The Epson 4900 printer has clogging problems due in part to the absence of user maintenance tools. The POWER CLEAN function was removed from this printer model which makes it difficult for a user to switch to an alternative ink set. The use of repeated Paired Powerful Cleanings may be responsible for head failures. There is no effective alternative to a Power Clean other than the INIT FILL cycle. Please note the following:
We believe that regular PiezoFlush maintenance can extend the life of a print head. Certainly, a printer should not be left with pigment ink in them unused for more than a month. Please follow the complete instructions which are linked to on the Instructions Tab of the PiezoFlush items.
PiezoFlush solution was invented by and is manufactured by InkjetMall. This is an innovative solution that can be used to clean inkjet printers, flush inks from systems, or be used to safely store inkjet printers with a solution that does not promote drying out of the inkjet heads. It has been formulated for Epson and other piezoelectric inkjet heads and includes a pink colorizing agent so that when printing nozzle checks, the user can "see" the nozzle check patterns print.
There are two types of permanent clogs of which one is easier to remedy than the other. The easiest clog to repair is an external clog on the surface of the print head. In most cases this type of clog is due to
- head contact with the media
- a physical obstruction such as lint, hair, (you would be surprised what can get on there...)
- dried ink due to low humidity conditions or leaks of air into the capping station
- streaks of ink left on the print head after it is wiped by the wiper blade during a clean operation; due either to
- the buildup of ink on the wiper blade
- cupping of the wiper blade
- buildup of ink on the surface of the print head
Our external cleaning kit
for large format printers give you safe materials with which to clean these areas. We have videos on how we apply this remedy Online
. But, if you apply PiezoFlush to both the print head and the cleaning station including the wiper blade and the clog is not remedied, than its source is most likely internal and those are more difficult and costly to remedy.
If a clog permanently appears in a location that can not be remedied by external cleaning, then the clog may be located
- behind the surface of the jets such as in the tiny ink channel inside the print head
- just behind the print head where ink flows from the ink exchanger into the print head
- in the ink exchanger where the ink lines feed into the filters and dampers from the cartridge
- in the filters and dampers
PiezoFlush is usually successful when filled into cartridges and applied using the INIT FILL, allowing a rest period of from 24-48 hours, and then pulling out dissolved matter using a second INIT FILL. A nozzle test at that point should reveal a fully printed pink nozzle check (PiezoFlush is stained pink). If there is no change in the blockage, then it is possible that these jets are electronically dead.
PiezoFlush is more difficult to administer to the black channel in printers which use the same ink channel for both the MK and PK (which is nearly all Pro or Photo printers that use remote ink tanks (remote means that the inkjet cartridge is not actually riding back and forth on the print head). In this case, the MK and PK share an ink exchanger using a pair of valves, so that what affects MK affects PK and visa versa. To be successful with a black ink blockage PiezoFlush would need to be administered using both a MK and a PK cartridge, running INIT FILL procedures in both ink modes, potentially twice, in order to determine by nozzle check if the blockage is repaired. We have a guide that explains how to perform the INIT FILL in the instructions tab of this product.
The cost of performing an INIT FILL 4 times on large format printers can waste more expensive ink than the cost of a new ink exchanger. An ink exchanger is difficult to install yourself the first time. If you are mechanically inclined or want to learn how to be, it is possible to replace the ink exchanger by downloading the Field Service Manual for your model printer and following the step-by-step photo illustrations. These PDFs are produced by Epson for their service repair technicians. They can be located on the Internet or can be purchased from a users manual .com website such as 2manuals which sells repair manuals for nearly every appliance and device.
Unfortunately, there is no substitute for the INIT FILL procedure which drains the ink from all the ink lines of a printer and replaces it with whatever fluid is installed where the ink cartridges are. In most cases of attempting to repair an internally clogged printer there are usually both ink cartridges and PiezoFlush cartridges installed. There is no way to avoid expensive ink wastage. For example there is no single ink line INIT FILL. Printing with PiezoFlush is not likely to remove an internal clog. And while it is possible to flush ink lines using single channel print outs, printing PiezoFlush does not usually remove an internal clog because the forces exerted to the internal ink system during printing are micro-minute in comparison to the strong force produced by the suction pump during the INIT FILL.
On the positive side of things, you can use an INIT FILL opportunity to first remove and gently shake any ink cartridges that are going to left in place during the INIT FILL. This benefits the printer by bringing fresher, re-suspended pigment ink to the print head which can actually improve the printed quality or color management of your output. Likewise, applying PiezoFlush to all of your ink channels is an outstanding preventative maintenance strategy that dissolves agglomerated pigment matter that adheres to ink lines, filters and dampers, and ink channels. And if you have been printing with old outdated inks (and this may be a cause of your problems in the first place), take this opportunity to replace the inks in your printer. That may include draining your existing ink cartridges and flushing them with distilled water and allowing them to drain nearly dry before using newly purchased inks. Both your printer and your output (possibly your clients) will thank you.