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Cap/Pump assembly problem? - 2 lights blinking, sudden clogs on Magenta


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I'm doubting that this is a coincidence but since Monday, my P400 has had the Paper and Ink lights blinking simultaneously (it happens one out of about every 3 times that it tries to park at it's home position), and magenta would clog after about 10 prints (just a 12x2 strip of red is on the design that I've been printing). Surprisingly white has been fine.

Whenever the lights blink, I do hear some type of click when the printhead tries to park itself at home over the capping station. 

Yesterday, I ran a nozzle check and most of magenta, and half of all white was bad. Then I ran it again immediately after (without head cleaning) and the nozzles looked perfect. Weird...not sure if this pump assembly thing is causing all of these issues.

Any ideas? 

 

Edited by Mdrake2016
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1 hour ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I'm doubting that this is a coincidence but since Monday, my P400 has had the Paper and Ink lights blinking simultaneously (it happens one out of about every 3 times that it tries to park at it's home position), and magenta would clog after about 10 prints (just a 12x2 strip of red is on the design that I've been printing). Surprisingly white has been fine.

Whenever the lights blink, I do hear some type of click when the printhead tries to park itself at home over the capping station. 

Yesterday, I ran a nozzle check and most of magenta, and half of all white was bad. Then I ran it again immediately after (without head cleaning) and the nozzles looked perfect. Weird...not sure if this pump assembly thing is causing all of these issues.

Any ideas? 

 

Look and see if the wiper is actuating in a straight up and going back down  like this "L". When crud gets in there if the wiper doesn't rotate exactly right, it pops and clicks, sometimes it will grind because it isn't being released properly. Anytime this has happened, a good cleaning and oiling usually helped for a few months, but ultimately it needed replaced. 

 

IF you need a new capping station, the p600 capping station fits it too. 

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1 hour ago, johnson4 said:

Look and see if the wiper is actuating in a straight up and going back down  like this "L". When crud gets in there if the wiper doesn't rotate exactly right, it pops and clicks, sometimes it will grind because it isn't being released properly. Anytime this has happened, a good cleaning and oiling usually helped for a few months, but ultimately it needed replaced. 

 

IF you need a new capping station, the p600 capping station fits it too. 

The wiper blade seemed to move up and down just fine, but the blade itself was a little bent in the middle (from me cleaning it of course). I cleaned it some more and focused on the middle to push it back in place and so far, it seems to have fixed it. 
 

I have to ask, does it sound like this could be causing my magenta issue? I doubt it’s a coincidence that this started happening at the same time. I start to lose the magenta after 10ish prints.

Also, you know that little pause over the capping station during printing...is anything happening with the printhead on that pause? 

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Nevermind on that question about if this could be causing my magenta issue....I'm still losing it (now after 5ish prints) even with the capping station issue resolved.

This has been my single biggest issue with DTF since starting this back in April. No matter how much I take care of it, I keep getting these sudden clogs that happen every few prints. On this P400, I literally flush out my ink every single day with cleaning solution and that still seems to not have helped. This is my 5th printer with this same problem. This time the white has been fine, but the magenta suddenly isn't. Losing hope here honestly.

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39 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Nevermind on that question about if this could be causing my magenta issue....I'm still losing it (now after 5ish prints) even with the capping station issue resolved.

This has been my single biggest issue with DTF since starting this back in April. No matter how much I take care of it, I keep getting these sudden clogs that happen every few prints. On this P400, I literally flush out my ink every single day with cleaning solution and that still seems to not have helped. This is my 5th printer with this same problem. This time the white has been fine, but the magenta suddenly isn't. Losing hope here honestly.

What inks are you using? 

The Wide format ink might work better, I haven't tried the USA inks yet. The P400 being gravity fed will encounter the issues more often. IF your capping station isn't clean and the bottom of the printhead that will aid in this too. 

Overall if the cartridge isn't sealing well, it can cause it too. Make sure there isn't any build up, and the cartridge port is clean and makes a good seal. 

I ran two p400's for the first half of the year, I printed over 6,000 transfers on them without a single issue related to the printer using the basic DTF superstore inks. inherently one printer ran continuous, while the other was " ready" for when I needed more done in the day. I had 4 sets of carts and just swapped them, did a head clean, and kept going. I never once had colors drop out or any clogging issues at all. 

We took a break for about a month, for the first time in 5 years. Came back, everything was cool, then out of nowhere my cyan and magenta was doing what you are describing. Replaced the printhead, same thing. 

 

I think it's the ink, but I never figured it out. I cleaned them and stored them away for another day. It wasn't the capping station ( replaced) printhead ( replaced) or carts ( replaced) in my scenario. The only thing that stayed the same was the ink. I'm not blaming it, the same ink works perfectly in the p800's I now run, but rather maybe they settled a bit, or " batch to batch" quality wasn't there. But, It doesn't make sense for all the core components to be brand new directly from Epson, and still have the same issue. To me, it only points to the ink. I did run tests on the ink and pulled full liters through a 20 micron filter ( the same micron as OEM epson filters) and I did find some stuff in the magenta and cyan. White yellow and black were perfect. Is it a coincidence that's the same colors I had an issue with? I don't know. It could have also been me opening/closing the lid and dried ink falling inside. 

 

The reason I mention the wide format inks, is because from my understanding the i3200 and 4720 printhead has more delicate nozzles, so the ink is better suited for it. It's worth a shot anyway. I know my inks were expired by the time I came back, I hoarded them last year because Andy was new in the game and couldn't keep the stuff in stock in the beginning. It might be that. 

