Pls Help! Strange issue — 4880 refuses to suck ink

Started Aug 21, 2021 | Discussions thread
A Owens Veteran Member • Posts: 3,862
Re: Pls Help! Strange issue — 4880 refuses to suck ink

Alexey wrote:

Any suggestions would be truly appreciated.

Well, if I understand your situation correctly; you have a 10+ year old printer that has been sitting idle for most of those years with ink in the head and lines. You were (after soaking the surface of the nozzles in Windex) able to pull ink through the lines and head using the suction produced in the capping station. You have perfect test pattern on all colours except yellow. On investigating the yellow you found that the line from cartridge to damper was dry so you replaced all dampers and pulled ink through the yellow line using a syringe connected to the bottom of the yellow damper. However the situation persists. You have perfect test pattern for all colours except yellow.

So it would seem either there is a fault in the capping station or pump preventing yellow ink being pulled through the head or there is a complete blockage of yellow ink in the head preventing the capping station pulling ink through the head from the lines.

A fault in the capping station and pump affecting only the yellow channels is unlikely as I assume one pump and one capping station services the entire head. But nonetheless check around the capping station and pump area to see if something is preventing ink being pulled through the yellow channels of the head.

That leaves the possibility that the yellow channels (and only the yellow channels) of the head are completely blocked. Again, kind of unlikely that only one channel is affected thus. But possibly the yellow ink left in the printer was older than the rest or that the yellow hue of that inkset is more prone to congealing.

There are two broad approaches I would take when faced with a similar dilemma;

1. soak the bottom 2-3mm of the printhead in cleaning fluid for a couple of days. This is basically what you are doing with the Windex pad. But yours is not the best way to do it. You risk damaging the face of the head, Windex is not great and you do not get very good penetration. If you do not want to remove the head then fill the capping station to the top (overflowing) with proper Epson cleaning fluid and park the head on it. You may have to manually move the head to do this as some printers will suck out the fluid in the capping station before parking the head. The better way to do it is to take the head out and stand it in 2-3mm of fluid for a couple of days, making sure that the fluid does not evaporate.

2. Inject cleaning fluid into the head. Use a longish length of soft silicon tubing to connect a syringe full of good cleaning fluid to the yellow channel of the head. GENTLY push fluid into the head and leave it for a few hours. With an open tube full of cleaning fluid still connected to the head, try a couple of medium cleans to see if the cleaning fluid has softened the blockage enough to pull some cleaning fluid through. If so, keep the cleaning fluid in the head to soak and repeat the process a few times and see if it will clear. If not you may need to suck some of the ink out of the head to allow cleaning fluid in and/or push more cleaning fluid in. But at that point you will be getting desperate and using last resort methods which risk damaging the head beyond repair. To see more truly "last resort" methods;

Presumably you have put new genuine Epson ink cartridges in the printer.

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