Epson 1430 sudden complete clogging or air in print heads

DonC

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I'm using refillable carts with precision colors inks. I hadn't printed in about 2 weeks which is usually fine, I printed a full page photo that came out ok. The next morning I tried to print and got problems. The nozzle check showed almost no lines of Light Magenta or Cyan. Checked that carts were full, removed and reseated them a few times, removed the fill caps to help them vent a bit, ran cleaning cycles, no luck. Let it sit overnight and the nozzle check showed a few scattered lines. After another cleaning cycle nozzle check sows zero lines, as if the carts are not providing any ink.

Suggestions are most welcome.

Thanks
 

mikling

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Remove carts.
Check that the air vent rubber plug is not present, the one in the corner and normally is clear colored. Note there are two rubber plugs when delivered. You are supposed to remove ALL the clear ones and the colored ones are through which you refill.
Check the carts physically have ink.
Instructions were included in the delivery.
Read the PDF
 

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DonC

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Carts are full, reservoirs have ink, but I re-primed them just in case, and yes, the vent plugs are off. I've been using them for two years with only sporadic clogging that cleaning cycles usually were able to solve fairly easily.

Should I move on to a flush?
 

DonC

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So after reading what I could find I decided to try to force some ink through the print head by applying air pressure to the cartridge vent. this did work partially, but I still have air moving around causing shifting missing lines on the nozzle check. Is there another way to get air out of the print head? Should I force ink through again?
 

mikling

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Sounds like you need to establish exactly where the problem is.
!. Determine that carts are functioning properly and air channels will allow air to enter and ink to exit. - Remove the carts and using a syringe and priming tip, suck some ink out of the cart from the exit. This will confirm that ink can exit and air can enter the cart. Check that the rubber ring seals on the bottom of the cart is OK.

2. get a digital scale. Weight each cart to within 0.1 gram. Install, perform a couple of head cleans and weigh each one. Did ink exit from each cart? Did each cart lose ink? If the carts lost ink, then one can ascertain that the carts are flowing ink through...the printhead is not clogged. For all readers, Epson printheads do not go from printing one day to clogged the next..it is something else happening.

Is the nozzle check still bad? If so, then I would tend to think that there is either something wrong electronically or that there is an air lead somewhere. The fact that you are getting some lines in the nozzle checks where it did not exist before tells me that electronically the nozzles can fire when it has ink in the chamber. This then leads me to the next conclusion,,.....that the printhead delaminated or cracked and is allowing air to seep in. Delamination is a natural process of failure for Piezo printheads. The 1430 and its predecessors are notorious for delamination especially in the BK and Y channel.

When you force ink inside by pressuring it, this will not cause air to get in, but when the printer vacuum pump works it will pull ink air where there is a gap. Your prior post suggest this is happening.
 

websnail

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One other possibility to consider (although it's something of a long shot)... If the weather has been particularly hot, your ink may have developed algae or similar. The ink age and type is prime for biological growth and summer is when it's most likely to happen so well worth checking for before you assume the heads has gone bye-bye.

Sucking the ink out of the cartridge, and running it through a coffee filter should help you see if there's anything vaguely solid, wispy or "odd" floating around in there.

If it's confirmed or you're not ready to give up yet, I'd look at manually cleaning the printhead using a passive cleaning process then try installing a cheap set of compatibles to see if the bulk of the nozzles come back. If they do, you need to replace your ink batch and thoroughly clean (or replace) your refillable cartridges. If not, it's entirely possible Mike is right and the heads gone... Why that would happen when you got a good print 24 hours earlier is a bit of mystery though... especially across all channels.

Either way... good luck with it and hopefully it's something relatively benign.
 

DonC

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Thank you both for the advice. Here's a brief update:
1) I had already primed the cartridges - no issue sucking ink out. I then replaced with new identical cartridges, and this did not help. Doesn't seem to be the carts at all.
2) I decided to let the printer sit for 24 hours with the fill plug off the two carts, then ran a few test pages through, then sat another 24 hours. After which I ran nozzle check. Result: Cyan came out almost perfect. Light magenta was still missing lines on the top and bottom, and again the missing lines had shifted.
3) So I decided to run one head cleaning to see if that might help get me all the way. Instead, the next nozzle check came back much worse, for light magenta and cyan. Everything else remained perfect.
4) I repeated the process of gently forcing some ink through via the cartridges' vent holes, this again improved things a little, but only got me roughly back to where I was the last time I tried it.
5) after sitting overnight things hadn't changed much, just the position of the missing lines moved a round a bit. I did a passive cleaning with a paper towel and distilled water, which did not help.
6) tried another cleaning cycle and confirmed this just made it much worse.

So, I am sure that you are right about air getting in somehow as the printer is attempting to pull ink in, . But can delamination really occur so suddenly? Going from working (presumably with the ink that was already sitting in the chamber) to C and LM completely gone overnight, and then only gradually coming back, and only for two colors? I'm totally flummoxed.
 

mikling

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Electronic failure is also a possibility.
If you like this printer, consider a repair because these are no more and there is nothing in the Epson offering that truly replaces it.
 

DonC

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Ok, so I got it working, but I'm not really sure what exactly worked. This technology is really opaque to me.

1) I did a flush with a syringe and tubing only on light magenta (other carts still in place) - first sucking up whatever was in the print head and getting rid of it, then pushing through 10% alcohol solution. The result was that things were much worse - no LM and missing lines on every color.
2) I reinstalled the cartridge then forced a good bit of LM and C through into the print head by again forcing air through the cartridge vent holes.
3) the next nozzle check showed a lot of contamination between channels but was better overall
4) took the fill hole plugs off all the carts
5) printed some test pages on photo quality which came out quite well. By the fifth I got a nearly perfect nozzle check.

So bottom line, I have no idea what happened or why what I did helped. The only thing that absolutely did not help was cleaning cycles.
6) praying that this doesn't happen again.

Again, thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Congratulations on getting your printer operational. :clap
 
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