Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : Cleaning totally clogged colour head in ..  
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Cleaning totally clogged colour head in Epson Stylus Color 500

(From: Colin Guillas (rguillas@nrn1.nrcan.gc.ca).)

I have an Epson Stylus Colour II printer which had similar problems- this time, which the magenta head.

After running about 50 cleaning cycles, and having no improvement, I disassembled the unit (I am WAY out of warranty already ;-) and manually mopped out the cleaning apparatus- the rubber heads were VERY gummed up, so I wipe them off... the suction tubes were clogged, so I squeezed them out, the sponges were full, so I mopped them up with a kleenex. I then put on a pair of elbow length kleenex gloves, and pulled the cotton cleaning tray/absorbent reservoir out of the base of the unit, and rung it out into the toilet. There was a three year accumulation of wasted ink in there- this printer gets extremely heavy use, but it was amazing at the amount of ink that gets wasted, compared to what goes on paper! I would guess that it's about 30/70, 70% ending up on paper. Incredible wastage. I just don't buy cheap refills. I buy better ones with guarantees on them. I also replace the cartridges that I am refilling every four to six refills. There will be an accumulation of 'junk' if you don't.

The cure to my problem? Pay the price for the genuine epson cartridge and do another fifty cleaning cycles. It worked for me. I had to wring out that @#$%liner again....

(BTW, If anyone else has an epson inkjet, I recommend that they get the liner replaced or at least wrung out. It's a horrible mess which can overflow if you use an awful lot of ink... mine was saturated... you may have a nasty surprise next time you decide to move the printer- all down the front of your shirt. ;-)