
Epson vs HP
by jrtmouse / May 29, 2005 3:44 AM PDT

I, too, am looking for a new photo printer. While the Epson I had back in the day produced very good results, it didn't get used on a daily basis and everytime I went to use the thing I had to run an inkjet cleaning. I was recently told that HP cartridges come with the inkjets built in, thus reducing these issues.

While at Best Buy last night, they told me that by powering the Epson printer off after each use, you reduce the inkjet clog issues.

Just thought I'd share.

Collapse -
Epson Clog
by Al N. / May 29, 2005 12:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Epson vs HP

More infomation about my new Canon IP4000. After using it now for about 2 months, and having printed a lot of text and quite a few pictures, this thing is very stingy with ink. My Epsons would have been half empty by now and the Canon is bearly showing ink levels dropping. I especially like the upper and lower paper trays. Very handy! I also like, as I mentiond previously, how quiet it is. I can't see anyone not liking this machine for all around use. Trust me, after many printers over many years, and I include HP, the canon is a top contender and winner in my book. I'd go HP again only if some gave it to me!(then I'd use it only as a spare) I'll never go back to Epson!
Al N.

Collapse -
That's a big problem with canons too
by bigred007 / May 30, 2005 6:26 AM PDT

I had a canon printer which did the same thing and you could not clean the head. I had to buy a whole new tray to stick a new cartridge in.
I stick with HP. and for the most part if the ink drys on it, just use alcohol wipe to clean it.

Collapse -
Clogged Epson printer, and more
by El Alquimista / May 30, 2005 3:01 PM PDT

I had the same problem with a old Epson. The crowning blow was when I came back from a 2-week vacation, and found the nozzles so badly clogged that multiple runs of the cleaning procedure did not help. I deep-sixed it (I wouldnt want to even give it to anyone) and went back to HP. You generally can clean their nozzles by placing the cartridge working-end down on a damp (not soaking-wet) paper towel for 20 or 30 minutes.

Replacing the cartridges will not help the clogged nozzles in Epson or Cannon printers, whereas it will for HP printers. I doubt that removing the cartridges for periods of inactivity will help either; there probably will still be ink in the tube that can dry and clog. In fact, it may be worse as the entire tube may clog.

Use of third-party inks was discussed, but no mention was made of the type of prints you desire. Do you want photographic archival qulity that will last for decades, or do you only need relatively short-term quality as for many business presentations? For archival quality, I would be wary of third-party inks, whereas they may be fine over the short term. The early inks from the manufacturers themselves held their color balance for only a year or so; now the photo inks can last for decades when used eith the proper paper. I have not tested lasting quality myself, but from what I read, Epson inks probably have the edge in this respect, but with Cannon and HP close behind. (This may change at any time as they are all working on better ink formulations.)

With ink-jets, you must consider the ink and paper combination. For archival prints, you need photo paper and dye-based inks. For black text on ordinary paper, pigment-based ink is better. For this reason, most new printers can take two types of black cartridge; you use the one appropriate for the job.

Bob suggested that perhaps a color laser would better fit your needs, and I second that. A membe of my users group recently got a Konica color laser for less than $400, and I would judge the color prints on ordinary paper to be at least as good as ink jet prints on the same paper. I have not seen any prints made on photo paper, but my guess is that they would not be as good as ink jets because photo paper is made specifically for ink. Although the initial cost of a laser is higher, the overall cost is reportedly less as toner produses many more prints than does ink. The downside is that it is slow for color prints. It makes three passes -- one for each color --and prints only about 4 or 5 ppm. Monochrom printing is, however, up to 20 ppm.

Hope this gives you some food for thought on printer and ink selection.


Collapse -
Is Epson C86 an improvement over C80?
by niwhsreg / June 18, 2005 8:00 AM PDT

I had an Epson C80 (bught at $150 in 2001) for 4 years for printting mostly text, some graphics on plain paper and occasionally a photo or two. I was rather pleased with the image quality for my work and willing to spend the $ for one set of ink cartridges (~$55) every 6 month. Yes, I've had my shares of clogging problems, too, about average judging from what I read from this forum..even managed to clean the nozzles by gently wiping the inner tips with lint free paper dampened by alcohol and extended the life for 15 months. Well, the other day the megenta inkjet(75% full) was clogged, and could not be clean by repeated head cleaning. So I attempted the nozzle clean several time to no avail. Meanwhile, the black inkjet (50%) showed up as empty. Removing it, shaking and reinserting only made things worse. Thinking that this unit probably reached end of life, I decided to get a new printer, after all, I have gotten longer than average use from it.

I bought an Epson C86 (at $60 after rebate), the closest model to C80 in the Fry's I went to. During installation, the ink cartridges would not fit in snugly enough for the lid to latch close. I reseated them and was able to close the lid with some force. But then the inks would not charge, and the computer could not communicate with the printer on the LP1 port. This one is going back to the store.

It was at this point that I tured to the CNET reviews on printers. From the user review of C86 (rated 6.2 vs. 5.0 for C80), opinions varied widely, ranging from ''Great printer for the price!'' to ''Three bad units in a row, don't buy it''. Obviously, there is a quality/reliability issue with C86, not just with the unit I bought. But, there were others who bought good units and were extremely happy as I was hoping to be.

So I am posing the question to this forum in hopes of getting more comprehenbsive coverage on your experience (workmanship, reliability, performance, etc.,) with C86, and its suitablity for my type of usage. Also, are there other printers out there (up to ~$150) that could serve my purposes better? If the ink/toner would cost less than what I used, even better.



Collapse -
C80 suffers from faulty engineering
by timbeauz / June 16, 2005 7:08 AM PDT

My unit clogged shortly after warranty period ended. I called Epson, then called the repair facility they suggested. The repair facility informed me that the Epson print head cleaning mechanism has faulty engineering in the C80. Their advice: junk the unit and buy a new Epson
C86. Yeah, that'll happen...

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


Want to see the future of car technology?

Brian Cooley found it for you at CES 2017 in Las Vegas and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.