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Just to echo panos thought.. Thanks for sharing that post Trigger...
Part of me wonders if the use of a Ultrasonic cleaner with the printhead in 2ml deep of cleaning solution (enough to penetrate the nozzles and break up deposits in the nozzles) would be a potential step for stage 4.
Oh and just to note one thing that seems to crop up a LOT with the subject of "Clogs"... Sometimes the problem isn't the printhead but the cartridge or more specifically the ink flow within the cartridge. Quite a few folks start off what they think is a clog when it's really down to a cartridge that has other problems such as vent blockage, over-dried sponge, air bubble (foam) "barriers" in the sponge and a re-priming of the cartridge or flush would resolve the problem..
Trigger 37 wrote:
I want to add a word of "CAUTION" so that everyone should be aware of the risk. As with those that have posted above, I have had many printheads get clogged and have always looked for a better way to unclog them. I think several years back I, among others, posted a similar suggestions on how to build cleaning ink carts and how to use them. I also used a similar mixture of water and windex and I printed strips of what ever color was giving me trouble. The bad news is that I ended up "BURNING OUT A PRINTHEAD" doing this. The viscosity of the solution is not close enough to that of ink and while printing a full page of a single color of strips,.,,the head overheated and burnt out some nozzles and that of course stopped all printing. I must also warn everyone with a Canon printer,...NEVER EVER PRINT ANY DOCUMENT AS LONG AS YOU DON'T HAVE A GOOD NOZZLE TEST. Any one nozzle that is totally clogged can burn out if you continue to attempt to print. The reason is simple as the nozzle depends on a large resivoir of ink to keep it cool and recover from the last bubble of ink ejected. The bubble is eject because the nozzle was hit with a high current pulse that heats the ink rapidly and as it expands it is ejected out of the nozzle and the vacuum that was created sucks in the next drop of ink. If all of the ink in and around the nozzle is dried up (clogged) and you continue to pulse the nozzle with high heat, it will eventually overheat and burn out.
I have a nozzle test that shows a horizontal light streak in the center of the 6BK. I have cleaned and cleaned the print head, changed carts, etc., but it is still unchanged. Everything prints normal and this has been going on for as long as I have had this used printhead (about 6 months). Should I try to do anything about it, or just live with it, since it doesn't seem to affect any printing (pictures, cds etc.)?
Darth,... This problem is not sounding that good. Take the ink carts and the head out and flush all of the ink out of the head just as my #1 suggestion. Now dry off the head and use a magnification glass to inspect the black nozzles. What you are looking for is any sign of a burnt out nozzle. It should be a dark or black blemish and it could be very small. If you see anything try and clean it with hot water and a "Q" tip but nothing else. It you can see it is burnt then you know your answer. If you don't know for sure then soak the head over night in a strong cleaner such as "Simple Green" and hot water. In the morning do a complete flushing with hot water. If you know how to go into Service Mode, then printer a Service test print and that will show you in great detail just exactly how many nozzle are not printing. By the way,... I got your email and I have sent you a link to the power flushing information.
Panos,... I'm very aware of the "4th step" and there is a specific reason I did not include it. I've been taking apart and repairing 100's of Canon printers for 7 years and I've written Repair Manuals for all of them and I was a regular contributor to this web site when that post was make. I have done it myself a couple of times and once it worked and the other failed. I HAVE GONE ON RECORD TO NEVER RECOMMEND THAT APPROACH TO ANY ONE EXCEPT "EXPERTS". For 95% of the people looking for help they don't have the knowledge and or experience to even attempt taking the head apart. It is far beyond their capabilities. Good grief,.. most of them don't even know how to remove the printhead out of the carriage without asking for help,.. and that is why I never recomment it or put it into any post I make.
I don't post that much to this website anymore because I am consummed with inquiries I get from other locations. I just don't have the time anymore,..and if you notice there are typically only 3 to 4 new posts a day on this site. This site provides a lot more information and new ideas and all kinds of contributions than any other ink jet printer web site. However, other sites have 10 times the number of people searching for help with their printers,..and that is where I spend my time. I come back to this site when I need help,.. or I have something to contribute.
I am not sure I understand your point in the second paragraph, but in regards to dismantling the printhead, you've stated that at level 4 "either buy a new head or get really agressive".
