Epson WF-3640 printing problems

Methodical

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Hello everyone. I have this printer and using aftermarket inks and having printing problems. When I print documents, it does not print the typed words (i.e black typed words). However, if the document has colors, other than black, it prints. For example, when I print the Epson test print page, it prints with no problems. The problem seems to point to the Black ink cartridge, but I don't know what to do to verify or diagnose the problems. What should I check? What is going on? I'd appreciate any assistance.

Thanks...Al
 

stratman

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I am not an Epson user but will provide some ideas I would give to a Canon user as there is/may be crossover here.

  • Scan, crop and post an image of a nozzle check.
  • Are you using OEM or aftermarket cartridges? Do you refill?
  • How long has it been since your last use of the printer before you noticed a problem(s)?
  • What were is the issue? Is it only the loss og Black or other things as well?
  • Did the issue(s) happen suddenly, completely all at once or was there a gradual worsening of the issue(s)
  • Have you tried a cleaning cycle of the Black cartridge?
  • Have you tried a new, never used Black cartridge?

The Epson WF-3640 uses 4 color Pigment ink cartridges. IF the printer specifically uses the Black Pigment ink on Plain Paper for text then maybe your Black cartridge is empty or having ink flow issues.

Determine if there is ink in the cartridge, that it is seated properly in the print head and that there are no external obstructions to ink flow such as on the cartridge or on the print head. Look to see if there is an obstruction to air flow into the cartridge - air must enter into the cartridge as ink is used to equalize pressure within.

However, if the document has colors, other than black, it prints. For example, when I print the Epson test print page, it prints with no problems.
In a Canon printer where the Pigment Black ink cartridge used for text with a Plain Paper setting, changing Paper Setting to a Photo Paper setting will use the other color Dye-based inks to make Black and not use the Black Pigment cartridge at all. Maybe something analogous happens with Epsons. :idunno This is one reason why I asked to see a nozzle check.

Looking on Epson's FAQ for your printer I found this tidbit:

The printer will not operate if a black ink cartridge is expended or any cartridge is removed. If a color cartridge is expended, you may be able to continue printing temporarily with black ink. It's best to always have extra cartridges on hand.
https://epson.com/faq/SPT_C11CD16201~faq-255397

Based on the information you have provided so far, it appears the Black cartridge is seated properly in the print head and as far as the printer is concerned the cartridge has not been marked "empty" yet. Otherwise, the printer would refuse to print anything.

For now, hold off on printing except for what one of the forum members recommends.
 

Methodical

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Thanks for chiming in Stratman. I did some research and found that this printer is known for this problem and many people have complain about this printer. Some have stated that their printer exhibited this problem pretty soon after purchase. I have chosen to cut my loses and not put any time into trying to fix it. I am looking to buy another printer.

Thanks again...
 

mikling

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These are pretty good printers as long as you understand one of it's key weakness. No matter what you do, if you print intermittently with this printer air will enter the printhead and then cause bad nozzle checks. Attempts to clear the bad nozzle checks with head cleans may produce worse results. Eh, I will guarantee it will freak you out as if the printer is going into self destruction.

Perseverance is key here. After a series of head cleans, suddenly everything comes back perfectly because the air has been flushed out. Once you understand that this WILL happen and not fear it, it is fine. I've had mine for about 5 years and I am comfortable with it, It is normal and you just go along with it. It is not the perfect printer but other than the idiosyncrasy described is a keeper.

It also has a maintenance box, so fearing the clean cycles is not a huge deal.

It may take 5=6 head cleaning sometimes to bring it back. Too many people would have given up and called it a day by then but like I said, it's par for the course with this.
 

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This printer was being used regularly at the time it started going sideways and once it started not printing properly, it then sat for awhile, which, based on your response, made it even worse. At that time, I tried many head cleanings and it would not revive it, so it sat in that state.

With that said, which all in one printer do you'll suggest where it doesn't get used heavily on a daily basis that won't need to be looked after like this printer? Is a laser jet printer better suited for this style of printing?

Thanks...Al
 

mikling

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Some members here would recommend a Maxify machine and it is certainly a fine printer that IMO is heavily oriented towards office duty primarily. Photos are blurry and intentionally done so by Canon to not impinge on their photo printer range. If you print a lot and need color that might be the way to go. The duty cycle of the Maxify series is very high and was made for high throughput but it is not a photo printer. Just like an SportUV is never a sports car but it can go fast.

If printing photos are one of the desires of this all in one machine, then the most economical choice is in the Canon range.
Intermittent use and Epson are not good matches.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1tRqxVK_x8&t=199s

The above is one such printer.

Photo quality is such that the average person even with critical inspection of the prints will not see the weakness of the printer relative to something like the Pro-100 or perhaps the Pro-200. Years ago, rear loaders were eliminated by Canon on this category of printer. They are back now. If you print heavier stock or photo paper. This is important.
For intermittent use, this is perfect now. On plain paper, refilled setup tanks can provide around 300 pages of mixed printing with color illustrations etc. So all you will need is a scale and 7/64" drill bit.
 
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stratman

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Photos are blurry
I have a single photo quality comparison between the Maxify, a pigment ink printer, versus another All-In-One the Canon MX860, a dye-based ink printer. Both were running on OEM ink and using Canon Glossy 4x6 photo paper for a portrait of my grand nephews. My sister, their grandmother and no printer aficionado, chose the Maxify image, as did I.

Maybe larger prints have blurriness as you state, but the 4x6 looked quite presentable.

The Maxify is not a photo printer but a workhorse document printer that appears to be reasonable for light photo image duty. It is a niche printer.

The Canon TS8320 specs looks to hit the sweet spot for home image printing along with other AIO functions. It seems the offspring of my old MP830, though the build and a couple other items not as robust appearing.

40 feckin minutes long?
 

Methodical

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Update. I purchased a Brothers Laser printer. The reviews were positive. This type of printer is better suited for family use. We just needed a black and white printer to print regular documents, to make copies and to scan. It's a better fit. The injet printer used for photos is reserved strictly for my use. The Wifey is happy with her printer and I don't have to hear the complaints anymore.

Thanks for chiming in.

PS. I still use the Epson for photo scans.
 

stratman

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All's well that ends well. Congrats! :thumbsup
 

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