Sunday, 3 February 2008

Epson 4800 inkjet printer nozzle clogs - a new strategy?

The more I think about it and talk to other people the more I become convinced that the problem that I and so many others suffer from is not actually nozzle clogging - rather it is air being drawn into the print head stopping any ink in the relevant ink feed line arriving at the print head.

This would explain why it is not just a few nozzles that drop out but all of them for a whole colour dropping out suddenly. Also, perhaps why the blocks seem to move around from colour to colour and it seems as if it is more likely when coming to the end of a cartridge (although well before the printer starts telling me that it is low).

I have some recent evidence for this. I was getting persistent loss of the Light Magenta colour and the cartridge (a 220ml one) was the first of the current set to need changing. Since putting in a new one I have not experienced any loss of LM; now I am losing Cyan and Light Black consistently, and they have recently been joined by Yellow as well - all of these are running low, but far from empty. I seem to remember that the bigger brothers of the 4800, the 7800 & 9800, have pressurised cartridges and don't seem to suffer from this problem much.

Anyway - a new strategy?

A chap called Pete Walsh has blogged about his 4800 clogging problems and has tried out a more aggressive strategy. Instead of molly coddling the printer he is leaving it untouched for weeks at a time; batching up his prints to print in bursts. His early experience is that it is no worse that trying to print every day and may be better.

So I'm going to puddle soak the print head and turn it off until I really have quite a few prints to do. For those that don't know what a puddle soak is I shall collect what I know about it and post it in a blog soon.

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