Epson 4900 premature printhead failures

Started Jul 19, 2012 | Discussions
Darryl E Mylrea
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Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
Jul 19, 2012

Is it just me? I bought two Stylus Pro 4900's last year during the big rebate sale. One for a friend and one for myself.

In this time, neither of us have used the printer very much. We do print the nozzle checks about once a week to keep the nozzles from becoming clogged.

My friend has only printed about 1 roll of canvas since purchase, and about 2 months ago, his LK printhead suddenly stopped working. No nozzles would print. Tried a new cartridge (thank you, Epson), but no relief. A technician wound up replacing the printhead.

Today, on my 4900, (which apart from the weekly nozzle check pages) has only about 20 pages printed, and as I was printing my first canvas page, about half way through the print, the Yellow stopped. I printed a nozzle check and sure enough, Yellow was dead. I turned of and back on and reprinted the nozzle check. Same thing. I then replaced the Yellow cartridge (which showed about 33% remaining) with a new one. I did a Yellow cleaning to prime it, and printed a nozzle check. Yellow still dead.

So, now I have to have my 4900 either swapped or repaired. This with only about 20-30 pages TOTAL printed.

Are others having similar POOR reliability? This is ridiculous on such an expensive printer. It's also a hassle exchanging the printer since the thing weighs a ton!

Now, off to call Epson...

ESfishdoc
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Follow up on other thread????
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Jul 19, 2012

So what was the solution to this problem? Was this the printer that had the print head replaced?

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1003&message=41760319

I've had two glitches with my 4900. One was with canvas when I did not set to the widest platen gap. The head struck the edge of the canvas and have it curl up on the edge and rake across the head. All channels out. Cleared up with multiple cleaning cycles.

The other glitch was loss of LK. I'm convinced it was due to air and drying in the channel. I cleaned the head and ran cleaner through that channel and fixed it. I'm sure if I had gone through Epson they would have gone through their list of things to do and who knows... maybe it would have been replaced.

I've printed about 800' of canvas and about 300' of other papers.

Richard

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Darryl E Mylrea
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Re: Follow up on other thread????
In reply to ESfishdoc, Jul 19, 2012

Yes, that previous post was the one that had the printhead replaced under warranty (and, fortunately, on site).

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tpg77
Contributing MemberPosts: 754Gear list
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Jul 19, 2012

If you don't mind, how much does a new print head cost? I have a friend that has a 4900 and he's getting ready to shut it down for about 3 months or a little more.
Thanks

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ESfishdoc
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to tpg77, Jul 20, 2012

If your friend shuts his 4900 down for 3 months or more and it has problems it won't be because it needs a new print head. If normal cleaning cycles don't clear it he will need to clean it and possibly flush it out with a solution designed for such things.

I'm going to guess a new print head from Epson would be ridiculously high priced.

tpg77 wrote:

If you don't mind, how much does a new print head cost? I have a friend that has a 4900 and he's getting ready to shut it down for about 3 months or a little more.
Thanks

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Petruska
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Long term storage....
In reply to tpg77, Jul 20, 2012

your friend should buy some Cone Piezoflush from inkjetmall.com along with refillable cartidges for this printer. Fill the carts with the Piezoflush, run a few cleaning cycles and nozzle checks to where you see the pink patterns on the paper and you are good to store for a very long time with no problems at start up.

Bob P.

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Guillermo Shashte
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Same problems as 7900 and 9900
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Jul 22, 2012

Now that the 4900 has been out for a while we are starting to see same problems that have been reported with the 7900 and 9900. Check this very long thread on the Luminous Landscape:

Epson 7900 from the inside - out

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=61585.msg496980#msg496980
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GS

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EHampton
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Oct 30, 2012

We also purchased an Epson 4900 during the rebate sale (the bundle with EFI eXpress) last July and even though we print almost daily, and turn it off at night, we have had constant nozzle clog issues. About two weeks ago, overnight, the Light Magenta became clogged. We tried EVERYTHING! Cleaning, power cleanings, letting it sit overnight, Light magenta test pages, and all we ended up with was a bunch of blank pages and a full maintenance tank. It's off for repair, they tried soaking the head and flushing it to no avail. We just got an estimate back of $1800-1900 because the print head needs replaced! He said the print heads on this cost around $1450-1500! It's just over a year old! Still not sure what to do at this point. It belongs to my company, so it's really their call. Anyone else having this problem? Was there a recall? There's three ordered from around the same time with the same problem... Surely if that was the case, Epson would have told me about that when I called them. Right?

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sven70
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to EHampton, Dec 6, 2012

Same thing just happened to me. Bought the printer last summer during the rebate program, used the printer on and off over the last year (light user for sure) and some of the heads stopped working. Took it for service and they quoted $1,400 for the new print head and $300 for service. If I get this one fixed, no telling if it will happen again 6 months from now. Considering throwing that one away and buying a new one with an extended warranty to avoid this nightmare. I hate to add to the landfill but I hate losing money even more.