If one is to buy a new printhead (which implies the user knows how to replace it) or use a method so forceful that it might blow out the silicone rubber seal (which implies precise motor skills to avoid destroying the printhead) then I think that dismantling is a better option.
In fact I do recommend it: IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO REPLACE YOUR PRINTHEAD, TRY DISMANTLING IT FIRST: AT BEST YOU FIX THE PRINTHEAD, AT WORST YOU GET "EXPERIENCE".
I can see this post is for Canon printers, will these cleaning techniques work on epsons?
I can see this post is for Canon printers, will these cleaning techniques work on epsons?
No... the Epson printheads are very difficult to remove and can be cleaned in situ without resorting to that.
There's some info on how to get the definitive Epson printhead cleaning guide here:
Hope that helps.
Trigger 37 Thanks for post 129 which I feel explains the various types and levels of clogs so very well. and will be carefully filed away.
for future use. Inkjet Printers are marvellous pieces of technology which I think we sometimes very much take for granted.
If I could extract an important point. If we all refilled our carts as soon as we get the first low ink warning would this go some way to avoiding ink clogs altogether?.
Users of expensive OEM are likely to carry on to the bitter end until its empty, which could be the start of their problems.
Please explain why a cartridge with low levels of ink - not empty - would cause the burning issue you describe? I doubt Canon would design the print head to fizzle because of low ink. Otherwise, I would think Canon's threshold for marking a cartridge as low or empty would be more stringent.
The bits left in a pan after cooking that are difficult to clean may oftentimes be removed by "deglazing' the pan, and is similar to how you deglaze a pan to make a sauce or gravy. Fill the pan with about 1/4 inch or so of water, return to the fire, and bring to a boil. I usually reposition larger pans around over the fire making sure to bring a boil over all sections of the pan. Do not let the water boil off. Works on stainless steel and cast iron, which is nice because if I used soap on my cast iron i have to bake it to re-season it, but do not have to bake if I just use water.
barfl2,...I would agree with you point,..but it is not the only consideration. From my experience the best way to keep the printer in top condition is to ALWAYS KNOW THE STATUS OF THE INK,.. and at the same time keep checking on the total condition by printing a nozzle test print WHEN EVERY YOU ARE IN DOUBT,..or before you start to print something more than a page. That one test tells you more about your printer and ink than anything else.
Stateman,...One key item I should have included in my post above is checking the condition of the ink carts. Just because you still can see some ink "Means Nothing" I have found through much experience that many head problems,..including clogs,.. are caused by "Clogged" ink carts. That is,.. ink carts where the exit port is getting dry and cannot sustain 100% good ink flow and as a result the last page you print ends up with a starved printhead of some color. Then the next time you print with ink missing in some nozzles to start to "DRY" up very small amounts of ink on the internal walls of those nozzles. Remember, we are talking about "Pico Liters" of ink. When you print several lines of text,.. try and guess how many times each nozzle has been heated to the max temperture sufficient to eject one ink bubble. Then think about printing a full page,..or several pages.
In the post I made up above I used an example of a printhead that had sat in a printer for 3 years and it only took be a little while to get it clean using the purge unit. Today on a similar printer I had to install some new ink so I refilled several used ink carts in a known clean head. I worked for almost 2 hours trying to get those ink cart to flow sufficient ink just to get a good nozzle test. I had forced the nozzles to expell ink and really saturated the exit felt pad,.. but still I could not get the ink carts to sustain good flow. My point is that ink carts probably get clogged just as much or maybe more than the head. Of course Canon does not design the head to fail under condition of low ink,.. but their view is that the printer is less than a year old,..the head is in perfect condition, and you just bought the ink cart last month. That is just under their design goal However, you and I know their actual design is much better than that if you take good care of the printer. And you and I know that most people don't and the evidence to that is the 1000's of people that I have helped that have totally abused their printer. I use my printer like a work horse and I'm constantly amazed how long they last and how well they work. I firmly believe that if taken care of they will never fail. Now how good is that.
For those of you that are interested I have just added a long ADDENDUM to my original post several pages back. I think it has a lot of good information.
Last edited by Trigger 37 (04/04/2012 12:40:23 am)