ET-7750 Ink pool at hub causing ink smearing?

Milena

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Hello all,

I just created an account because I'm hoping someone here can help me out. I actually have multiple questions.

Since the beginning of 2019 I have an Epson ET-7750 which works fine in general, very happy with it.
However, this ink pad (I'm not sure what it's called) where the printhead rests keeps getting filled with ink residue on the left side of the pad (Please see the images I have attached under the spoiler tag). This is not after a few cleaning cycles or anything, this is purely from printing! I think it cleans itself from time to time, but I did not manually let it clean/waste ink in the past few months.

1. What can I do to prevent this? Can I use a certain liquid to clean this pad so it doesn't build up again? What is causing this, anyway?

I think this is the cause of the ink smearing problems I'm getting from time to time. I have cleaned the printhead before with a paper towel and have ''cleaned'' the pad by letting a paper towel suck up some of the ink. Also, the maintenance box is not full yet. And I have had this problem since the beginning. It just didn't cause smears as often before.

2. Is there a proper way to move the printhead to the left side to get access to its ''hub''? I do not like unplugging the printer while it's printing, because after I turn it on again it takes a long time before it is ready to go again, making lots of noises. Once it didn't even want to print until I restarted it twice. Very worrisome!

3. Sometimes the rollers catch ink as well. Well I think it's certain rollers since when that happens it'll leave 1 or 2 straight stripes behind on the print. Which ones are these and how do I clean those? I find it hard to clean inside the printer.

In the last year of having the printer I haven't printed a lot (but kept it going and clean). From now on I will print larger quanities so I cannot have this problem where it creates a pool of ink and get ink smears on my prints. I mostly print on glossy paper with the ''Epson Paper Glossy'' setting to create stickers.

Thank you in advance for helping me! I will actively follow this thread so if you have questions, need more information or photos; just ask!

1. Paper towel 2. Photo from today (the bright one) and 3. Photo from a few months ago (the darker pic). 4. Example of 'minimal' ink smearing
IMG_5233.JPGIMG_6689.JPGIMG_4243.JPGinksmears.jpg
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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2. Is there a proper way to move the printhead to the left side to get access to its ''hub'
You wouldn't need to print anything - just go through the power off/on cycle, and pull the power cord once the head starts moving. You then can move the head freely from right to left.

What is the status of the printer - did you replace the waste ink box already ? Or what is the status ?
You may run the WICReset uitlity which lets you read out the status of the waste ink counter and the number of pages printed with the status report.
- Which paper type do you select via the driver mainly - normal paper/matte of glossy ?
- There is a wiper, a rubber lip attached to the left side of the box with the foam pad wiping off ink from the nozzle plate, so there is more ink residue on the left side, but you are right - it appears to be too much, it should be sucked away by a pump underneath and fed into the waste ink box.
- Ink stains - do you have the impression that the paper gets wavy during the print process so that ink smudge gets transferred onto the paper ?
- You are speaking about labels/stickers you are printing - such material is typically thicker than regular paper or photo paper, you may try a test with the 'envelope' paper setting which incrreases the platen gap .
 

Milena

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Hello, thank you for your reply : -)

You wouldn't need to print anything - just go through the power off/on cycle, and pull the power cord once the head starts moving. You then can move the head freely from right to left.
So cutting the power is the only way? That's a shame, but okay. I will pull the power cord when it's powering on instead of when it's printing.

What is the status of the printer - did you replace the waste ink box already ? Or what is the status ?
You may run the WICReset uitlity which lets you read out the status of the waste ink counter and the number of pages printed with the status report.
I downloaded the WICReset utility and followed the instructions (Disabling Epson Monitor and restarting printer) but I can't get it to tell me the status of the waste ink counter. When I press Printer Data > Check Waste Counters it tells me it's ready to print and 'no data available'. I don't think the printer is supported.

MaintenanceboxLife.PNG

Here's an image of the Epson software. This is the box that was already in it when I got the printer. It's getting low, but when it was at 50~75% there was ink residue on the pad, too.

