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Blocked printer nozzles

maranello
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 937
Thanks: 75
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Blocked printer nozzles

Can anyone help me to unblock the print head/nozzles on my Epson C42 inkjet printer. The status monitor confirms that there is ink in the cartridges, but I have been running the head cleaning utility with no success whatsoever. Originally it was only the black cartridge which was not working, and the nozzle check worked fine for the colour cartridge. But there is no way to restrict the head cleaning to the black cartridge and I thought I was wasting the colour ink each time so I tried to see if I could run the head clean without the colour cartridge installed. Unfortunately the head cleaning could not be performed without both cartridges installed, and since putting back the colour cartridge it appears that both black and colour nozzles are both blocked. Doh!
My other car isn't a Ferrari
33 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

unfortunately the Epson nozzles are in the printer and not the cartridge, unlike cannon, HP and lexmark,  normally means go and buy a new printer
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

There are a few ideas here:
http://www.inkmagic.com/epson_clogged_printhead.htm
http://www.pixalo.com/community/tutorials-guides/cleaning-epson-printer-heads-3751.html
Try SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printers (does a deep cleaning cycle - free):
http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml
I think I've noticed that the status monitor on my Epson has not been hugely accurate! Try a new cartridge.
Only use Epson inks. I know that they're expensive, but I had endless trouble with a Stylus 830 using 'compatible' inks, but (touch wood) have had little bother with my R800 which has only had Epson ink put through it.
Regards,
Neil
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Not sure how much you use your printer and what you use it for but I swapped my inkjet for a small USB monochrome HP Laserjet as I found that [articularly during warm weather in the summer the ink would dry due to lack of use and clog up the nozzles as I generally only need it for letters etc every so often rather than having to print large documents as I used to have to do.
The work I have to do for my course next year is also submitted online  Smiley
Anyway, I bought this printer a couple of years ago and I'm still on the cartridge it came with.
I picked up the printer new for about 60 quid online from a certain retailer, yes the cartridges are pricey but think you get better value for money if you use it little like me.
maranello
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 937
Thanks: 75
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Thanks Guys for the help and advice.
I guess the Epson is long overdue for replacement, but for the amount of printing I do It has not been considered a worthwhile investment until such time as I need something with more features.
I think I will try the manual cleaning route described in one of Neil's links, If that's not possible try to source a cleaning cartridge. I'm sure i've read somewhere on the forum about refilling used cartridges with cleaning fluids, but unfortunately I have recycled them. The current cartridges are both less than a couple of months old and still showing around 80% full, so I'm sure they still contain ink.
Otherwise, I'm hoping Santa will deliver a new printer.
My other car isn't a Ferrari
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,013
Thanks: 1,210
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Here is another link on how to clean printer nozzles
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/inkjet_cleaning.html
And if you get any problems, you can always post on this forum
http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums
There are lots of threads on there, and you might just find the answer......
Good Luck  (meanwhile new printers are about £30 )
N/A

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

I have used the printer in question (well, my friend has) and it has long since expired - I think the message was something like parts having come to the end of their life. I recall it being a low budget sort of machine.
Anyway, I have always used Epson and would thoroughly agree with the comments about only using Epson cartridges. Since doing this I have had no trouble at all with my current all-in-one.
It does sound as if the printer is at the end of its life. I've just got a new budget-end printer  for the aforementioned friend and it was £32 - an Epson D92 which has separate colour cartridges so should be a bit more economical.
If you are in the market for a new one, and like Epson the printer/scanner/copiers are a real boon - I have the DX3850 which is no longer made but has been brilliant. You can still get the DX4050 at a very reasonable price - something like £45  if you check on the Internet.
maranello
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 937
Thanks: 75
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Ok, so I've tied a few suggestions to no avail, still trying to hunt down a syringe and a piece of flexible tubing.
I'm guessing that in some way my tinkering has made things worse, so investing in cleaning cartridges or seeking specialist help is not cost effective in comparison with the cost of a replacement printer - though I might avoid Epson in future. Both my previous Canon printers gave excellent service and although both monochrome I'm now regretting giving them away. One is still working apparently, kept alive via frequent refills of the same cartridge.
Compared to currently available all in one printers, it's the small footprint of the standard inkjet models that appeals, although the choice appears limited. It annoys me that the cost of replacement cartridges is almost as much as the printer itself, to the extent that the printers themselves do not appear to be designed or built with durability as a key consideration. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
My other car isn't a Ferrari
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Quote from: maranello
though I might avoid Epson in future. Both my previous Canon printers gave excellent service

