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Common Problems with New and Compatable Epson Cartridges
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Common 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 cartridge.

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 in it?...

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 cartridges carrier.

*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 force.

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 carriage area:
1. OPEN printer so the cartridges move to center of the carriage.
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.






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