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Can print head recover from letting magenta run completely dry?

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by Nancy R, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Aug 9, 2018
    Nancy R

    Nancy R Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Hello. I have typically found the answers I needed by searching the forum, so this is the first time I have actually posted a question.

    I have a Canon Pixma Pro-100, about two years old. I ran OEM inks on it for the first 9 months, then switched to original catridges refilled with OctoInkjet inks, and everything ran fairly smoothly. I don't print consistently, and I know that's not a good practice. However, things were going fine until about two or three weeks ago.

    I noticed some streaks in my most brilliant reds and oranges and confirmed a faint narrow streak in the magenta in my nozzle check. (I didn't save the nozzle checks.) I wasn't able to get a good nozzle check pattern after cleaning and deep cleaning, and I abandoned the effort, since the problem only showed up in the most brilliant reds/oranges.

    Then today in the middle of printing a photo, the magentas abruptly lightened. The printer indicated that the photo magenta cartridge was low, and the magenta still okay, so I thought it was the photo magenta that was the problem. So I swapped that cartridge for a filled one, as well as a couple of others that were on the low side. Then I ran the nozzle check and saw that it was the magenta, not the photo magenta that was completely nonfunctional.

    I ran a cleaning cycle, a nozzle check, and then a deep cleaning cycle, then nozzle check. Still no magenta at all.

    So I took out that cartridge to inspect, even though it was not indicated to be low, and I saw that I had tape on the top of the cartridge that may have been blocking the vent. I removed it, blew lightly in the fill hole to make sure the cartidge itself wasn't permanently blocked, confirmed output, refilled it for good measure, and replaced it.

    I did a single nozzle check, and still no magenta.

    I know that letting a cartridge go completely dry can irreparably damage the print head. Essentially, if I blocked the vent so the cartridge couldn't flow properly, then that was the equivalent of a dry cartridge, as far as the print head was concerned.

    So should I try anything else, or give up for lost and replace the printer?
     
  2. Aug 9, 2018
    Nancy R

    Nancy R Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Update: I ran a regular cleaning cycle with no change in the subsequent nozzle pattern, then another deep cleaning cycle. This time, the nozzle check came back to the previous state, with one tiny white streak 3/4 down the magenta band. It's good enough that I can finish my printing project, hopefully.

    But should I soak the print head in ammonia or an ammonia solution to try to unclog the one clogged magenta nozzle or just keep printing lots of stuff involving magenta? Or some other action?
     
  3. Aug 10, 2018
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    Only print nozzle checks until the issue is resolved.

    Is it a correct summation of your issue that tape over the air vent of the Magenta cartridge caused ink starvation (no Magenta printed out) and that once the tape was removed there is a slight but not complete return to Magenta output despite multiple cleaning cycles?

    If so then either some of the Magenta nozzles are burned out or there is still a problem with ink flow in the sponge.

    Ink may take time to equilibrate in the sponge. Wait overnight and then try another nozzle check. Another potential solution is to either flush and refill Magenta or try a known working or new Magenta. Over time, the sponge may become less conducive to ink flow when one refills, often due to drying of ink in the sponge.

    If the Magenta cartridge had its air vent closed then ink eventually stopped leaving the cartridge and the print head was starved of ink. Nozzle burn out is more likely than a clog in this instance. You need ink to form a clog.

    I would wait a night and try a nozzle check again and then scan, crop and post it here. Alternatively, try a new cartridge and you will have your answer whether the print head is damaged or not.

    Do not print anything other than nozzle checks until the issue is resolved.
     
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  4. Aug 10, 2018
    Nancy R

    Nancy R Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Thank you for your help!

    Your summation is correct, although I would say there was an almost complete return of the magenta on the nozzle check except for one thin line. It was very similar to the thin defect I saw a couple of weeks ago.

    I am not sure how long that defect has been there. I hadn't been printing things with large patches of vivid oranges and reds regularly, so I didn't notice anything amiss.

    Unfortunately, I did already finish my printing project after the magenta returned. But I will run the nozzle check tomorrow as you advised and post it here.

