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bottom plate cleaning - ink smudges: print head/purge unit?

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by ikolt, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Jun 4, 2017
    ikolt

    ikolt Printing Apprentice

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    Hello everybody,

    My Pro-10s produces excellent prints and I am quite satisfied with it. However, after "bottom ink cleaning" (a maintenance operation in the printer driver) the sheet of paper used shows some ink smudges (s. the attached pictures). When doing the cleaning with the top cover lifted (and the cover sensor depressed) I could see that the ink smudges appear not before the print head is pressed against the paper - at the very end of this maintenance operation. The smudges appear on the paper side facing the print head. So, these are likely not due to a dirty bottom plate but rather due to a dirty surface of the print head (?). I suppose, the ink rests on the print head surface come from a dirty purge unit, where the print head is parked when is not printing. An image of the purge unit is attached. I noticed the smudges a couple of months ago; there were no noticeable changes since that.

    What do you think, guys? Should I just ignore the smudges as I have no "real" printing problems, or better not ignore them - as a real problem may arise in the future when the warranty will expire (the printer is 6 months old). Is the purge unit in a normal state or needs cleaning? Can the problem be caused by leaky carts? I use the original carts refilled with a dribble method and would not expect any problems here. Can the smudges be an indicator of the print head problems? The nozzle check is attached.

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  2. Jun 4, 2017
    kdsdata

    kdsdata Printing Ninja

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    I hope others in this forum weigh in this (my) comment, because in my humble opinion @ikolt may have more than a smudge issue. When I look at the nozzle check I see rectangular patterns for CO. It tells me that the nozzle are not firing correctly, but I couldn't think of anything that would produce this kind of pattern than the motherboard. A loose connection can produce the straight changes, but not the repetitive rectangles. Not good news in any case, because no cleaning can clear that up. However, if your type of print jobs are not particularly bothered by this then you may not need to be concerned. But on quality photos it would show up.

    Regarding the smudges. When the printhead goes into the cleaning position, the scrapers move sideways across the head; you can see the vertical blade-like-brushes. However sometimes a drop on the bottom of the printhead gets to critical size, and the cleaning doesn't clean. It seems to just move the drop, but doesn't remove it. It has to do with "surface tension" of the ink, and the material it touches (engineering talk).

    I would remove the ink cartridges (set them on plastic to keep the openings from drying out anymore that absolutely necessary; also I never lay the cartridge down; I have found too often I get a leak out of the top), then I would remove the printhead by flipping the lever up. I would dab the bottom of the printhead down on a dry napkin. Straight down, I don't wipe. A few dabs should clean the bottom.

    All sorts of advice on the Internet and a whole lots is good. Like wet napkins. For me that would be more for clearing clogged nozzles, but in your case you probably do not want the bottom of the nozzles with "more or thinned" ink.

    In any case I would also advise to not do more than one thing when you clean. If you do you don't really know what worked or if some action was even necessary.

    Lastly, and this may sound trivial, but believe me it isn't, don't mix up the cartridges. Sure, the printer will tell you that you have put the wrong cartridge in a slot, but a dab of the wrong color is already on the wrong pad. Bad news. Again in my humble opinion, you can't recover from a mixed cartridge situation. After that the nozzles will never purge properly to give you pure colors. If it does, you are REALLY lucky.

    Good luck with your cleaning. And please do remember the usual disclaimers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  3. Jun 4, 2017
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Hi @ikolt, you’ve got nothing to worry about at all, for whatever reason you did a bottom clean of your print head and the results you got are perfectly normal, that’s what bottom cleaning does.

    If you wish you can fill both purge pads to over flowing with window cleaner and then run a head clean, that with do several things in one operation, clean your purge pads (Obviously), clean the print head, and rinse out the tubing under the purge unit.

    None of this action is reality necessary because as you say the printer is working fine, and if it ain’t broke, then leave well enough alone, what I did notice was your platen sponges look very grubby, now that’s something you could clean before the underside of your print start to pick up waste ink.

    Your nozzle check again is showing 100%, so whatever you’re doing with your printer, then keep on doing it, because it’s in perfect condition, also resist the temptation to remove the print head, and just let the printer do its own maintenance.. ;)
     
  4. Jun 4, 2017
    kdsdata

    kdsdata Printing Ninja

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    Hi @The Hat, the window cleaner is new to me. I suppose you use a syringe to fill the purge bins. What about after the bottom cleaning? Do you need to remove the excess window cleaner to minimize the drain down into the waste sponge? And what about wiping it off the bottom of the print head?
     
  5. Jun 4, 2017
    ikolt

    ikolt Printing Apprentice

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    Thanks again guys for sharing your expertise and help!
    @kdsdata: rectangular patterns for CO in the nozzle check pattern are normal for Pro10s. I don't think I have ever mixed up the carts. Mainly, my care is on filling the carts with the correct inks. Once, working late at night I did mix up the MBK and PBK inks, so that the MBK cart contained 2.4g of PBK ink after refilling. I did nothing to correct this and didn't notice any degradation in the prints. After that I doubled my concentration when refilling :)
    @TheHat: thanks for the good news!
    I think, for now I will do nothing, as the printer works fine and the smudges should not be an indicator of any serious issues in the future. My bottom sponge is really grubby - this comes from the time I printed borderless much. Once I noticed smudges on the on the underside of the prints. Then, I used paper napkins to soak up the waste inks and did not have a problem since that *and avoid borderless printing).
     
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  6. Jun 4, 2017
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @kdsdate, when you flood the purge pads, in total its about 2 ml of liquid so it’s no big deal, but you can soak up the excess with paper towel to save you worrying and yes you can use a syringe or small spoon, whatever’s handy.

    The Pro 100 is totally different to the Pro 10 inside, the Pro 100 does beautiful glossy prints, and the Pro 10 also does beautiful glossy prints, when longevity is called for, another plus for the Pro 10, the carts are so much easier to fill and no Yello Gello to worry about.

    Now you know which printer to get next, when the wife is not looking... :D
    Mine lent me the cash to get a 3D printer... :hugs
     

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