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Hardware Thread, Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets? in Technical; Hi Everyone, I have a question for you for my first post - been lurking for a while and like ...
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    Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a question for you for my first post - been lurking for a while and like what I see, so I thought I'd test your knowledge...

    I'm a (very) part time tech at the local primary school and we're back from holidays next week. I'm in for the first time on the second day back and I just know my time is going to be taken up trying to unblock all the Epson Stylus inkjets which will be gooed up like mad from being unplugged all summer.

    Anyone out there got any hot tips for getting the ink flowing again? I consigned three printers to the great computer room in the sky last term and I don't want to be doing the same thing again! I think the problems stem from keep unplugging them, and also using cheap ink.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Cheers.

    P.S. To the admins: Keep up the good work!

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    I find that removing the cartridge & cleaning the heads with Propan-2-ol (or something like that) does a good job of clearing the heads. Just put a reasonable amount on with cotton buds & let it soak in. When you put the carts back in, clean the heads a few times, although be prepared to go through a set of carts to get it working 100%.

    Best advice is to keep them turned off if they're not going to be used for a while, but turn them on and print a few pages every week or two.

    Rob.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Stay away from Epsons they are the Devil /end rant.

    The school was full of epsons when I got here and I have been slowly getting rid of them all. I find the combination of cheap Epsons and cheap ink to be a false economy given the amount of attention they need. I prefer HP Business inkjets now which do cost 3 times the price but you wont need to touch them very often.
    Probably not an option for you to replace those printers but something to bear in mind in the future if your asked about buying a new one.
    To get them clear you just have to run them through their cleaning cycle about 5 times which is very tedious and wastes ink in the process. You have to do all this manually. You could however probably use an autoit script to do it but I have never tried.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    I always find nail varnish remover works well for cleaning print heads - apply a little to a cotton-bud or similar. You will then need to run the cleaning process a few times though to get it flowing.

    Option 2 is to see how far you can throw the printer after you order a HP Business Inkjet

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    Option 2 is to see how far you can throw the printer after you order a HP Business Inkjet
    My record is about 25 feet into the skip. A lot further if accuracy is not needed

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    We've been slowly phasing out Inkjets all together due to the fact that we had 6 Epson 880s get so clogged that even with the above techniques cleaning failed.

    My tip is to go for a laser. They cost about the same as a good business inkjet and the advantage is no wastage of ink and no drying up. Overall the average cost of running one is about the same as an inkjet. Even the colour ones. HP 2550 colour lasers start about the £250 mark with the network option


    Who needs to throw printers them when you have 3 stories to drop one (or all of them from :-)

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Welcome B-W. Somewhere on the site someone once recounted the full running costs in a primary school where each PC was paired up with a HP inkjet. Truely, truely terrifying.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Thanks for all the advice, guys.

    Any tips on how to actually get the various suggested solvents to the print heads themselves? I've never quite figured out how! Or is it enough to squirt it down the little nozzles that stab into the cartridges?

    To those suggesting dumping the Epsons - I hear you, and I agree with the sentiment, but I unfortunately have no control over such decisions. I'll certainly make suggestions, though. I wonder how long a couple of basic colour lasers would take to pay for themselves vs. 8 or so inkjets??

    Cheers.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    A placstic science pipet is whats used here . You can force the solvent through when you have got a tight seal on the spike that pierces the cartridge. Put some absorbant paper under it to catch drips. The only problem is if air gets trapped, one week later you will be doing the same thing all over again.

    When costing take into account the time spent cleaning the heads. for eg £10 per hour for an 8 hr day. Its £80. So 3 days of work which to be honest it will take you that to do 8 printers is the cost of 1 HP Laser. A cartridge will last for approx 200 pages if that. A laser cartridge is 4000 pages. Factor in 20 cartridges at £5 each thats £100. Laser cartridge is £45 ish. So by one cycle of cartridges its has payed for itself. Remeber it will come witch cartridged that do about 2000 pages to start.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    I've only used that pipet since someone ran off with the syringe. Who would nick that and why is beyond me. Although there's a multitude of possible scenarios to conjure with....

    Probably a syringe is better as it's less likely to draw in air when you suck the liquid up. I would get to a chemist and buy one, but it looks like nearly all our Epsons have died now.... A development for which I am truely thankful

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Welcome new folk

    Well, there are two other things you can do crc-ict

    1. You can actually get "flushing" (for use of a better word) cartridges which you pop in like a normal cartridge and the (as i remember) run a full cleaning cycle with it [similar to whats been mentioned i know - but no one mentioned the cart's ]. Cant remember the cost of them but I dont think they are much - ~£5 and i think you refill the cart with the solution but it was a long time ago i did it so unsure. Can find out more if required...

    Just had a thought and it paid off - here ya go:

    http://www.jrinkjet.co.uk/index.php?page_id=112

    I assume you fill an empty cart with the stuff, but the instructions are included anyhow

    2. Epson Express centres have "special" tools/applications which have more vigorous cleaning facilities in them. You might want to try calling your local one to see if they can help you. I help out at a retailer who is a EpsonExpress centre, but I highly doubt Epson would allow the distribution of such tools tho Still... I'll see what he thinks too

    Regards
    Nath.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Thanks, everyone. Lots of tips to try out.

    Have to see when the moment of truth comes next week!

    All the best.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    Any luck crc-ict?

    Nath.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    I'm back in school for the first time this afternoon, so in about 3 hours, all these ideas will be put to the test!

    I shall post my experiences here later on.

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    Re: Tips for unblocking Epson inkjets?

    I always find if you use Epsons it is always best to use the Gen cartridges only. The school I used to work in used the non gen ones (cheaper) and they always clogged up like mad. I have found a good supplier for Gen ones. www.w2w.com cheaper than pc world.

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