Question about Epson Stylus 680 InkJet Color Printer
I have recently bought a second hand Epson Sylus 680, it worked fine for about 2 days but now will only print blank pages, it goes through the motions of printing but the pages come out blank. I have tried both USB and Serial connections but neither work, I have even tried reinstalling it on 3 different computers but it still gives me blank pages. I have tried 3 different ink cartridges and none work (the odds of getting 3 sets of faulty ink cartridges are very slim indeed). Any help would be appreciated as I had a similar problem with my first printer and replaced it, now I have the same problem again with the replacement! This printer was advertised as never being used and even cam with its original sealed cartridges.
First of all, there is the seller's liability here. If it's from eBay, there's some protection feature for you to use. The "prints blank pages" problem is believed to be caused by a clogged purge tube. Here is a guide I found that exlpains the problem, and how to solve it: Recently, after changing out the blank ink tank on my finacee's Epson CX5400 multifunction inkjet printer, the printer began printing nothing but blank pages. Even after doing multiple head cleanings and test prints, pages would emerge from the printer completely blank. After some research, a number of fellow CX5400 owners have reported having the same problems, to the extent that the term "design flaw" became a common theme. I've owned several Epson printers and have had, generally, good luck with them. I was always somewhat suspicious of Epson's philosophy of making the print heads a permanent part of the printer and having the only replaceable part be the ink tanks, but it produced good-looking prints so it didn't bother me. Now I know, unfortunately, that this system is both a blessing and a curse. Before we delve into how to fix your blank-page-printing problem, a quick explanation on how Epson's ink delivery system works (or, rather, how it appears Epson's ink delivery system works, because Epson isn't exactly willing to divulge its trade secrets) is in order. There are a few components to the delivery system. First, you have the ink tanks. Early Epson tanks were just that; plastic boxes with a sponge inside saturated with ink. Newer tanks have a small PCB with a flash chip on it, so the printer can tell if a tank is new or used, or if it's an Epson brand cartridge or a generic replacement. In either case, the basic functionality is that it's a holder for the ink. Next in the chain are the ink tubes and primer. I've heard conflicting reports on how Epson printers get the ink out of the tanks; some believe that the tanks are positively pressurized when first installed, so that ink shoots out of the tank when the printer needs it. Other reports say that the printer puts negative pressure on the cartridge to draw ink out of it. Once the printer has the ink out of the cartridge, there are two places it can go, to either the print heads or to the purge tube. The print heads are what makes the ink spray onto the paper; the purge tube is where the ink goes when the printer primes new cartridges and cleans dirty print heads. Many cases of the "prints blank pages" problem occur right after installing new ink tanks. People have literally removed empty tanks from printers that work perfectly, and installed new tanks to find that the printer delivers blank pages (this happened to me). Since it's highly unlikely that the print heads have become clogged during the 5 minutes it takes to swap out the cartridges, the problem has to be elsewhere in the ink delivery system. So here's what happens when you install a new ink tank: 1. The new tank is installed, the printer recognizes that it's a new tank, and begins the priming sequence. 2. The printer starts to prime the tank. Ink comes out of each tank and is directed to the purge tube. 3. The ink flows through the purge tube into the internal absorbent pad. 4. After a couple seconds, the printer stops the priming sequence and probably does a quick print head cleaning. Now, a few people have done some in-depth troubleshooting and found that the "prints blank pages" problem is actually caused by a clogged purge tube. While this may not immediately make sense (you may be thinking, "so what if the tube is clogged, the ink will just spill inside the printer elsewhere"), here's what my research suggests happens when the problem occurs: 1. The new tank is installed, the printer recognizes that it's a new tank, and begins the priming sequence. 2. The printer starts to prime the tank. Ink comes out of each tank and is directed to the purge tube. 3. The tube is blocked, so the ink has nowhere to go. 4. After a couple seconds, the printer stops the priming sequence. Epson's ink delivery system appears to be a sealed system, so when the ink has nowhere to go in step 3, little ink has actually escaped the new ink tanks. This means they're not primed correctly, and won't deliver ink as they need to when the printer goes to print. So unless the purge tube gets cleaned out, you can swap tanks and perform head cleanings until the cows come home and it won't do any good. Now that there's a basic understanding of what's going on, here's how to try to fix the problem. This guide is meant to be model-agnostic; I did this procedure to a Stylus CX5400 multifunction, but it should be similar for most Epson inkjets made in the past few years. It's unknown if new Epsons still have this problem, as it usually takes a year or more to surface. The first thing you need to do is prepare your work surface. You'll need a big table, preferably one you don't care too much about. If all you have is your good kitchen table, then it's a good idea to slice open a tall kitchen garbage bag to make one large sheet, and tape it to the table to protect it. Next, you'll need the following tools and supplies: (View attached picture)
Posted on Jun 27, 2006
Easier to buy a new printer. They're so cheap because they make their money on the ink jets.
Posted on Jul 29, 2008
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