Oh no! I have a clog!
30 August, 2016 by
Oh no! I have a clog!
Jon Cone

And I have a deadline, and I have angry clients, and my family can’t understand why I’m foaming at the mouth!

(Read the rest of this later if you want a quick remedy on Sale! All PiezoFlush products and refill carts are on Sale this week in our Back To School special at 15% off! Look for them here: PiezoFlush Kits)

The thing about Epson printers is that they should not be left on their own for more than a week or two. Three is cutting it. Left to sit unused, they have a tendency to temporarily clog. This is especially true with Epson inks. ConeColor and Piezography inks are ground and filtered to a very narrow band of particle size. They are the only 3rd party ink that is encapsulated like the OEM. But more filtering results in fewer larger particles. Our customers complain very infrequently.

We’re not saying it’s okay to let a Cone powered Epson sit unused! Even our inks will eventually settle out in the printer that is left unattended – and then a sudden push of settled pigments into the ink exchanger can cause temporary clogging that is difficult to clear.

And sometimes it’s difficult to not get mad at the OEM – when you’ve done everything you can with the utilities that they give you. The utilities are just so painfully inadequate with recent models. But, giving you a true Power Clean would allow you to more easily change to 3rd party inks…and that is something the OEM is powerfully trying to prevent. The last time these were seen were on the older X880 models.

The one printer family that in retrospect really needed a true Power Clean (pulls out one third the internal ink) was the X900 line. And that is the number one printer line that our products save on a regular basis. But, let’s face it. The OEM makes money when your printer clogs and the only utilities you have are to run are endless minor cleaning cycles.

So, you are probably asking yourself what can you do at this point. Don’t be depressed. And don’t try experimenting with home-made solutions. Ammonia and copper (way too much copper in an Epson print head) are not really compatible. Also – quick-drying window cleaners can make things worse!

We have a time-proven solution that is so effective that it can actually reclaim what are considered to be “permanently clogged channels”. PiezoFlush can’t fix everything – but our customers have reported being given printers such as Epson 4900s with several permanently clogged channels and using our PiezoFlush as instructed and reclaiming the entire print head. The compromised gift horse printer given to them for free is suddenly a thoroughbred printing system gained at an incredible value.

What you will need to unclog your printer is different for desktop printers and Pro printers. We define desktop printers as those having small ink cartridges that are affixed to and travel back and forth with the print head. We define pro printers as having remote cartridges that feed ink to the print head through long ink lines and have ink dampers or an ink exchanger between the print head and the ink cartridges.

Desktop printers are easy and inexpensive to unclog using the PiezoFlush Small Format Flush Kit. This is a product that includes an attachment that fits directly onto the print head so that you can clean out individual ink channels. You remove the cartridge and install the fitting to the ink stem on which the cartridge is normally placed. Then a syringe full of PiezoFlush is pumped gently in and out of the print head while it rests in the middle of the printing platen and the gunk is collected on a paper towel.

Large format printers are different. Usually the clog is not actually in the print head but just behind it between the print head and ink exchanger. But, the cartridges with which you must administer the PiezoFlush to it are located a great distance away connected by more than 100 inches of ink line per channel in a 44″ printer. That is a lot of ink that needs to be sucked out before the PiezoFlush even ventures into the affected area.

Once the PiezoFlush is introduced into the chambers and ink exchanger – it needs to sit for 24-48 hours and then sucked out. The capping station provides all the sucking via the INIT FILL routine. And it wastes ink in all positions even if you only install a single cartridge of PiezoFlush for a single channel clog. And there is no way to flush a single channel to attempt to unclog a single channel. So, whether you install a full set of PiezoFlush filled cartridges, or a single PiezoFlush filled cartridge – there is only one way to effectively unclog a channel/channels and that is the INIT FILL.

The INIT FILL causes the print head to park over the capping station and it uses a fast (@8 minutes) routine to empty the ink lines, ink exchanger and print head and replace with whatever is in the cartridges that are installed. Two of these routines placed about 48 hours apart usually does the trick. You will waste one full printer load of inks that were present in the ink lines, exchanger and head. But, the reward is often a fully restored print head! The older X880, X800 and X600 Large Format printers have true Power Clean utilities. Three POWER CLEANS on those models are equivalent to a single INIT FILL.

Oh no! I have a clog!
Jon Cone
30 August, 2016
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