Code:
    Model Name    ET-7750 Series   
    Status    Printer is ready to print   
    Firmware ver.    PS05JC 05/12/2019   
    Serial Number     
    Print Head ID    1967A40474DUUVTTVRRZUUVYSSUWS0+   
    First TI received time    23/08/2020   
    Manual cleaning counter    4   
    Timer cleaning counter    5   
    Ink replacement cleaning counter    0   
    Total print pass counter    28870   
    Total print page counter - front feed lower    539   
    Total print page counter - front feed upper    61   
    Total print page counter - rear    4294967295   
    Total print page counter - duplex    98   
    Total print CD-R counter    0   
    Total scan counter    82   
    Maintenance box replacement counter    1   
    Ink replacement counter - black    1   
    Ink replacement counter - photo black    1   
    Ink replacement counter - yellow    1   
    Ink replacement counter - magenta    1   
    Ink replacement counter - cyan    1   
    Last printer fatal error code 1    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last printer fatal error code 2    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last printer fatal error code 3    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last printer fatal error code 4    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last printer fatal error code 5    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last scanner fatal error code 1    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last general fatal error code 1    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last general fatal error code 2    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last general fatal error code 3    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last general fatal error code 4    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.   
    Last general fatal error code 5    0x00 Fatal error does not occur.
This status report is way off though - there is no way I have 4294967295 rear prints. Maybe 50 tops. The front feed counter looks correct.

- Which paper type do you select via the driver mainly - normal paper/matte of glossy ?
For matte sticker paper I choose ''Plain paper''. For photo paper including printable vinyl I choose ''Epson Photo Glossy''.
A week ago I was able to print on very thick vinyl and (more than 300 grams) on the ' Epson Photo Glossy' settings just fine. But once the printhead gets dirty... well. It smears. But because I'm able to print on thick paper without issues and not even using the ' Envelope' setting, I think the paper is not the problem here. Just the printhead getting dirty from the ink residue that gets build up.

- There is a wiper, a rubber lip attached to the left side of the box with the foam pad wiping off ink from the nozzle plate, so there is more ink residue on the left side, but you are right - it appears to be too much, it should be sucked away by a pump underneath and fed into the waste ink box.
Oh I see why it's on the left then. How can I clean it properly?

- Ink stains - do you have the impression that the paper gets wavy during the print process so that ink smudge gets transferred onto the paper ?
Not that I have seen. I've been staring at it with the lid open and as far as I can see the paper stays flat during the printing process.

- You are speaking about labels/stickers you are printing - such material is typically thicker than regular paper or photo paper, you may try a test with the 'envelope' paper setting which incrreases the platen gap .
Typically it is yes, but I'm using very thin paper actually. It's very similar to my Epson photo paper. I don't think the thickness of the paper is the issue, because it doesn't always smear. When it smears, it's at particular spots which makes me think there's some ink on the printhead where it shouldn't be. After I clean everything it's fine for a while.

I think I just need to find a way to clean that build up ink / clogged inkpad(?) and prevent it from happening again so the printhead doesn't get dirty and stains the paper? o:
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I was using an ET7750 for a while some time ago but do not recall such an ink smear build up on the cleaning pad.
Your usage rate is not particularly high, are you printing mainly with the normal paper setting ? Could you change to a glossy paper setting for your labels - so basically avoiding the normal paper setting? The question is whether the dye ink leftovers are pumped away easier than the ink smudge from the pigment inks for normal paper.
Can you put a few ml of water onto the foam pad with a syringe and needle to check if it gets pumped away during the normal operating cycle ?
Or the ink flow from the pump underneath to the waste ink box may be impeded to restrict a proper ink flow there, you may change the maint. box to see if that makes a difference.
And you can wipe off the foam pad with a piece of kitchen paper towel now and then.
You may check if the printer still is covered by warranty.
 
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Milena

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I was using an ET7750 for a while some time ago but do not recall such an ink smear build up on the cleaning pad.
Your usage rate is not particularly high, are you printing mainly with the normal paper setting ? Could you change to a glossy paper setting for your labels - so basically avoiding the normal paper setting? The question is whether the dye ink leftovers are pumped away easier than the ink smudge from the pigment inks for normal paper.
Can you put a few ml of water onto the foam pad with a syringe and needle to check if it gets pumped away during the normal operating cycle ?
Or the ink flow from the pump underneath to the waste ink box may be impeded to restrict a proper ink flow there, you may change the maint. box to see if that makes a difference.
And you can wipe off the foam pad with a piece of kitchen paper towel now and then.
I think it's pretty 50/50 on the matte and glossy part. I mainly print on glossy paper with the glossy setting, but here and there I print on matte sticker paper (plain paper setting) and also on normal paper for testing purposes. So I'm not sure what we're seeing here - dye or pigment ink. I guess I can print on glossy settings only, just for a while, but I have no clue how fast it normally builds up.