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Pete Berry
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Consider the Canon iPF5100...
In reply to EHampton, Dec 6, 2012

EHampton wrote:

We also purchased an Epson 4900 during the rebate sale (the bundle with EFI eXpress) last July and even though we print almost daily, and turn it off at night, we have had constant nozzle clog issues. About two weeks ago, overnight, the Light Magenta became clogged. We tried EVERYTHING! Cleaning, power cleanings, letting it sit overnight, Light magenta test pages, and all we ended up with was a bunch of blank pages and a full maintenance tank. It's off for repair, they tried soaking the head and flushing it to no avail. We just got an estimate back of $1800-1900 because the print head needs replaced! He said the print heads on this cost around $1450-1500! It's just over a year old! Still not sure what to do at this point. It belongs to my company, so it's really their call. Anyone else having this problem? Was there a recall? There's three ordered from around the same time with the same problem... Surely if that was the case, Epson would have told me about that when I called them. Right?

The only true competitor to the 4900, with all the pro features including vacuum transport, 12 full-time carts with auto-selecting PK/MK (zero ink loss), and powered roll feed. The two heads are easily user-replaceable, about $400 each, and generally last at least several thousand sq ft. printed.

Plus total freedom from nozzle check prints and forced head cleanings, as the thermal heads have a huge redundancy of nozzles and auto-remapping with nozzle failure (generally burnout rather than clogging). I wonder what the average Epson ink cost is in forced cleanings over, say, 3000 sq ft. and five years.

Pete

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timkellyphotog
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Jan 23, 2013

I participated in the rebate program, purchased a 4900, and have the same problem. Yellow, and in my case LVM dead. Tried everything.  Epson's cost to repair is much higher than getting a new printer.  After giving them SO MUCH MONEY for ink -  I'm about done with them.

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Serhat Abaci
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to timkellyphotog, Jan 23, 2013

i have a 6 year old epson pro 4000 working like clockwork.. it neccessary to use the machine dailys or at least print a nozzle check a week.

I switched 3 years ago to refillable cartriges and have a spare pack of catriges filled with unclogging solution for bad cloggs.

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pluton
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to Serhat Abaci, Jan 25, 2013

If the LL thread and this one are to be believed, I think I'll skip the -900 series Epson printers.

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-KB-

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sjphoto
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Jan 27, 2013

For what it's worth. Whenever you do a head cleaning your putting wear and tear on the print head. Too many people do a cleaning every week when they are not printing hoping to keep the heads unclogged. This is a mistake.. I have a 7800. I don't print often and when I'm not printing the printer is off, sometimes for months. When I want  to print, I turn it on, the printer does a nozzle check and we are ready to go. Never a clogged nozzle and I have been printing this way for years without a problem.

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jtoolman
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to sjphoto, Jan 27, 2013

sjphoto wrote:

For what it's worth. Whenever you do a head cleaning your putting wear and tear on the print head. Too many people do a cleaning every week when they are not printing hoping to keep the heads unclogged. This is a mistake.. I have a 7800. I don't print often and when I'm not printing the printer is off, sometimes for months. When I want to print, I turn it on, the printer does a nozzle check and we are ready to go. Never a clogged nozzle and I have been printing this way for years without a problem.

So true! Cleaning cycles are not a healthy thing for print heads. On EPSONs, if I have abut 80% or more of my nozzles firing OK I will not run a cleaning cycle but instead run several purge files with the correct # and color. Then turn off the printer for a day. Usually upon restarting, all the nozzles will be firing. Maybe do a Windex puddle job on the purge pad before parking the head for the night.

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xrdbear
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to jtoolman, Jan 27, 2013

jtoolman wrote:

sjphoto wrote:

For what it's worth. Whenever you do a head cleaning your putting wear and tear on the print head. Too many people do a cleaning every week when they are not printing hoping to keep the heads unclogged. This is a mistake.. I have a 7800. I don't print often and when I'm not printing the printer is off, sometimes for months. When I want to print, I turn it on, the printer does a nozzle check and we are ready to go. Never a clogged nozzle and I have been printing this way for years without a problem.

So true! Cleaning cycles are not a healthy thing for print heads. On EPSONs, if I have abut 80% or more of my nozzles firing OK I will not run a cleaning cycle but instead run several purge files with the correct # and color. Then turn off the printer for a day. Usually upon restarting, all the nozzles will be firing. Maybe do a Windex puddle job on the purge pad before parking the head for the night.

Could you expand on the ' run several purge files with the correct # and color'?

I was just wondering how you guaranteed to target either all colours or a particular colour, say, light light black.

