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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Printer head cleaning?

    Before I give up on my Epson C-80 Printer, I thought it might be worth posting my question here to see if anyone has a solution to my problem. The printer is about 1 1/2 years old. It worked fine for most of that time and then it started printing those awful horizontal lines across the page. After running the drivers head cleaning utility about a dozen times, replacing the all the cartridges, etc., with no results, I called Epson Tech Support who told me that I would have to send the printer to an authorized dealer and have the print head serviced to the tune of $100 plus shipping. <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/drop.gif>

    I feel that it would be unwarranted to spend that kind of money to resolve this problem. What I am hoping for is that someone has found a way to successfully clean the print head manually to restore it to a usable state.

    What I have been told is that most all inkjet printers are susceptible to this problem when they aren't used on a regular basis. So, being able to clean the heads manually seems like a valuable thing to know how to do.

    Any help out there?

    Jeff
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  2. #2
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    Have you cleaned the "Spittoon"?

    It is the little cup that the heads are parked in. It can fill up with ink and will leave a deposit on the heads. Then the head Will drag across the paper and leave these lines.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    Dave,

    No, I haven't done that. But I will definitely give it a try. I'm assuming that it is nothing more than a piece of sponge? The big question is, how do you access it since the print head carrier sits on top of it when the printer is idle. It might be possible to move the print head over, as when replacing cartridges and gain access that way. I'll simply have to take a look.

    To be honest, although this may be a contributing factor, and it is probably good that it be cleaned, I doubt this is the problem For when I print out the "test page" which amounts to two parallelograms with dashed lines printed in the 4 colors, the black is fine but the colors are only partially printed, e.g,. gaps between the dashes or no color at all. This is true even after just replacing all the cartridges this evening.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  4. #4
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    Jeff, I too have had this problem with an Epson C60 series printer. Vertical black stripes on the page, and poor rendition of colors after numerous head cleanings and cartridge replacements. Given the price of printers these days. it's not cost effective to take up Epson on their suggestion to have it serviced for $100 USD. You can replace it for less than that.

    If you want to attempt it yourself, get some isopropyl alcohol, long cotton swabs (available at most computer and office supply stores), gather up some patience, and dig in. If you feel confident with a screwdriver, break out as many parts as you can, focusing on the rollers and capstans inside, as well as the printer carriage itself. Allow the alcohol-wiped parts to dry and reassemble.

    Here's hoping that you can get it working without a significant investment in a replacement. <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>
    -Mark

  5. #5
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    Mark,

    I hear ya! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> We also had a C-60 and it was doing the same thing. So we got rid of it, kept the C-80, which is a much nicer printer and bought a new Canon i850. Now THAT'S a great printer. Still, the C-80 is worth keeping if I can resolve the horizontal lines. There is no way I'm going to pay Epson $100 plus shipping to fix a printer that is less than 2 years old and which I can replace for a bit more money. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  6. #6
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    Sounds like a pattern with Epson machines. And to think I purchased one based on the name reputation (they were hot stuff in the Apple IIe days). I figure I've purchased my C60 many times over in ink alone, at the ridiculous prices they charge for consumables. I wonder if (nay, I'm sure) there is a website with some consumer feedback on these particular machines....

    Well, at least you're not alone in scoffing at Epson. Misery loves company. <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  7. #7
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    <hr>I figure I've purchased my C60 many times over in ink alone, at the ridiculous prices they charge for consumables.<hr>
    Ain't that the truth. If you are looking for the best deals and quality for replacement ink cartridges, I haven't found any place as good as this one: Abacus 24-7. If you go there and look up, e.g., my Canon i850, a complete set of 4 cartridges only cost $7.95. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> You read it right, $7.95. And they work better than the factory ink cartridges. <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/BigThumbUp.gif>

    I have been using Epson for 6 years (4 different printers) and bought both the C-60 and C-80 on reputation and good personal experience. But I don't think I am going to buy another after having both of these units crap out so quickly.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    > Sounds like a pattern with Epson machines.

    I had one that was not used for at least a year. I cannot get it to print black, so I have to copy everything to Word and make it more colorful. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> Needless to say, it's only for occasional use now. I will try the alcohol trick.

  9. #9
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    <img src=/S/rofl.gif border=0 alt=rofl width=15 height=15> Just make sure that you save the good alcohol for yourself, in case the cleaning alcohol doesn't work!
    -Mark

  10. #10
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    I'm pretty sure that's not a Q-tip at the bottom of my Jose Cuervo...



    Yes, I know, the worms are in mezcal, not tequila, but mezcal is kinda nasty, IMHO

  11. #11
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    <hr>long cotton swabs<hr>
    Any cleaning material should ideally be "lint free", otherwise you may end up with a worse result than what you have already.

    The UK consumer magazine "Which?" calculated that, per unit of volume, inkjet cartridge ink costs several times the price of vintage champagne!.

    We are in a loss-leader marketing environment (in the UK, at least):<UL><LI>Inkjet printers are nearly free; the inkjet cartridges are very expensive<LI>Blood glucose monitoring meters are nearly free; the diagnostic strips are very expensive<LI>Mobile phones (cellphones) are often nearly free; actually using them is expensive<LI>Personal computers are nearly free (?!); operating system and Office software are very expensive<LI>Talk is free; but wisdom and knowledge are expensive[/list]
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  12. #12
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    John,

    That is so true. If you bought 2 sets of factory brand replacement ink cartridges, you could have purchased a new printer which comes with a set of ink cartridges. (assuming you don't have a very expensive printer, of course).

    However.... back to the topic! I found this to be a possible solution (no pun intended): Epson Printhead Cleaning Kits. I'm assuming they also sell kits for other makes as well. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  13. #13
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    I have the Canon bjc- 600e. I want to find out WHY after not using the printer for a while I replaced all 4 cartridges and now only the yellow works. I ran the cleaning cycle but didn't help. Any suggestions? <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20> regnel

  14. #14
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    You could try removing them and cleaning the print heads VERY CAREFULLY yourself with link-free media. Beware, printer ink gets everywhere, not just (or in your case, even!) on the paper...
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Printer head cleaning?

    Mark,

    You are right on with your cleaning advice, except for the use of "long cotton swabs" They definitely are not lint free devices.
    The best is to use a chamois or foam type swab, ( they come in 6" lengths ). they are designed to do just that type of cleaning, not only on printer heads but also on video and audio head cleaning. Alcohol is good, but get the 90%, not the usual 70% kind.

    A good source of the swabs are at MCM Electronics, which also carries a large assortment of other quality electronic "goodies". Check it out at MCM <img src=/S/bravo.gif border=0 alt=bravo width=16 height=30>

    Bob
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