Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : Print head repair                       
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Print head repair

"I have a few Epson dot matrix print heads with stuck or sunken pins. Does anyone have experience with disassembling these things for cleaning/repairs? It looks like you just have to pop a few clips to get them apart."

(From: Chris Serrano (brace@loop.com).)

I resurrected one by hanging it pins downs in an ultrasonic cleaner. A lot of old dried up ink floated right out and the stuck pin became obedient again.

(From: Filip M. Gieszczykiewicz (filipg@repairfaq.org).)

Greetings. If one does not have the use of an ultrasonic cleaner, I have found a different way to get these suckers working again.

Go to your local plumbing store and look in the chemicals department for 'CPVC-PVC-ABS CLEANER' (used to clean plastic pipes). This stuff is a combination of groovy chemicals Methyl Ethyl Ketone and Acetone. It will 'melt' most plastics so be sure the print-head's any plastic parts are safely taken off.

Pour some of this stuff into a GLASS container and put the print head, business-end first, in it and leave it there for a few minutes. When the stuff turns dark-purple (all the ink and goo from the print head) you are done. Let it dry (few minutes) and then oil it with LIGHT OIL. Note: Do NOT use WD40 - we're interested with something that sticks around for a few months... WD40 just leaves a 'protective layer' with almost zilch lubricating properties (it's a Water Displacer (WD), after all).

I have done this for a few DataSouth DS-180, Infoscribe 1000s, and Xerox [monster] printers that see a box of 132 column paper a month (each) for a number of years with excellent results. Note: YMMV... these printers have rugged print heads (7/9 pin)... I don't know how a 24-pin Made-in-China feather will respond.

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