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How to unclog Epson 3000 print heads

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Old June 27th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
sigmo sigmo is offline
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Default How to unclog Epson 3000 print heads

The quick fix is to place Ammoniated Windex on the capping station and let the head soak overnight. To get to the capping station, turn the printer off, now turn it on and wait a couple seconds and pull the plug from the wall. The carriage should now be unlocked and free to move to the left to expose the capping station. Use a straw to drip the fluid on the pad and push the carriage back to the right but do not turn the machine back on. Let it sit overnight and then turn it on and run a head clean then a nozzle test print. If the pump is clogged more work is needed. To determine if it's clogged keep reading.

Sometimes a ink purge can do the trick. Remove all four carts while the printer is on and then turn it off. Then turn it on and reinsert the carts. The printer will run for about 8 minutes while the printer charges the lines and heads. This can unclog the pump and the heads and remove any air that may be in the lines.

Leaving the printer on all the time is the best way to prevent ink from drying out and clogging the nozzles.

Here's what the Epson Technicians Inkjet Training CD says for their techs to do with a printer whose printhead nozzles are missing, deflected or not firing:

This two-part process is described on the following pages:

PART A - PUMP AND CAP TEST
PART B - PRINTHEAD RECOVERY/FLUSH PROCEDURE

CLEANING SOLUTIONS REQUIRED:
Epson PN 1041371, A29 Clear fluid
Epson PN 1047886, S46 Red fluid

PART A - PUMP AND CAP TEST

1.PUMP TEST:

a) Power the printer OFF, remove any paper. Remove the top cover. Disable printhead lock mechanism. Position the printhead to the left of the cap. (to allow air valve to be open) Soak the cap with CLEAN TAP WATER. Manually rotate the pump gear and observe the fluid drain from the cap. The cap will turn white and dry if the pump is working.

b) To test if INK is flowing through the print head once the above is done. Place print head onto cap and insure that the air valve is closed. Manually rotate the pump gear and observe the ink return to the cap. The cap will turn colors corresponding to the I/C structure. If this doesn’t work then the cap or air valve assembly may require cleaning. Follow the steps below to clean and flush the pump system. HOWEVER, if the cap does fill up with the Ink colors and NO NOZZLES fire. Inspect print head cable
connections.

(This initial pump test will determine your next step. If the pump is not working at this point, you should remove and clean/ or replace the pump assembly. The pump should test good as outlined above before proceeding. I.e.; there is no sense recovering the printhead if the pump is bad).

2. CAP CLEANING:

a) REMOVE and CLEAN THE CAP: Remove the CAP assembly and the Wiper Strip, carefully removing the ink tubing. (Refer to applicable service manual). Clean the CAP and WIPER in a sink, flushing with plain water. (We recommend this CAP & Wiper cleaning step, whether the head needs flushing or not.)

b) If the printhead requires flushing, i.e.; the PUMP TEST worked OK, and you decide to do a complete flush process, then leave the CAP off and proceed to PART B. If not, replace the CAP assembly and the Wiper, and perform the NOZZLE TEST functions and cleaning cycles as necessary. If printing is not satisfactory at that point, you may decide to perform PART B at that time.

(Proceed to PART B if the printhead requires flushing)

PART B - RECOVERY/FLUSH PROCEDURE

1. GENTLY INJECT RED FLUID: Remove the CAP assembly (If not already removed). Place a paper towel in the cavity where the cap was. Position the printhead over the towel. Remove any ink cartridges. Using a syringe with tubing, gently Inject red cleaning fluid into each color and black nozzle set. (NOTE: If fluid can not be injected, install and puddle cap with fluid and let soak for 30 minutes. Retry step 1.)

2. REPLACE THE CAP and RE-INSTALL THE OLD INK CARTRIDGES: Move the CR assembly to the left and remove the paper towel, dab the area dry with a clean towel. Replace the CAP assembly and reconnect tubes.

