Friday, 29 February 2008

Epson 4800 printer nozzle clogging – new strategy report

Last time I blogged about my struggles with my Epson 4800 inkjet printer and its random loss of whole colours I had got fed up and decided not to molly coddle it, but to try the strategy of leaving it until I wanted to print a good amount of photos. So how did the new strategy work?

When I last tried to use the printer I failed to clear it in time to print what I needed to so left it with the LK, Y & C colours missing. At that point I updated the firmware and drivers, and then left the printer turned off for 17 days – untouched and unloved.

Then one morning I turned it on and ran a nozzle check – Now the M was missing as well, but not much worse than when I left it. I ran a puddle clean (I’ve posted my recipe for this on this blog) for 1.5 hours, followed by a cleaning cycle. M was still missing and half of Y, but the rest came back. Another 3 hours of puddle soaking and a cleaning cycle and Y was mostly back and some of M. I then left if in “fixyourownprinter” cleaning solution overnight. One cleaning cycle brought back M, but half of Y is still missing. I ran a colour patch print to see how it looked and then went back to soaking again…

After an overnighter it was not much better, so running out of time I left it again for a few days.

To save you the bother of reading all this again below is a screen shot of my spreadsheet records of what I did.

Double click on the image to expand it so that you can read it

Well you get the picture…

What a palaver… but no worse than usual when this happens, molly coddled or not.

I think that the new strategy is yet to be proven one way or another, but I don’t think it was any worse than if I had treated the printer kindly all this time, so the real test will be next time I leave it for some time – this time it will go into hibernation with all nozzles working perfectly.

I can see some significant effects from the new firmware:
  • The amount of ink used per nozzle clean seems to have reduced from around 14ml or 5ml to 9ml or 4ml - which should save lots of ink
  • I am asked whether I want to run an auto nozzle check when I turn the printer on rather than the power clean offer that it has always offered before

1 comment:

Mark said...

I have had some decent results from keeping a small tub of water inside the printer near the head when it is not in use.

If I do get a clog, it is often gone now by the 2nd or 3rd pass of the auto nozzle check.