Problems with New and Compatable Epson Cartridges
Keep The Print Head Clean
Care needs to be taken to ensure that the print head is
kept clean in order to stop ink clogging in the print head.
Some machines, mostly the Hewlett Packard printers, have
a tendency not to clean the print head properly as part
of their normal cleaning cycles. Often deposits of ink will
set up on the end of the print head causing the cartridge
to function sub-optimally. This problem can be fixed by
gently cleaning the print head with a soft cotton cloth
or Q-tip dipped in water - don't use tissues. Snap the cartridge
in and out a couple times to get a good connection after
cleaning. Keeping the print head clean greatly increases
the number of successful refills.
Do Not Run Back to Back Cleaning Cycles.
(this applies to all printers)
It just makes things worse! Give the cartridge a chance
to let some ink flow in between cleaning cycles! After running
a cleaning cycle, Print 3 or 4 pages of a color pattern
or a color balanced image. If the printing is still not
looking good, run another cleaning cycle, then 3 or 4 pages
of color pattern. Repeat the process until you have obtained
a quality print. This will purge air bubbles or foamy ink
that a cleaning cycle may not get.
Purge the Cartridge
Purging the cartridge regularly is one of the most important
steps in ensuring a long cartridge life. The purging cycle
is NOT the same as the cleaning cycle. If you don't know
how to do this, read your printer manual, It's all in there!
The purge cycle consists of a process that heats all the
jets in the cartridge and then cleans them from the inside
out. All purge cycles produce a grid which consists of vertical
and horizontal lines which represent all the jets in the
Common Problems with New and Compatible Epson Cartridges
Sometimes a brand new cartridge from Epson or one of our
compatibles may appear to not be working properly. There
are three (3) reasons for this.
1) There may not be a pool of ink at the exit port (the
pre-chamber) that the head can suck from. The solution to
this is the "Centrifugal Force" tip below.
2) The vent grooves to one or more chambers may be blocked
by adhesive. The adhesive from the tear away seal or the
name plate sticker may have blocked up a vent groove. If
air can't get into the cartridge, the ink will not flow.
The solution to this is a straight pin. Use a straight pin
to puncture the name plate foil and vent the cartridge.
If you run your finger nail across the foil, you will find
there is a hole under the foil for each chamber. This is
where to stick the pin through the foil. After making the
pin holes in each chamber, run a few cleaning cycles to
reestablish solid ink in the head.
3) Printer stops printing after a few pages(or many) have
printed. *After refilling your cartridge your printer "thinks"
the "original" cartridge is empty. Simply unplug the printer
and wait a couple of minutes before plugging it in again.
This Should "clear" the memory so the printer recognizes
your refilled cartridge as "full".
Resetting The Epson 'Chip Cartridges'
Did you know that Epson created a 'chip' for their 777,
870 and 1270 cartridges that, in effect, stops the cartridge
from printing when there is about 10-15% ink still left
What a 'rip'! Our new compatible cartridges still do the
same since the 'chip' is a 'clone' but, I'm going to give
you a 'work-around' for this so you can at least get your
money's worth! (that's what we're here for!)
Epson 777, the Easy Way (also for the 870/1270)....
With it (the printer) turned off and unplugged (for safety)
open the top smoke cover. Using a dull butter knife, lay
the butter knife flat on the silver flat track, with the
cutting edge facing away from you. Slide it under the ink
*If you look closely, you should see a small lever which
comes up whenever the printer stops printing. The lever
to which we are referring is just 'left' of the printhead
assembly. This lever can be moved forward and down easily
either with your finger or gently with the dull butter knife.
(If you can't see the lever, then print a page with the
top open. Watch for a lever that goes down when it starts
printing and then goes up after it has stopped).
Then with your right hand gently push the printhead/ cartridge
assembly to the 'right'. It will only move a fraction of
an inch, but you should hear a click. This is a second lock
being released. The printhead assembly should now easily
move to the left towards the center of the printer.
Now, pull pressure on the cartridge carrier to slide it
to the 'left'. *Move the knife forward and back until you
feel the cartridge carrier freely slide to the left. Remove
the knife, slide the carrier to the center, remove cartridges
and reinstall, then slide the carrier all the way to the
right. Plug in power and hit power button, after its done
doing its 'dance' it should be reset to full and you're
ready to go!
Elimination of Air Pockets Using Centrifugal Force
Some of the sponge filled cartridges can develop air pockets
at the bottom of the cartridge that can block the flow of
ink. HP color cartridges and Epson Stylus Color cartridges
are best know for this problem. The solution is centrifugal
Wrap the cartridge in a towel or cloth. Place the cloth
wrapped cartridge in a plastic bag, (a plastic "grocery"
bag is good). Hold it in your hand with the head or exit
ports pointing down. Extend your arm and swing the cartridge
down towards the floor rapidly, sorta like you were going
to throw it. Repeat a couple of times. Then remove the cloth
wrapping. There should be a visible spot of ink from each
of the chambers. If not, do it again. ** Note: Epson 400/600/800/1520
series cartridges must have a pool of ink at the exit port
to work properly.
If the printer is printing in streaks and 'smearing' follow
this procedure to remove any excess ink from the printer
1. OPEN printer so the cartridges move to center of the
2. REMOVE all cartridges.
3. FOLD a letter size piece of paper in half, and then in
half again the other way so it is quartered.
4. START with the long, folded edge and insert into front
of printer where paper normally feeds out. (it will slip
in a little over halfway)
5. MOVE the paper left and right to remove any excess ink
under the carriage. When the excess ink is removed the printer
should print streak-free.