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Hi and thanks for any help offered - after trying some compatible carts in my Epson WF-2010 printer and having trouble, I replaced them with all epson 16XL carts but it only shows the black on the nozzle check printout, despite nozzle cleaning carried out a couple of times - help!?
Surprise, surprise. The print jets on the colour print head are most likely still blocked. If the printer was left for any long period before you put the new ones in then it can take several head cleaning cycles to clear them, if at all.
Also if you are having this problem remove them and reinsert them to initiate the ink charging routine as there may be airlocks.
If you still have problems wet a piece of fluffless material with warm water and place it on the rails then lift the printer head slightly and move it over the cloth. Leave it for a few hours in contact. That sometimes will soften it so that a head clean will work
If you still fail then you can buy head cleaning kits which allow cleaning fluid to be passed through the print head but it can be a bit messy so it's a last resort.
Methods to manually clean Epson printheads (part 1):
It is suggested you perform the suggested methods of manually cleaning the Epson printheads in the order they are listed below. They are listed in order from the easiest to the more difficult. If the first method does not completely solve the problem, then go on to the next.
1. Distilled water or Windex solution in sponges
When the Epson printhead is in its resting or 'off' position, the printheads are above a single or two sponges. By saturating these sponges often excess ink on the printheads will mix with the water and get sucked into the sponge when the printer is turned on.
Move printhead assembly to center of printer:
Start with the printer turned off. Open top of printer so you can see the printhead/cartridge assembly. On older models of Epson printers you can simply move this assembly to the left, towards the center of the printer. Newer models have a locking lever which prevents the printhead assembly from moving from the resting position. If you look closely, you should see a small, plastic (usually black or white) lever which comes up whenever the printer stops printing. The lever to which we are referring is just left of the printhead assembly. This lever can be moved forward and down easily with your finger. If you can't see the lever, then print a page with the top open. Watch for a lever that goes down when it starts printing and then goes up after it has stopped.
If there isn't an unlock lever then just run a cleaning cycle. When you hear the printhead moving back and forth, pull out the power plug. This should leave the printhead assembly in an unlocked position so you can easily move it back and forth.
With the printer off and the lever moved down as far as it will go, gently push the printhead/cartridge assembly to the right. It will only move a fraction of an inch, but you should hear a click. This is a second lock being released. The printhead assembly should now easily move to the left towards the center of the printer.
With the printhead moved, you can now see the sponges which were under the printheads. Take a syringe or eyedropper and saturate the sponge(s). Fill the sponge holder as much as you can. Use distilled water or the Windex solution mentioned above. Regular water will work, but it is the last choice. Move the printhead assembly back over the sponges ... as far to the right as it will go. Let printer sit for at least 15 minutes before turning it 'on'. You may want to leave it overnight.
Be certain the printhead assembly is as far to the right as it will go before turning the printer 'on'. Print 6 or 8 pages of dense print or graphics if it is the color which is causing the problems. If you still have clogged nozzles, then move on to the next suggestion.
Methods to manually clean Epson printheads (part 2):
2). Distilled water or printhead cleaner in ink port
Remove ink cartridge(s) from printer. On newer models you may have to hold one of the buttons down for several seconds for the printheads to move to the center. Refer to your printer manual.
With the cartridge(s) removed you will now be able to see the small cone shaped ink tubes (ink ports) which take the ink from the cartridge to the printhead. Black has one cone and the color has three. Using a syringe with blunt needle, put a few drops of Windex or distilled water in the cone. Recommend putting water or printhead cleaner only in the cone which sends ink to the printhead causing the problems. e.g. if it is the yellow which has nozzles missing, then put water only in the yellow inkport. If you're not sure which color is which, then look at the holes in the bottom of the color cartridge. Yellow is usually the color on the far right with magenta (red) in the middle and cyan (blue) on the left.
Put the cartridge(s) back into the cartridge holder. Do nothing. Usually after a few minutes the printer will automatically return the printhead assembly to its resting position. If any water or printhead cleaner dripped into the printer, wipe it dry with a paper towel.
Print 6 or 8 pages of dense print or graphics if it is a color which is causing the problems. If you still have clogged nozzles, then move on to the next suggestion.
3). Clean printhead with paper towels
Fold paper towel and dampen:
Be certain the printer is turned 'off'. Tear a single sheet of paper towel in half. Fold the sheet in half several times until it is about 1/2 inch by whatever length the sheet started at. In other words, you want to fold it so it is long and skinny, not square. Open the cover of the Epson printer. Along the path which the printhead assembly travels when printing, you will see a rubber roller which moves the paper. (this is like the paper roller in a typewriter). Put the paper towel on top of this rubber roller and use tape on each end to secure it. Put a few drops of Windex mixture mentioned above or distilled water near the middle of the paper towel.
Move printhead assembly over the paper towel and let it rest on top of the damp portion of the paper towel. (See above for information on how to release the printhead assembly.)
Suggest letting the printhead sit over the paper towel for at least 15 minutes. This will soften the ink on the printhead. Move printhead assembly back to its resting position. You will probably notice that the paper towel now has one long black blob of ink on it. (There is so much excess ink on the printheads that all the colors are mixing to make black.) If you cannot clearly see individual colors, then dampen another spot on the paper towel and move the printhead back over the newly dampened spot on the paper towel. Continue repeating this until you see all the individual colors. You may have to use several pieces of folded paper towels.
Before turning the printer 'on', be certain to move the printhead back to its resting position and remove the paper towel from inside the printer. Now that all excess ink has been removed from the printheads, your clogged nozzles should be cleared. It may take several pages of dense print to get the ink flowing properly.
BTW, the above are methods I lifted from an old web page that is no longer available. You try at your own risk.
Sometime it can get to be a rather messy job in attempting to clear print ink heads or cartridges, so be prepared with a suitable area and use latex or similar type gloves.
Depending on the age and previous usage of the printer, you may also find that the ink waste tank might need a little cleaning.
I have a number of various printer's, and the reason for this is due to the now cheap cost of a printer, compared to maintenance service costs with no guarantee's that the printer's will work like they did in the past!.
I have always had Epson Printers and have found the best advice is to always leave them switched on. In this way the printer heads are always kept moist. Always replace cartridges as soon as they run out and don't ever leave the printer without a cartridge, to prevent the heads drying out. There will always be a small amount of ink even in an 'empty' cartridge to keep the nozzles wet.
I rarely have to do a nozzle clean and even then its usually only one jet that's not working and clears straight away. Leaving the printer switched on uses a very minimal amount of electricity, and avoids wasting expensive ink running cleaning cycles.
Perhaps worth observation?.
While I fully agree with BT about leaving the Epson printer on, and possibly other essential products as well, like fridge/freezers, timers etc, I found it very strange was when I renewed an household insurance policy a few years ago. And with that came the warning that 'all' electrical devices should have any power supplies switched off, when the residence was not occupied, due to the possibility of any fire risk. The policy also stipulated that the household must have a least two fire extinguishers strategically placed, with one being in a kitchen area.
I have never seen these clauses before on a household insurance policy, and never since, after changing insurance company. So perhaps a word of warning, because most people never bother reading their insurance policies, or even understanding them, which could lead to a void policy at time of severe need ?.
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