    Thank you very much!
     
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  5. Aug 10, 2018
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    You are most welcome. Glad to hear things have improved. :thumbsup

    Since most of the Magenta returned then your nozzle check pattern may represent a clog or a burned out nozzle. A small clog may work itself out over time through regular printing. The best thing for your printer is to use it weekly where all the cartridges are used in printing something, at least a nozzle check.

    Await your nozzle check.
     
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  6. Aug 10, 2018
    Nancy R

    Nancy R Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Hello. The nozzle check this morning appears to me to be identical to the ones I got yesterday and from two or three weeks ago when I first noticed streaks in the red/orange prints. From what you say, a small clog would likely have worked itself out already, so it's more likely to be a burned out nozzle, and then cleaning in ammonia/Windex would do no good. Or maybe I'm jumping to conclusions.

    Meanwhile, likely as a result of the cleaning cycles, my photo cyan has run low. Is it okay to replace that with a filled cartridge at this point?

    And I've heard conflicting advice on whether it's a good idea to replace all the cartridges at once (to save the ink waste pad) or one at a time as they get low.

    I appreciate your input.
     

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  7. Aug 10, 2018
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    Thank you for the nozzle check. The missing ink is apparent. Sometimes small nozzle defects can be overcome by increasing print quality to highest level.

    Maybe, maybe not. This becomes a guessing game. If it is a clog then continued printing other than nozzle checks will eventually cause irreparable damage - burned out nozzles. The reason is that the Canon print head heats up to spit out ink on the paper. The ink is used to cool the nozzles to prevent burn out.

    You could wait another 24-48 hours and try a nozzle check again. However, all the cleaning cycles you have performed do decrease the likelihood that this is a clog and more likely a burned out nozzle(s). Also, it sounds like you've already given the Magenta time to dissolve a clog, or reestablish ink in the channel if air got into the print head.

    At this point, an alternate approach is to soak the print head. My method can be read here. Our Moderator @The Hat introduced this solution, I believe, and he also has soaked for a week with good result.

    If you are going to soak the print head then wait to replace the Photo Cyan till after the soak.

    The current forum wisdom is to replace any cartridge marked as Low, ie well before marked as Empty. The reasoning comes from forum member Mikling, owner-operator of Precision Colors. Continued printing after the cartridge is marked as Low will cause ink in the sponge to be used up without any ink in the spongeless side of the cartridge to replace it. The loss of ink from the sponge lets air begin to dry out residual ink within the sponge which ultimately leads to caking of thickened desiccated ink in and on the sponge. The result is poor flow of ink through the sponge as well as poor uptake of refill ink in the sponge. Replacing or refilling the Low cartridge prevents this drying out issue.

    Replacing all cartridges when one cartridge is marked as Low is, as you said, to delay the filling up of the ink waste pads. Despite the recent discussions on when a purge of ink is done when a cartridge is removed and replaced or returned to the print head, it is a fact that more ink will be purged over time, and your waste ink pad filled up sooner, if you do not replace all cartridges at the same time.

    The next question is whether all this will matter to you. It depends on your tolerance for when you will need to buy another printer. How long until that need arises depends on multiple factors including how much you print, a proxy metric of this would be how often you need to refill/replace a cartridge.
     
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  8. Aug 10, 2018
    Nancy R

    Nancy R Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Thank you for your continued guidance.

    On normal printing, I typically see the thin band defect on photographs, and with high quality printing, I only see it in the vivid reds and oranges, although it's more of a subtle banding than the white streaks.

    I can live with the printer in its current state, as I generally use it for printing graphics and not as often for high quality photographs. Those I send out to a lab, since I am not using OEM inks and can't vouch for longevity.

    I will trying soaking the print head per the instructions you linked.
     
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  9. Aug 10, 2018
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    Let us know what happens. Having patience is key. Also, make sure the print head is dry after flushing before putting back into the printer or water on the circuit board may fry the electronics. Let it dry for a day or two, like you would washed dishes.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. Aug 11, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Ouch.....:hide :oops:
     

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