I've now turned off all the automatic nozzle checks and cleans on my 4800 and it hasn't caused it to clog more often.

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http://www.eyeofskye.co.uk/

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rebel99
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Jan 31, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

Is it just me? I bought two Stylus Pro 4900's last year during the big rebate sale. One for a friend and one for myself.

In this time, neither of us have used the printer very much. We do print the nozzle checks about once a week to keep the nozzles from becoming clogged.

My friend has only printed about 1 roll of canvas since purchase, and about 2 months ago, his LK printhead suddenly stopped working. No nozzles would print. Tried a new cartridge (thank you, Epson), but no relief. A technician wound up replacing the printhead.

Today, on my 4900, (which apart from the weekly nozzle check pages) has only about 20 pages printed, and as I was printing my first canvas page, about half way through the print, the Yellow stopped. I printed a nozzle check and sure enough, Yellow was dead. I turned of and back on and reprinted the nozzle check. Same thing. I then replaced the Yellow cartridge (which showed about 33% remaining) with a new one. I did a Yellow cleaning to prime it, and printed a nozzle check. Yellow still dead.

So, now I have to have my 4900 either swapped or repaired. This with only about 20-30 pages TOTAL printed.

Are others having similar POOR reliability? This is ridiculous on such an expensive printer. It's also a hassle exchanging the printer since the thing weighs a ton!

Now, off to call Epson...

i purchased an epson 4900 printer during last year's big summer sale and it was delivered and stored in my garage still in the box unopened! i work overseas and will be home shortly, the question is: am i going to face this epson epidemic printhead clogging horror with this printer? come to think of it, maybe epson knew of this printhead clogging horror and tried to give away these so called "professional" printers at really discounted prices last summer? i am afraid to even take it out of its box now when i come home!!! com-on, epson, this is sad

cheerz.

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BrianLewis
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Re: Epson 4900 premature printhead failures
In reply to rebel99, Feb 4, 2013

rebel99 wrote:

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

Is it just me? I bought two Stylus Pro 4900's last year during the big rebate sale. One for a friend and one for myself.

In this time, neither of us have used the printer very much. We do print the nozzle checks about once a week to keep the nozzles from becoming clogged.

My friend has only printed about 1 roll of canvas since purchase, and about 2 months ago, his LK printhead suddenly stopped working. No nozzles would print. Tried a new cartridge (thank you, Epson), but no relief. A technician wound up replacing the printhead.

Today, on my 4900, (which apart from the weekly nozzle check pages) has only about 20 pages printed, and as I was printing my first canvas page, about half way through the print, the Yellow stopped. I printed a nozzle check and sure enough, Yellow was dead. I turned of and back on and reprinted the nozzle check. Same thing. I then replaced the Yellow cartridge (which showed about 33% remaining) with a new one. I did a Yellow cleaning to prime it, and printed a nozzle check. Yellow still dead.

So, now I have to have my 4900 either swapped or repaired. This with only about 20-30 pages TOTAL printed.

Are others having similar POOR reliability? This is ridiculous on such an expensive printer. It's also a hassle exchanging the printer since the thing weighs a ton!

Now, off to call Epson...

i purchased an epson 4900 printer during last year's big summer sale and it was delivered and stored in my garage still in the box unopened! i work overseas and will be home shortly, the question is: am i going to face this epson epidemic printhead clogging horror with this printer? come to think of it, maybe epson knew of this printhead clogging horror and tried to give away these so called "professional" printers at really discounted prices last summer? i am afraid to even take it out of its box now when i come home!!! com-on, epson, this is sad

cheerz.

I also got caught with the rebate for this printer. I went though all the trouble to export this monster to the Caribbean where I work and got maybe a few hundred 8x10's and now the printhead has to be replaced. Nowhere in the Epson literature are there any hints of this as a problem nor any guidelines of how to avoid by performing nozzle checks and so forth. The should call back these units - they are clearly a problem. Be warned!

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BrianLewis
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Re: Long term storage....
In reply to Petruska, Feb 4, 2013

Petruska wrote:

your friend should buy some Cone Piezoflush from inkjetmall.com along with refillable cartidges for this printer. Fill the carts with the Piezoflush, run a few cleaning cycles and nozzle checks to where you see the pink patterns on the paper and you are good to store for a very long time with no problems at start up.

Bob P.

Are there refillable cartridges for this printer?

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jtoolman
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Re: Long term storage....
In reply to BrianLewis, Feb 4, 2013

BrianLewis wrote:

Petruska wrote:

your friend should buy some Cone Piezoflush from inkjetmall.com along with refillable cartidges for this printer. Fill the carts with the Piezoflush, run a few cleaning cycles and nozzle checks to where you see the pink patterns on the paper and you are good to store for a very long time with no problems at start up.

Bob P.

Are there refillable cartridges for this printer?

Yes!

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