- How to tell what the heck is the Nozzle test really showing you
- How to tell the difference between a air pocket and a true clog
You see if you get a lot of random skips when doing a nozzle test you more that likely do not have a true clog you really have a few air bubbles
in the print heads. Just doing clean cycle after clean cycle is not the best way to purge out the bubbles. you are far better off just letting the printer sit overnight or printing random test and a few pages of color blocks.
2000P nozzle pattern
Also if you still get random skips then it is time to reseat the cartridge all you do is lift the blue cartridge locks and push then down. This will burp out those air pockets that have been known to lock up a print head.. In the worst case you can remove the cartridge and knock it on the table top yes ink will spill out but this is what you want to see...ink spilling out of those feed holes. Now once you do this the ink counter or ink low lights will not work so you have to keep a close eye on the printer when you see the ink stop flowing stop the printer!!! These print heads do not like to be run dry!! Now if you always have the same nozzle that skips then you may have a real clog. The Windex trick really does blow out just about the worst clogs. And Windex is cheap and it will not hurt you or your printer.
The cleaning pads are those foam pads located under the print heads when they are in the parked position (power off) The pads are colored with guess what ....the ink you are using!!! The are about 1/2 x 1 inch and they are under the carriage or print heads when they are parked! But please be careful. As I have posted before, do not contact those cleaning pads; they are spring mounted and they can be knocked out of position very easy! Once you have knocked them out of position it is time to send in your printer to Epson!
After trying cleaning cycles, you can try my trick of carefully dripping only 5 or so drops of Windex (from a new bottle) on the cleaning pads. Just drop about 5 to 6 drops of Windex [A better solution is a mix of distilled water, household non-sudsy ammonia, and cheap vodka. An ounce or so of the vodka and ammonia to a liter of water (It doesn't seem too critical)] on the pads (unscrew the sprayer and drip the windex out of the feed-tube) and then make sure you turn off the printer this forces the pads up to the print heads and the Windex will do it's thing very quickly! About 1 hour works most of the time - overnight on the clogs from hell.
You can also drop windex on the ink inlets in the carriage, but try the pad trick first. After you tried the pads trick 2 times: You can drop Windex directly on the spikes in the bottom of the carriage. These will be seen when you take out the cartridge. You must remove the cartridges to see the spikes. Here is what you do:
- Make sure that you turn off the printer before you drip on the spikes!
- do not drop more than 7 drops from a clean eye dropper!
- Wait at least 10 minutes and drop 5 more drops on the spike, You also should put 2 drops on the other "good ink feed spikes" to prevent them from drying out (it happened to me!)
After this, install the cartridge making sure that when you install the cartridge the ink out light goes out!
You may have to run up to 2 to 4 clean cycles, this is normal in your situation Just make sure that you do not exit the clean menu and continue doing cleaning and nozzle checks
You must stay in the utility menu for the printer to use increased suction, you must also run a nozzle check between cleaning cycles, or the printer won't actually clean its self, just spin the roller. Each time you repeat a cleaning cycle without exiting the menu, the printer will use increased suction (contrary to popular belief, the print heads aren't actually spraying ink out during the cleaning cycle, rather ink is being sucked through the heads
by a pump).
3000 nozzle pattern
This works very well and should be tried before you go trying windex! This not only will clean the heads but this will align the heads, it is a procedure I use for both cleaning & head alignment. Compare the test prints as you go to see if you are making any progress. Follow these closely:
- while the printer is on hold down the button with the ink drop icons on it for 5 seconds. This will do a clean cycle by the printer. Do this a couple times.
- Now shut off the printer and while holding down the paper advance button, turn on the printer (don't release the paper advance for at least 5 seconds) this will print a nozzle check pattern.
If you have a clog or head out of line, repeat the first procedure AT LEAST 3-4 times. Then repeat the second. If the heads are REALLY BAD you may have to keep going, as long as you can see that the heads are being moved or the test pattern changes with these cycles.