Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : Epson Stylus Color 800 clogged print hea..  
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Epson Stylus Color 800 clogged print head

(From: Alan G. Pope (agpope@phonetech.com).)

PROBLEM: Dryed black ink clog-up in the tube leading from the black ink cartridge to the print head. Black ink flow totally halted. New cartridges won't work.

BACKGROUND: Epson uses very fast-drying, water-soluble, inks in this printer, and if the printer sits idle for some length of time the ink feed tubes and the print heads become clogged with dry ink. Epson issues dire warnings about potential damage to the printer if attempts are made to flush these parts with any solvent, and recommends factory repair only.

On the advice of someone who has vast experience with such problems, I successfully used the following repair. procedure.

REPAIR PROCEDURE: Use a clean small hypodermic syringe with NO needle. Press on to the syringe nozzle, a 3/4 inch long piece of model airplane gas engine fuel tubing. This tubing is available cheaply from your local model hobby shop. It is a pale light blue colored plastic tubing. The MEDIUM size is the right one. The bore (ID) of the tubing is less than 1/16 of an inch. It makes a very tight fit when pushed onto the syringe nozzle.

Remove the cartridge from the printer, and pull the power plug immediately to prevent any further printer movement.

Load the syringe with 2-3 CC's of scalding hot water, preferably distilled water available at your grocery store. Then press the other end of the tubing down over the little black nozzle in the bottom of the cartridge holder. It must be a very tight fit.

Forcibly inject the hot water into the printer. If the clogging is really severe, you may have to press the syringe plunger very hard. Continue injecting until the syringe is empty, while making sure that the tubing does not slip off the syringe or the printer nozzle. Repeat this injection procedure 1-2 more times with more hot water if necessary.

Once the hot water goes through easily, the clog has been dissolved. It may be necessary to wait 24 hours for the water to evaporate, but in my case it was not. I simply replaced the black ink cartridge, and ran the Epson's head-cleaning utility several times until the black ink started coming through. Running the nozzle-check utility, to make a test pattern print, will let you know when the ink flow is OK.

This same procedure should work equally well for the colored inks of this printer. I suspect that the procedure will also probably work for some other Epson inkjet printers as well.

Use this procedure at your own risk. All I can tell you is that it worked beautifully for me. There was NO printer damage.

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