IMHO you have the right idea.
Work supplied me with a Canon iP1800 cost them ~£30, replacement ink tanks £32 you do wonder why you should not just buy another printer!!!!!
But I would go for one with separate ink tanks. Also if the printer head blocks up you can buy replacements. (I have a iP4300)
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

I've got an Epson R800 which I use only for photo printing (a complete set of cartridges are about 100 quid!). I got a second hand laser printer for run-of-the-mill printing, and although the cartridges are fairly expensive they last for such a long time at the volumes I use at home that the cost per page is negligible.
Morgan's are usually worth looking at, although they aren't advertising many printers at the moment:
http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/
My only other advice would be to check the cost of the cartridges, the cartridge cost can be more than the purchase price of the printer.
Regards,
Neil
davidj66
Rising Star
Posts: 596
Thanks: 29
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-09-2008

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Don't agree with the comments about only using EPSON ink cartridges,terrible rip off - I have a Stylus C62 which is over 5 years old. Replacement EPSON carts. are ~ £55 per set. (much,much more than the printer cost new!) I've been using "compatible" carts at ~ £4-5 per set for the last 4 years with no real problems - even photos come out looking OK (and its not a proper photoprinter) I'll never buy EPSON carts again. Cool
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Some compatible carts are better than others, never had much luck with printers myself though, they end up giving stuff a shade of something (pink or blue usually)
My least favourite bit of hardware.
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Quote
Don't agree with the comments about only using EPSON ink cartridges

I had nothing but trouble with compatible cartridges on my Photo 830. That may just be in the nature of the beast, it seems to spend more time clogged than working. I've never dared put anything other than Epson cartridges in my R800 and that has never really missed a beat. Maybe I was just unlucky with the 830.
Quote
terrible rip off

No argument with that! Isn't printer ink supposedly one of the most expensive liquids on the planet?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3626373.stm
Regards,
Neil
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,051
Thanks: 196
Fixes: 3
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

I've had bad experiences with Inkjets.
About 10 years ago, back in the days when they were far more expensive I paid a fair bit (£250) for a Canon printer.
It had separate ink tanks, which were transparent.
The printer had the habit of consuming ink even when I hadn't used it, and nozzles which would regularly block, eventually requiring about a dozen cleans before I could get it to actually print anything. Eventually the cleaning didn't seem to fix it. It had a removable head and I phoned Canon to enquire how much a new one would be, as I couldn't find them in the shops. They informed me that it wasn't considered a consumable, but as a spare, hence it being quite expensive (£100). Decided to buy a new printer.
About £250 later, I bought an Epson inkjet. I hardly used the thing, and despite it not having the disappearing ink problem, it was even better at blocking than the Canon. It decided to print nothing, even with a brand new cartridge. (Wouldn't mind, but it's not that I had played with refills). After numerous attempts to fix it to no avail, I binned the printer.
Being peeved off with Inkjets at the time, I decided to buy a colour laser and have never looked back. The print quality is fine for my requirements (which aren't a lot), and better still, it actually prints when I want it to, not if I am lucky.
Although maybe they've improved since then?
davidj66
Rising Star
Posts: 596
Thanks: 29
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-09-2008

Re: Blocked printer nozzles

Alex, agree about colour lasers (now they are a fair bit cheaper!) - if/when the C62 packs up I may well go down that route;altho' I presume toner catridges are still v.expensive?