Question about Epson Stylus Photo R1800 InkJet Printer

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Head cleaning after cartridge change

Every time I change any ink cartridge on my Epson R1800, I have to do a head cleaning. Sometimes it has to go through several cleaning before I can print properly. Some times I have to replace other ink catridges that are somewhat low in ink before it will go through the cleaning process.


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  • Simon Jan 20, 2009

    They are all the same, I have run mine on original ink, cheap ink and even a CIS system. They allways need plenty of head cleaning. I am going back to a CIS system, because of the waste when you change a cartridge. I did however download a SSC service programme that works a treat.

    Good luck.



    Simon

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It sounds like you're trying to force the printer to clean the printhead and only ever partially resolving it before it clogs up again.

Ok... first you need to do is get a decent cleaning solution that can help de-clog the printhead. Usually Windex (the ammoniated version) is a good option but you might want to get some from your ink supplier.

Cleaning cartridges may be worth considerinb BUT I only ever use these are a passive cleaning system, not as active "clean NOW! dagnabit" impatient approaches.

Right, anyway... process is this.

  1. Leave your existing cartridges in
  2. Find a piece of paper kitchen towel or if possible a lint free piece of cloth and soak it in the cleaning solution. Fold into a 2mm or so thick pad.
  3. Move the printhead off the parking pad and out of the way to the left. (usually by starting the printer, waiting for the head to move and then pulling the power cord so you can freely move the printhead).
  4. Place the pad of solution soaked kitchen towel and then move the printhead back to sit over this in the parking pad.
  5. Then go make a cup of tea/coffee, do the ironing, or whatever but leave it alone for at least overnight.
  6. Remove the kitchen towel pad and replace with a fresh one
  7. Leave for a further 12 hours
  8. Remove the pad and turn the printer back on
  9. Run a SINGLE cleaning cycle and then a nozzle check
  10. Let the printer sit for an hour
  11. Try using the printer as normal.

What this approach does is allows the cleaning solution to slowly break down the clog by whicking up into the printhead nozzles and over time turn the hard pigment into a solution again. This requires time so patience is an absolutely essential ingredient.

A few things to note...
  • Obviously don't try to force a thick wad of paper towel under the printhead.. a single fold should be enough
  • DO NOT use the towel to scrape back and forth across the printhead as this will damage the printhead (it is incredibly sensitive and paper towel is more abrasive than you may realise!)
  • The cleaning solution is not just some off the shelf oven cleaner... If in doubt use distilled water and add more time to the process
  • If you're using cleaning cartridges do not use them to force clogs out... Instead allow the solution in them to work on the clog from above in the same way as the pad of solution in the parking pad will work on the clog from below.

Hope this works for you and try to adopt more pro-active measures to reduce the likelihood of clogging ie:
  • move out of particularly hot/warm rooms
  • move away from radiators
  • use the printer regularly (don't leave it idle)
The last one is the kicker... It's a lot like having a dog... They're happier if they're kept exercised so don't save the printer for special photos or whatever, try to use it for the odd graphic, letter too.

Good luck :)

Posted on Feb 18, 2009

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Your User's Guide is available here:

http://files.support.epson.com/pdf/r1800_/r1800_ug.pdf

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Had the same problem - but the print head is actually easy to remove.

1) Remove ink cartridges
2) Remove 3 Phillips head screws at the bottom of the cartridge housing. (looking down from the printer front - top left, bottom left, top right).
3) There are 2 small plastic tabs on a plastic bracket that secure the flex cable on the right hand side of the cartridge housing. Gently release the tabs with a small flat head screw driver.
4) Lift the print head straight up (don't pull on the flex).

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Then put back in reverse order - be sure to seat the flex in the guide (top-back-right) of the cartridge housing before screwing down. Then run a cleaning or two to flush the cleaning fluid out of the print head. (I have a waste ink tank installed so I am not worried about dumping excessive ink into the waste sponges).

The differences was remarkable - though there was still slight banding - maybe should have soaked longer (1 hr perhaps?) - I may repeat if it remains an issue.

Additionally there were large solid deposits on the left side of the print head which were responsible for scraping heavier weight photo paper. These dissolved in the Windex too.




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this should fix it, otherwise its $48 + vat was the cheapest i found for new print heads or £75 for epson to fix it.
i would replace printer ie if cartridge dont work,,

Happy New Year

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