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Ink Clog, Bad Cartridge, or Something Else? Opinions Needed

Discussion in 'Epson InkJet Printers' started by Josh Roberge, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. Jul 3, 2018
    berserk

    berserk Printing Ninja

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    R.I.P.

    To Your honer you did far more than was needed - thank the printer what joy it gave when in life.
    Losing a friend IS always hard.

    However - making new friends is a joy!

    Love from Sweden!
     
  2. Jul 6, 2018
    soysauce

    soysauce Printing Apprentice

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    Josh,
    It's encouraging that your "After" picture seems to show that fewer nozzles are clogged than in the "Before" picture. Part of the reason that the black is more faded, in other words more gray than black, could be that the ink from the black cartridge is getting diluted by the fluids you used for cleaning. In my experiments I have intentionally changed ink colors, for example putting blue ink where yellow should be. When I print solid pages of "Yellow" they are yellow at first, and then gradually become blue, but there are always a few horizontal streaks of yellow that persist even after 6 pages of solid color printing. The yellow streaks are always in the same place which I think means that the flow patterns inside the print head are not completely even and some nozzles get the new blue ink earlier than others, which somehow still find a local reservoir of the old yellow ink.
    It takes a lot of time and ink to flush out the old ink (or cleaning solution in your case). Printing 100% solid color pages helps speed up the process. If you decide to print 100% black pages on the WF-3620, set the printer properties to black and white, grayscale, or monochrome only and the paper setting to plain so the printer driver will use only the black ink. Otherwise it may use color ink in addition to make the black even darker.
    You've done a good job trying to save your printer. I've had to give up on 2 WF-3620's already. I had been using ink from Precision Colors. Now in my 3rd WF-3620 I'm using Epson inks, to see if I can get better reliability.
    By the way, the WF-3620 has a much larger waste ink pad/tank than others such as the Epson XP models, so you'll be able to get away with a lot more cleaning cycles before the printer gives you the waste tank full error.
     
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  3. Jul 6, 2018
    Josh Roberge

    Josh Roberge Printing Apprentice

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    Pardon the long length. Just wanted to post the whole journey of what I did, thought it was interesting.

    #1: Hot Distilled water, let it sit in tube for 24 Hours:

    [​IMG]

    #2: After 24 hours, I pulled the water & ink out backwards with syringe. Then flushed 2ML of fresh distilled water through it.


    #3: Wiped under printhead with Windex-soaked towel:



    #4: I then tried the "Let is sit method". Put a new Windex-Soaked towel under printhead, sit for 90 minutes. This was the result:
    (As some advised, I should have removed color cartridges, it pulled out a lot of colored ink.)
    [​IMG]

    #5: Ran a Nozzle check immediately afterwards. It got worse, black is almost invisible:
    [​IMG]

    #6 Ran a Print Head Cleaning Function on printer, then another Nozzle Check. Black is gone!
    [​IMG]

    #7: Waited 2 days to give some time, ran a Nozzle Check. All colors gone now!
    [​IMG]

    #8 Ran a Print Head Cleaning Function on all cartridges. Color is back & perfect. Black still blank!
    [​IMG]

    #9: I then printed full-black pages at "HIGH" setting. After 35 pages, the printer said my black was empty (1%). But no black ever came out! So printer must base ink levels on print count and not an actual sensor check of the ink? I could hear ink swishing around still in the cartridge.
    [​IMG]


    #10: After the 35 blank pages, Printed a Nozzle Check, still came out the same. No black. Colors are perfect.


    #11: Then put in a brand new Epson Brand Black Cartridge, ran a Print Head Cleaning Function, printed a Nozzle Check. Same Result:
    [​IMG]



    #12: Used the WIC Reset Tool to run a Print Head Cleaning on the "Strong" setting, as Ink Stained Fingers suggested to me. then Printed a Nozzle Check..... Magic!!!
    [​IMG]

    Clearly the black is still missing some lines. Wondering what I should try next, a regular Head Cleaning on the printer, or another WIC Reset Head Cleaning on "Strong" ? It's getting close!

     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
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  4. Jul 7, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    I think there is not just/not so much an issue with clogged nozzles anymore but as well an impeded ink flow from these cartridges, such 3rd party cartridges may have (most likey) some foam inside, and when the ink level drops foam tends to equalize the ink density of the residual ink and effectively pulls back the ink from the ink outlet. I would recommend to switch to refill cartridges and doing refill, you can remove a side cover on most of these cartridges and directly see and monitor the ink level, helpful as well when refilling.
     
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  5. Jul 7, 2018
    Josh Roberge

    Josh Roberge Printing Apprentice

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    Interesting. I put a new Epson cartridge in though, ran a head cleaning, and nothing came out.

    Will avoid 3rd party cartridges in future and buy refillables.

    As far as correcting the final black lines, would you advise another WIC cleaning? Or is that too intense for the printer again?

     
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  6. Jul 7, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    a real Epson cartridge - or another new compatible ? I have seen two problems with compatibles - one with the cartridge ventilation - the pull off tab did not open the hole in all cases but left a thin transparent film over it - barely visible - and problems with the ink flow after about 50% usage . O.K. - that was not a problem with all of them but since I'm printing a lot I got to use quite some different types of cartridges from different suppiers.
    It is irritating that the black pattern is disappearing completely over night - or coming back, that is not just a clog, there is something with the ink flow. I'm getting along with refill cartridges much better than with 3rd party ones, with much less problems , they are made for multiple use. But I'm not sure yet whether the expense is worth it for you - assuming there is a risk you won't get the printer working after all.
    You can use another cleaning cycle with WicReset, that utility just makes all command options available for you which the firmware has implemented. Some of those options are otherwise not accessible via the regular driver but only with some Epson maintenance software - like the 'Ink Charge' function. WicReset does not invent new commands or alters the firmware.
     
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  7. Jul 7, 2018
    Josh Roberge

    Josh Roberge Printing Apprentice

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    It was an actual Epson Brand Cartridge I used, bought from store.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  8. Jul 7, 2018
    Josh Roberge

    Josh Roberge Printing Apprentice

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    Uh oh, I spoke too soon.

    So I did another WIC Cleaning, had 79% black left, now it's showing empty, "1%"?? I can't imagine WIC used that much ink.

    Did a Nozzle check after, still has some breaks. :(

    Oh well. Nothing else to be done at this point I guess. You don't think that Ink Charge would do anything at this stage huh?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  9. Jul 10, 2018
    Josh Roberge

    Josh Roberge Printing Apprentice

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    I stubbornly persisted and bought one more cartridge. Flush hot distilled water+windex again. Ran WIC Strong twice...... Same result.
    Never tried "Ink Charge" as I read it can use an entire cartridge, didn't think I'd have ink left to do nozzle check after. Doubt it would make a difference. Threw the printer away already.

    This was my 3rd WF-3620 this happened to. Guess the ink just hardens so much on the head that it's permanent damage.

    Anyhow, Thanks everyone for the feedback throughout this, may have not saved the printer, but still learned a lot about the various methods and solutions.

    Definitely buying a couple refillable cartridges in the future. Then I can fill them with Magic Bullet and run Head Cleanings before storing for long periods to flush ink out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018

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