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how to diagnose true clogs vs air bubbles using nozzle check

Discussion in 'Epson InkJet Printers' started by Paul W., Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Jan 2, 2017
    Paul W.

    Paul W. Fan of Printing

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    Happy New Year, folks!

    I've searched quite thoroughly before posting this, but it's my understanding that if the nozzle check gaps retain the same position from several checks that we have a true ink clog. Whereas if the gaps vary their position in successive checks we have an air bubble - because the air tends to move around.

    Is this so? And while we're at it, any simple and safe tips on clearing the air out would be appreciated. I've tried using a syringe to "push" and "pull" on a head's nipples but I'm reluctant to use it. We're supposed to "not push too hard", but that's rather subjective.

    Thank you!

    Paul
     
  2. Jan 2, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    When missing nozzles are moving around during several cleaning cycles and nozzle checks you only can assume that the overall ink flow is impeded, that blockage can be anywhere between the printhead and the cartridge - insufficient flow from the cartridge , the cartridge outlet is not positioned properly, ink deposits in tubing, clogged filters in refill cartridges and some more. Newer Epson printheads have very fine filters in the printhead just before the ink is distributed to the piezo elements. And when you have a blob sitting on this filter it is obvious that it won't pass through the nozzles anymore. The only way, if at all is trying to remove that blockage by sucking it backwards. So it would be recommended to first pull and then push the syringe, I'm filling some cleaning liquid into the syringe, and the last action should be a push to fill the ink path with some liquid, cleaner in this case to keep bubbles away. I have been quite succcessful in the past with this method, but overall I just keep my printers printing to avoid idle time issues.
     
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  3. Jan 2, 2017
    Reginaldo P Martins

    Reginaldo P Martins Newbie to Printing

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    Paul,
    I have been working with some printers, dye, solvent, uv and latex and most of the time some bubbles get into the intake position and stay there.
    With Printer off, purge the line and printhead with air til just air is on the printhead nozzles, then fill it with fresh ink.
    Some printheads, like bubblejet ph, could no work dryed.
    Another way is to suction the printhead front plate, but it is too dangerous. Some PH are so delicates that it coudl destroy the front plate of ph.

    BR, Happy New 2017.
    Reggie
     
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  4. Jan 3, 2017
    Larryb

    Larryb Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Paul,

    Be extremely careful with the sucking and pushing with a syringe on the printhead. A couple of years ago I got a cheap clogged R2880. I got it to play with and learn on. I learned that you can blow internal seals if you use too much pressure when you suck backwards or push forwards.

    I also noted something no one has ever talked about. If you look carefully at each nipple on the printhead where the cartridge sits, you will see four holes in each nipple. On that clogged R2880, one or more of those holes were completely clogged by the colour inks. I soaked those nipples for several days at a time with piezoflush, and nothing freed up. That said, if you suspect an internal clog, I'd be more inclined to prepare carts with piezoflush, install them on the printer and either do an Ink charge (for printers with stationary carts + ink lines) or 2 clean cycles (for printers with carts on the print head). Then I'd let it sit a few days sitting in piezoflush. After that, I'd do a nozzle check and see. Keep in mind that piezoflush is less viscous than our inks (no solids in suspension), so if there is a minor clog in the filter screen you may get a good nozzle check with piezoflush, but not with ink.

    I like my R2000 for piezography because I can very quickly hibernate it with piezoflush. Then I bring out the piezo inks for a few weeks while I so some black and white printing, then hibernate it again. I guess if I were a business, I wouldn't be hibernating it in piezoflush all the time though.

    I hope this makes sense for you. At least I didn't include any blurry pictures this time!

    Larry
     
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  5. Jan 3, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    I think the above postings show that there are plenty of different reasons how clogs can occur. Cleaners help in some of these situations, but as they are advertised such a cleaner appears to be like printer snake oil for every type of problem. About every ink company offers a special cleaner with some miracle capabilities when it comes to clogs, I sometimes wonder that companies promising the least clogs with their inks at the same time offer a cleaner removing every type of clog... when I buy their inks would I need to buy a bottle of their cleaner at the same time - just in case ? I have not seen any testing of the efficiency of such cleaners so far which probably would be difficult anyway, but a review of the secret ingredients could give some insight whether one has more cleaning/diluting/dissolving power than another one.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2017
    Paul W.

    Paul W. Fan of Printing

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    Thanks all,

    As they say, "What's a body to do?" !! Sounds more and more like a dark science. You have to keep at your fingertips a variety of approaches and add a healthy dose of experience and gut instincts as to which path to pursue. I'm not real strong on experience!

    Just this morning my 1430 shows a totally blank nozzle check for the K cartridge. I'm using IJM's Ink-Thrift CL ink... while rather inexpensive compared to other inks and cartridges, a software clean does use ink. What is it about that black position that seems so vulnerable?

    One little tidbit, in terms of ISF's recent post, I'm hearing that Piezoflush contains no ammonia. IJM claims that ammonia is harmful to, what was it, aluminum in the head? Interesting because many of these various cleaning fluids, and homebrews, do contain ammonia. Anyone have thoughts on this?
     
  7. Jan 3, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    Piezoflush is labelled as a clean, flush and storage fluid, When it comes to ammonia it is most likely a question of the exposure time, short cleaning cycles may be o.k. but not to be used as a storage fluid.
     
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  8. Jan 4, 2017
    Larryb

    Larryb Getting Fingers Dirty

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    In another thread you commented on how the cartridges had been trimmed already. Was this on your colour 1430, or you B&W printer? I'm wondering if you ever checked the exit port of this particular K cartridge.

    I never asked you how old your ink was. I have some bottled fountain pen ink that started to clump. If I use it in my pen, it skips, and stops writing. Would expired Ink-Thrift CL ink clump? Would the clumps be large enough to form clogs? Perhaps this is a question to ask IJM, but I can already predict their answer (throw it out and buy some new stuff).

    As for ammonia based cleaners, the ammonia does react with copper, and other metals that may be inside the head. Copper will become copper (II) hydroxide. Also, I don't know what metals are used in the piezoelectric element of Epsons printheads. Short term use may be OK, but what if you don't get all the ammonia away from the copper in time? Despite the praise ammonia gets as a cleaner, I'm very scared to use it.

    Larry
     
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  9. Jan 6, 2017
    Paul W.

    Paul W. Fan of Printing

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    @Larryb: First, I apologize for my long delay thanking you for that reminder. As I recall, what looked like the already-trimmed cart was in my 1400, and yes, it was old. It was Eboni, from MIS, and several months beyond its expiration date and almost empty. I'm about ready to dump it, I was probably being too cheap, trying to get the most our of that pint. Looks like I've paid the price. I have a set of new refillable carts from IJM and a fresh pint of Eboni from MIS. So I'd like to see how these behave and then I'll see if I need to trim those carts. Again, thank you for remembering where we left off!

    Regards,

    Paul
     
  10. Jan 6, 2017
    martin0reg

    martin0reg Printer Master

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    ..before you dump it, you may use it as testbed for cleaning an ink channel by "push and pull"..
     
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