At what part of the printer process does the pump suck in the ink? I'm willing to put a few ml of water on the pad, but I will have to use a monojet since I don't have a syringe and needle (yet). And do you have any recommendations for a cleaning solution I can use i nthe future?
Luckily I still have some empty ink bottles I can put the dirty water back into after cleaning, so I might give it a go later this afternoon. : -)
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Don't use a mono jet , don't spray any water around, rather take a spoon ful of water or window cleaner.
The pump is underneath the cleaning pad and driven by a motor via a clutch, this motor moves as well the cleaning unit up and down.
There are several mechanical actions at power up like moving the printhead across the printbed looking for the base printing position, and there some short cleaning actions, ther maintenance manual would tell you the details.
The question is whether the ink smudge is left over from the pigment ink print cycles or both dye and pigment, or ones leaves more than the other.
 

Milena

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Don't use a mono jet , don't spray any water around, rather take a spoon ful of water or window cleaner.
The pump is underneath the cleaning pad and driven by a motor via a clutch, this motor moves as well the cleaning unit up and down.
There are several mechanical actions at power up like moving the printhead across the printbed looking for the base printing position, and there some short cleaning actions, ther maintenance manual would tell you the details.
The question is whether the ink smudge is left over from the pigment ink print cycles or both dye and pigment, or ones leaves more than the other.
Already used the monojet, sorry (which isn't a spray by the way. It's very similar to a syringe with a blunt needle). Oh well. :rolleyes: I removed the ink residue and ''cleaned'' the pad 3 times by adding water and sucking it back into the monojet. It looks clean now, but I don't know if it's actually cleaner other than the build up being gone since the water kept turning intense black. It's not like the water got cleaner. Maybe I was also sucking out some ink from underneath the pad? I have no idea.

Here are some pictures of how it looked with the water on the pad and after repeating the process 3 times:
IMG_6711.JPG IMG_6715.JPG

I haven't tried putting water on the pad and turning on the printer to see if the pump works correctly, though. Might try that tomorrow if I have time.

Today I also cleaned underneath the printhead with a paper towel. After that, I noticed some of the black (dye) nozzles are clogged after printing a nozzle check, but that's a ''problem'' for tomorrow as well... 😅 The actual testprint I just did was on glossy paper with the glossy setting (so it used the pigment black) and it came out perfect.
 

turbguy

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Given all of the above, I would say you have an issue with the waste ink removal system after the "parking pad". Either a clog in that system, or a poorly operating pump. I would flood the pad with a standing pool of Original Windex, let it sit for a hour, run a cleaning cycle, and re-inspect the pad to see if the pool is totally gone. Repeating several times. If the pool persists, there is a problem with the system. If the pool clears, it's operating properly.

Hopefully, the Windex will soften and clear an obstruction (if that is the problem).

If the pool continues to persist, you may have to service (disassemble/inspect/repair) the printer.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Could you check the warranty status of your printer ? I would consider it a case for warranty by Epson.
The water won't get 'cleaner' , that would not be a problem.
on glossy paper with the glossy setting (so it used the pigment black)
The glossy paper setting uses the dye inks only - CMY + dye black - the normal paper , matte paper /inkjet paper/archival matte paper settings use the pigment ink
 

Milena

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Given all of the above, I would say you have an issue with the waste ink removal system after the "parking pad". Either a clog in that system, or a poorly operating pump. I would flood the pad with a standing pool of Original Windex, let it sit for a hour, run a cleaning cycle, and re-inspect the pad to see if the pool is totally gone. Repeating several times. If the pool persists, there is a problem with the system. If the pool clears, it's operating properly.

Hopefully, the Windex will soften and clear an obstruction (if that is the problem).

If the pool continues to persist, you may have to service (disassemble/inspect/repair) the printer.
Let's hope it's not the latter... not looking forward to having to send it in.
I'll get a substitute for Windex (Glassex, they don't sell Windex here) and see what that'll do. Wednesday is the earliest I can try, so I will report back then.

I'm kinda wary of the pad overflowing, so I guess I will need to use a little less than I did before (see pictures)?
And by cleaning cycles you mean 'head cleaning' yeah? Sorry, I just don't know how to handle printers well. Afraid of breaking it somehow.

Could you check the warranty status of your printer ? I would consider it a case for warranty by Epson.
The water won't get 'cleaner' , that would not be a problem.
I just checked the warrenty using the serial number and it's telling me the following:
Standard Warranty:
WR1 (1 year return to base)

And that it is not registered... pretty sure I did but ok. We have a legal warranty period of 2 years here anyway (so until 25-01-2021).
Edit: That might have been a cashback registration only. I will give Epson a call tomorrow to see if I can still register it.
Edit 2: Just registered it online. Hopefully I'll receive a confirmation e-mail later.

The glossy paper setting uses the dye inks only - CMY + dye black - the normal paper , matte paper /inkjet paper/archival matte paper settings use the pigment ink
Oops, for some reason I always get confused which is which.
 
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