3. PUDDLE THE CAP: Fill the cap with red fluid. That is, “puddle” the cap using the syringe.

4. SOAK OVERNIGHT: The printer is now ready to soak. The cartridges in place will keep the fluid in the head, and the red fluid in the cap will loosen any remaining residual ink. Leave undisturbed overnight

5. REMOVE THE CAP AND CLEAN: (Yes.. take out the cap and clean it again, just like Part A)

6. GENTLY INJECT CLEAR FLUID: Place a paper towel in the cavity where the cap was. Position the printhead over the towel. Remove any ink cartridges. Using a syringe with tubing, gently Inject one full syringe of clear cleaning fluid into each color and black nozzle set (flushing out the red fluid).

7. REINSTALL CAP: Put the CAP assembly back in.

8. WITH POWER ON, INSTALL NEW CARTRIDGES: Place new ink cartridges in the printer using the correct install procedure.

9. PERFORM CLEANING CYCLES UNITL FRESH INK IS IN THE CAP: It usually takes two to three cleaning cycles until the cap is “ banded” with color from the ink.

10. PRINT TEST: Power the printer up and perform a self-test or nozzle test. Perform additional cleaning cycles as needed. (We
suggest printing a photo page as for final verification. Test page files can be found on the Epson Inkjet Training CD)

If you need a service manual you can find one online for free here:

http://www.sigmowiggy.com/SC3000_sm.pdf

If you need the head cleaning solutions mentioned above I can order them for you.

Regards,
David Parker
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Old July 8th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
sigmo sigmo is offline
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Default Re: How to unclog Epson 3000 print heads

Perhaps. But when you compare the cost of ink where an aftermarket cartridge for a 3000 can be purchased for around $5.00 for 110 ML it becomes quite clear why one would choose to keep their 3000 running. You will save thousands of dollars over the life of the printer.

~Dave
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
sigmo sigmo is offline
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Default Re: How to unclog Epson 3000 print heads

This thread was intended to help Epson users maintain their 3000's without getting ripped off by a repair shop, not to debate whether HP is better than Epson. An Epson 3000 can normally be unclogged very simply with some windex, others may take more work. That information is in this thread. Mileage may vary.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
SkyLinePrints SkyLinePrints is offline
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Default Re: How to unclog Epson 3000 print heads

sigmo,

thanks for the tips. you always bring good information to the table.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 11:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
Kymtman Kymtman is offline
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Smile Re: How to unclog Epson 3000 print heads

I keep two Epson SC3000s going and sometimes after a few days or weeks one or both may become clogged. This is my solution workflow; Turn unit on and let the printhead release the park brakes. with Clorox tough cleaning wipes, fold wipe to about 3/4 inches wide.These wipes are free from harmful fibers and very wet. Under the printhead is a kind of valley where the printing process takes place on the paper. First I use a sheet of plastic paper loaded to catch any cleaner that might leak from the wipes. With the wipe folded move the printhead out of the way to the left or right and place the folded wipe in the valley under the head. You can take a credit card to help it into place. by holding the wipe in place move the head onto the wipe. You may have to try several times to get it right but it will work. When it is clearly visible on both ends move the head back and forth to clean the dried ink from the head. after a few swipes your wipes will be full of ink stains. Remove and try again with several wipes. I have used sometimes 5 or 6 wipes to get the head clean. The last head I cleaned I had to let it sit over night on the wipes after adding a few drops of ammonia and water solution.

Another way is to use a painter pad tool. It is a sponge brush to cut in with around trim etc.. It is about 1 3/4 x 2 inches with a slide on handle. Has fine bristles to hold the paint and is attached to a sponge. I cut the pad loose from the sponge , then cut the 1 3/4 into two parts leaving about 3/4 x 2" and then wash it to remove any loose bristles it may have. It will look similar to the cleaner at the cap station. take and place it in the vallery and slide the head onto the painter pad while it is wet and move the head left and right a few times. This is an added step the the above described step. and lo and behold a very clean head.

These procedures and what works for me. Depending on your inks and working environmental conditions it may be best to print a test pattern at least once a week to prevent the clogs.
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