Help Wanted Please - Epson SX515W Problems!
My parents have an Epson SX515W colour printer, and it's got a couple of major issues:
1) It won't print in black and white (or print anytime it requires black ink) but WILL print in colour, and
2) It keeps printing ink blotch marks all over whatever you do print. :mad:
Now, I've cleaned the heads multiple times; put in two sets of new ink cartridges (proper Epson ones), and tried re-aligning the head, but all to no avail.
Clearly, the problem can't be the black ink cartridge, as they've been changed twice now, and it seems like ink has somehow leaked inside the printer, and that is what is getting smeared all over any paper that gets fed through it - thereby destroying any printouts. :(
So, any pointers or suggestions on ways to fix these two issues? I'm not technically savvy enough to risk opening the printer up, and I wouldn't know what to do, even if I could, so if anyone has any help or advice then can offer me, please reply. Thanks in advance.
The blotch marks on the printout, could well be from ink getting on the paper feed rollers, caused by doing several head cleans. If you do too many in a row, it floods the cleaning sponge and gets all over the back of the head and drips on the rollers. I guess it is also possible that your ink charge/head cleaning mechanism might be clogged - see http://www.avforums.com/forums/print...ixed-info.html
I found that if the nozzles on my old Epson were still blocked after a second head clean, it was best to switch it off normally, and leave it overnight (if wasn't badly blocked I'd only do one clean to save ink). When you switch it off, the printer parks its head on the cleaning sponge, which will be wet from the waste ink sucked through it during the cleaning cycle. Several hours sitting in wet ink was often enough to soften the dried ink blocking its nozzles and get it printing normally, without further head cleans.
When that didn't work, which I guess it won't with yours, I had resort to more drastic measures - probably none of which are a very good idea:- I'd use the cartridge change option, so that the carriage would be moved to the change position, then unplug the power, which leaves the carriage free to move.
If the sponge was clogged up with dry ink, I'd very carefully dampen it and clean it with a bit of kitchen paper, and soak up any excess ink and water. Really should use a special epson cleaning solution (think it might be glycol based but not sure), but I didn't have any, and my old printer used dye ink which is still water soluble even when dry so I've always made do with warm water, shouldn't really especially as I'm in a hard water area.
I'd neatly fold up a sheet, or part sheet of kitchen paper into a strip so that it will sit in the bottom and the head carriage could be slid over it without snagging on it. Dampen the centre of the strip of paper towel and pull the ends back and forth to try to wipe any dried ink off the nozzles - I've since seen it suggested that doing that will damage the nozzles though.
If that didn't work I'd use the syringe method :- stick a fresh (dry) strip of kitchen paper under the head, as above, and with the mains lead still unplugged, remove the relevant cartridge, and use a syringe with a bit of tubing that makes a good seal with the cartridge port, to squirt, applying very light pressure (too much pressure will distroy the head), a little drop of warm water through the blocked nozzles, making sure it is all soaked up by the paper.
I've just been trying to unblock another epson printer that does use durabrite ink, got 3 colours fully working, but the forth was a pain, turned out the tiny holes through the centre of the plastic spike that pierces the cartridge were solidly blocked with dry ink, cleared that out but am now getting an error from one of the other carts - I guess I may have got a tiny drop of water in the electronics :(.
There's a video ad here that might help, although I don't think you can buy that particular product in the UK.
The best way to avoid a blockage is to use the printer every week, even if you just print a nozzle check sheet. It is probably even more important with a printer such as yours which uses pigment based ink, with, I believe a resin bonder to make it dry waterproof, and untouchable by milder solvents.
IF you remove part-used genuine epson carts, keep them upright!
Think I may have found out why I'm getting a cart error on the printer I was trying to unblock.
Apparently current genuine epson carts contain a sensor which is triggered when near empty, and if you tilt a part-full cartridge that can set it off. Once air gets to the sensor apparently the cart will be rejected.
Possibly the idea is to stop you refilling them, see:- Chip Resetter for Epson 7 Pin and 9 Pin Ink Cartridges
I pulled the chip out of an empty cart (T0712) and there are a couple of electrical contacts that connect to what does appears to be some sort of sensor behind it. The contact are open circuit on the empty cart.
I had actually tried to keep the carts I remove upright to avoid any airlocks, but one or two inevitably fell on their side while I was working on the printer...
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