Pro9000II ink clogs: Do they ever really get cleared?

jjohnl

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I seem to have a new problem with white lines in the C, PC, M, and PM swatches of nozzle checks. So I've been reading threads here and elsewhere about people trying to clean their print heads: they're soaking, and blowing, and sucking, on and on, and I haven't seen any threads where they actually say the problem is fixed.

Anyway, here are my specifics: I'm using a Pro9000MkII, refilling OEM carts with OCP ink for a little over 5 months and no problems whatsoever. (I use Bob P's filling method.) I do a fair amount of printing so I've refilled several times. A couple days ago I was making a test print of the standard image with the 4 little kids at the bottom, and saw lines in their faces. Did a nozzle check and could barely make out very faint white lines in some of the swatches. Checked them with a loupe (that's how faint they are) and the problem is definitely in the C, PC, M, and PM colors. Did 2 regular cleanings and a deep cleaning; no change. Per Canon instructions, I waited 24 hours then did another deep clean. No change. Tonight I replaced all 4 carts with OEM carts and, while it's hard to say definitely because the white lines are so faint, I think the problem's worse with the OEM carts.

So I've been checking out what other people are doing and, like I said, I haven't actually found anybody say they definitely fixed their problem by taking the print head out and cleaning it. Does it happen?

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fotofreek

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Yes, I've cleared clogs in the nozzles with very careful judicious cleaning of the printhead. A few qusetions - What is Bob P's filling method? Approximately how many times have you filled the original OEM carts? Have you ever purged the carts before refilling after lots of refills? A quick way to see if a cart is feeding well is to take the cap off of the ink outlet, hold it over some paper in a wastebasket, and blow very lightly into the air vent. If you have to blow fairly hard to get the cart to drip, it isn't feeding well! If you top-fill, you can open the ink outlet, hold the cart over absorbent paper in a waste basket or sink, open the fill hole, and see if the cart drips easily. If it doesn't, you may have found the cause for the problem. You can then clean the printhead and try the OEM carts again.

There isn't a specific number of refills that and OEM cart can have before purging and starting over. That said, there comes a time when enough ink has dried in the sponge area that the cart doesn't feed as well. If you continue to print and a cart isn't feeding well you risk damaging the nozzles that are fed by a poorly feeding cart.

Search the forum for printhead cleaning techniques and come back with any questions you might have.
 

jjohnl

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After re-reading my original post, I see that I wasn't clear about one thing: In my second paragraph, where I said, "Tonight I replaced all 4 carts with OEM carts..." I wasn't talking about OEM carts that I had refilled; I was talking about OEM carts with OEM ink. I put them aside when I started using OCP ink and they've been kept with the original orange caps on the outputs and the vents sealed well with scotch tape.

Bob P is Bob Petruska. Top filling.

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fotofreek

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I would clean the printhead outside the printer. You may have had poorly feeding carts that cooked some nozzles. http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=57178#p57178 is a post that shows how I've had success. Others may have different views. If you are in the US you will need to buy the original windex with ammonia. If you feel that the cleaning is successful you then need to wash out the windex by gently running warm water through the printhead - directing the water through the ink inlets. You can also rinse the bottom plate. Be careful to not get the electronic contacts on the back wet, and dry them thoroughly before putting the printhead back into the printer.

You didn't answer the question about approximately how many refills you did and if you have ever purged the carts. For photo printing on six or eight cart printers the most used and most refilled carts are the PM and PC, followed by yellow. If the refilled carts were not feeding well you may have starved the nozzles. Hopefully, you've just "cooked" some ink into the nozzles and can clean them.

New printheads for this printer are quite expensive. In the San Francisco Bay Area you can now buy that printer, new and in an unopened box, for about $100. That is less than the price of the inks or the printhead. I may buy another one just to have the printhead on standby.
 

jjohnl

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I really have no idea how many times I've refilled. I've gone through about 3 ounces of OCP yellow (the most) and slightly less of PC and PM, and still slightly less of C and M. (I've kept all my OEM carts and I have more empty yellows than any others; probably because I print a lot of nature photos so there's a lot of green in them. (Seems like I would use more G than anything, but that's the magic of Canon!))

I appreciate the cleaning info; I'll try it and report back.

I would definitely buy a new printer ($138 at B&H) before buying a print head.

