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Well, I guess I should've taken that more seriously. Weird thing is, I put fluid on both pads, and when I first ran a clean only on black, I shone my light in there and saw the shorter, wider pad had clearly absorbed all the fluid, while the other still looked moist. Performing a deep clean on the black after that drained some more fluid, but when I added new to the top of the pad and just ran clean again, clearly there was still a slight puddle on top (some had gone in, it looked like, but not all). So I guess I'll look through the forum on advice for removing and cleaning the purge pads, unless anyone wants to chime in right here about that. Thanks for the advice. Of course, I hope this will solve the problem. I'm also starting to feel like I'll need to get in there and do some cleaning of old ink, as I've run a lot of cycles and put in a lot of window cleaner, to boot.
I just found your posts regarding purge pad cleaning and the purge system, so I'll try going from there when I have a chunk of time I can dedicate to doing it all the way through quickly. Thanks.
For anyone else following this thread who wants to know where to look, try reading this thread: http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5390 and then following to other threads referenced.
Last edited by JimDandy (09/14/2010 11:16:41 pm)
But one more followup based on my reading in other threads. How do you access the "waste ink tank counter?" I can't seem to find it. Or do you just get a message at 80%? Again, I have an MP610.
My printer gave me the first message at 95% full.
You can access the waste ink counter in the service mode when you print an extended nozzle check. I don't know how to do that with your printer but it may be similar to the MX850 which has a link in the thread you reference for a free download. If you want to buy a service manual for the MP610, see this link.
Thanks again for the helpful tips.
I did kind of a rush job, and no luck. It's kind of hard to tell whether I could blow through the pad successfully. It certainly looked cleaner after treatment, but not white. Window cleaner appeared to drain over a clean cycle (pigment black only) without the pad in place, so either A) I need to re-clean the pad or get a new one, B) the tray wasn't draining enough, and I need to open the printer and really clean a clog in the tube, or C) this isn't the problem.
With regard to C, above, is it really common for a clogged purge system to result in no black printing at all, or does it more commonly result in degraded black printing. I think I've seen others posting with the same issue, and seeing no black at all, but I just want to make sure there's nothing else that could be at issue.
Assume that option A is the correct one (it's worth trying even if it isn't the correct one) and try to clean the purge pad some more. It should be really easily to suck air through it.
If there is already ink in the print head, it can continue to print even if the purge unit isn't working, but as soon as air gets into the print head, it typically will start degrading until no nozzles print and nothing you can do, short of putting the print head into another printer to get it primed there, will get it started again.
Now that I've had time to look at it again, I'm thinking the problem is deeper, because the pad I cleaned is still clearly showing lots of whitish color, meaning it didn't pull any black ink down. Unless that pad is still clogged up, I'm worried the clog is actually down below. I suppose I could try cleaning the pad again, but without really soaking it (and I guess risking drying out ink in the rest of the purge system in the meantime), maybe it would just make sense to order new pads and see if that does anything. But here are some followup questions.
1) If I ran a clean cycle with the pad removed and still didn't get any black printout, does that actually mean the problem is deeper in the purge system?
2) Is it safe to run several clean cycles with the pad removed, or not?
3) Does the pad have to be in the purge well in order for a vacuum to be established with the printhead and pull ink down?
4) I don't have the correct service manual for my model. Looking at a similar model, it seems like I have to disassemble the entire thing to do anything else to the purge system. Is there any quick and dirty way to try to resuscitate the purge system if the problem isn't in the pads, like using some thin flexible tubing attached to a syringe and trying to push some cleaner down into the tubes?
Thanks again for your advice.
Before I answer your questions, let me ask you some:
1) After you cleaned the pad, could you easily suck air through it (by putting it up to your lips)?
2) With the pad removed, did you fill the well with Windex and do a cleaning cycle and see that all the Windex had disappeared?
Now to answer your questions:
1) That would be a good indication, assuming that you don't have an ink flow problem in your print head (which you very well may have by now) or an ink flow problem in your pigment cartridge. A better indication would be the result of the test in my question 2 above. You should also be aware that the nozzles are firing during a cleaning cycle so if you had a primed print head and a clogged purge unit, you could get a false indication that your purge unit was working if you relied on the fact that there was ink in the purge pad well.
2) It is certainly safe, you won't hurt or break anything.
3) I assume so since that is the way it is designed but it might work in a degraded fashion without the pad in place.
4) I have tried to resuscitate clogged purge tubing from the top as you suggest without success. It wouldn't hurt to try (except that you might make a mess all over the inside of your printer--you'll see what I mean). What did work for me was taking the printer apart and attaching extension tubing to the drain tubing on the bottom of the purge unit and then using a gread deal of force to pump and suck Windex into it. At first a lot of black ink came out and eventually, after replacing the contaminated Windex, clean Windex would suirt out of one of the holes in the purge pad well. (I still haven't figured out what the other one is for.)
1) I can't say - it is difficult to know you've got your lips sealed around that small pad and any air isn't going around the pad. I can try this again (and will tomorrow).
2) Yes, as I stated above, it seemed to go down. Not sure it entirely 'disappeared.' I'll also try to reverify that tomorrow.
My questions - replies
1) Got it, but remember that I have both a new cartridge and printhead. That was my second attempt to solve the problem (after thinking it was a clog in my original printhead or maybe a problem with my original cartridge
2&3) Good, maybe I'll try running it that way a few more times (just on pigment black).
4) I guess I'm looking to buy a PDF of the correct service manual, so I know how to get to the purge unit. Also, not seeing what you're talking about, I'd guess that the well has two holes to avoid having a vacuum keep anything going down, but if they're both at the bottom of the well, I guess that wouldn't work so ... uh ... well.