Thanks
 

jjohnl

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Just got back from getting the Windex, but there's something I still don't get.
This is the last thing I printed before the test image that showed the white lines.

6091_autumn_ivy_ocp_ultra_perc_2_-_7x9_crop.jpg


As dark as this picture is, any hint of a white line would have been absolutely obvious; I just looked at the print again, and it's perfect. So in the space of maybe a week and a half, I went from perfect prints to, not one, but FOUR nozzles with problems! It wasn't a gradual thing, it just happened all at once. How could that be? Any ideas?
 

stratman

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jjohnl said:
So in the space of maybe a week and a half, I went from perfect prints to, not one, but FOUR nozzles with problems! It wasn't a gradual thing, it just happened all at once. How could that be? Any ideas?
Are you sure it is just 4 nozzles, or, is it 4 cartridges displaying lack of ink in the nozzle check?

If the problem suddenly appeared then you either have an unusual simultaneous small blockages in multiple cartridge channels or an electrical failure (requiring a new print head). Doing more deep cleaning may permanently damage the cartridge if it is not already. try soaking the print head as per discussed earlier.

Please post your nozzle check so we can see what you are talking about.


Nice image of the leaves! :thumbsup
 

jjohnl

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Because it's so hard to see the lines (As I said earlier, I was using a loupe.) I thought it would be best to post just a section of the nozzle check. I had to leave it pretty dark because the nozzle check lays down so little ink that making it brighter pretty much wipes out the lines, but here you can easily see the PM and PC sections. The M and C are similar. Note that the G section is okay. And the face is part of that famous standard test image that first tipped me off that I had a problem.

I agree: No more deep cleaning.

Thanks for the thumbs-up.:)

6091_pmpc.jpg


6091_face.jpg
 

jjohnl

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Well, I'm back again and I haven't cleaned the printhead yet because I have a new development and also questions. I'm extremely puzzled!

I was taking the carts out of the printhead before taking it out of the printer, and I noticed that the sponge at the output port of one of the carts was almost dry, even though it had plenty of ink in the cart. I looked at the rest of them, and all of the carts except for bk and g had partially dry sponges in the output. They all had plenty of ink in them. I held one over the trash can, blocked the vent, and squeezed. Plenty of ink came out but the sponge in the output still didn't look saturated like the bk and g do. Same thing with the rest of them: I can squeeze the ink out but the sponge at the port still looks partially dry.

Another weird thing: I reported earlier that my nozzle checks didn't look better when I replaced my refilled carts with OEM carts that still had OEM ink in them. I looked at those carts, and they have partially dry-looking sponges at the output also. From the moment I took them out of the printer to replace them with refilled carts, they have had the original orange caps on the output ports, held on by rubber bands, and they have been stored in a plastic box in the upright position.

So is this the reason for the white lines in the outputs? Or is this "semi-dry" appearance in the output sponge normal?

I see that fotofreek asked earlier if I had ever purged. No, I haven't; didn't know I was supposed to. Is this related?

Is it time to throw these carts out?

Okay, I'm off to clean the printhead and hope it's not dead.:/
 

fotofreek

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I have OEM carts that have been purged several times over the years. I don't remember ever having to throw one out! After five or six refills I continue to test with blowing into the air vent before installation until I sense that there is some restriction that prevents ink from flowing properly.

It might be overkill, but I would purge a set of OEM carts, dry them, and refill them with the ink you've been using. I would also clean the printhead as described, dry it, install the refilled, purged carts, do a few regular cleanings to pull ink into the printhead, and do a nozzle check. If it isn't perfect do another regular cleaning or two to be sure you have ink in the printhead/nozzles.

A little routine I go through to be sure the outlet port filter is wet. When I refill a cart I seal the fill hole and then remove the orange cap and let it drip. If it doesn't drip I then blow gently into the air vent to make the cart drip. Blot the outlet port on a piece of newspaper or toweling paper that is firmly on a flat surface so you don't blot the outlet filter. If I store a filled cart and then need to install it later I remove the orange cap, hold the cart over a wastebasket wtih some paper in it, and I blow gently into the air vent to be sure the outlet filter is wet before installing it into the printer.

Basically, what I am doing is eliminating or limiting the variables that can either cause poor prints or ruin a printhead. A bit more time spent, but it works for me.
 
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