 

I'm not saying this is YOUR scenario, but what I did and how it was for me. Maybe your cap isn't sealing well so the head is getting air around it, or maybe the wiper isn't doing a good job anymore. Honestly, it's just one of those things that have a ton of variables, I've never really seen someone from afar pinpoint the issue before for others. 

Edited by johnson4
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57 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

The wiper blade seemed to move up and down just fine, but the blade itself was a little bent in the middle (from me cleaning it of course). I cleaned it some more and focused on the middle to push it back in place and so far, it seems to have fixed it. 
 

I have to ask, does it sound like this could be causing my magenta issue? I doubt it’s a coincidence that this started happening at the same time. I start to lose the magenta after 10ish prints.

Also, you know that little pause over the capping station during printing...is anything happening with the printhead on that pause? 

For the printhead stopping over the capping station, I'm not 100% sure, but I am certain this is to allow the motor that moves the printhead to cool. I found some things in the adjustment program that shows things that kind of support this, like the temperature limit reset counter when you replace the motor for the printhead.  The printhead doesn't actually spit ink, and all Epson's do it every 20 passes, at least all I have owned. I think the older/more used it gets, the longer it sits there. 

Edited by johnson4
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1 hour ago, johnson4 said:

What inks are you using? 

The Wide format ink might work better, I haven't tried the USA inks yet. The P400 being gravity fed will encounter the issues more often. IF your capping station isn't clean and the bottom of the printhead that will aid in this too. 

Overall if the cartridge isn't sealing well, it can cause it too. Make sure there isn't any build up, and the cartridge port is clean and makes a good seal. 

I ran two p400's for the first half of the year, I printed over 6,000 transfers on them without a single issue related to the printer using the basic DTF superstore inks. inherently one printer ran continuous, while the other was " ready" for when I needed more done in the day. I had 4 sets of carts and just swapped them, did a head clean, and kept going. I never once had colors drop out or any clogging issues at all. 

We took a break for about a month, for the first time in 5 years. Came back, everything was cool, then out of nowhere my cyan and magenta was doing what you are describing. Replaced the printhead, same thing. 

 

I've been trying different Chinese suppliers....at the moment, I'm using OCBestJet for the ink (CMYK only...ran out of white) and DTF Superstore for white. I've had no issues for a month (until now with the magenta). When I had issues similar to what you're describing with your cyan and magenta, that was with DTF Superstore inks. 

So it's a huge guessing game as far as inks. People over on the DTF Facebook groups seem to always say that Vibrant Vibes on Etsy has the best ink. Although I honestly feel like they're just trying to support her since she's in the same Facebook groups so I can't say for sure how well her inks are. But I did research and found that I may know her supplier. I've used their whte inks and they're VERY thin compared to everyone else's inks that I've tried. When I used their white, I had to increase it to 75% while I use 60% with DTF Superstore in Cadlink. But I'm thinking the thinner inks just may be what I need to do. I still have their color inks (they're a bit old) but they claim a 1 year shelf life if they're unopened, so I will give them a try.

When you used your P400 for 6,000 transfers, did you ever have to remove the printhead and do any cleaning? That's one thing I haven't done because I've seen way too many warnings against it. 

What I typically do at the moment is put cleaning carts in at the end of the day, run one head clean and then an ink charge. In between each, I clean the wiper blade each time, and squirt cleaner into the capping station while it's cleaning. It was going well until this week. For the first time on Monday, I cleaned beneath the printhead with a paper towel and cleaner, and there were definitely some dried particles that came off, which blows my mind because of how much cleaner I've ran through the printhead.

Earlier, I gave up tryiand decided to do the reverse flush, regular flush on the magenta (I know you say to never do that....but the frustration today pushed me). So far it's been printing fine for the past hour since then.

I'm wondering if cleaning below the printhead shouuld be part of the daily maintenance at the end of the day. I thought it wouuld always be clean since I use cleaning carts every night, but with dried ink still being there earlier this week, it looks like it may be necessary.

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2 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I've been trying different Chinese suppliers....at the moment, I'm using OCBestJet for the ink (CMYK only...ran out of white) and DTF Superstore for white. I've had no issues for a month (until now with the magenta). When I had issues similar to what you're describing with your cyan and magenta, that was with DTF Superstore inks. 

So it's a huge guessing game as far as inks. People over on the DTF Facebook groups seem to always say that Vibrant Vibes on Etsy has the best ink. Although I honestly feel like they're just trying to support her since she's in the same Facebook groups so I can't say for sure how well her inks are. But I did research and found that I may know her supplier. I've used their whte inks and they're VERY thin compared to everyone else's inks that I've tried. When I used their white, I had to increase it to 75% while I use 60% with DTF Superstore in Cadlink. But I'm thinking the thinner inks just may be what I need to do. I still have their color inks (they're a bit old) but they claim a 1 year shelf life if they're unopened, so I will give them a try.

When you used your P400 for 6,000 transfers, did you ever have to remove the printhead and do any cleaning? That's one thing I haven't done because I've seen way too many warnings against it. 

What I typically do at the moment is put cleaning carts in at the end of the day, run one head clean and then an ink charge. In between each, I clean the wiper blade each time, and squirt cleaner into the capping station while it's cleaning. It was going well until this week. For the first time on Monday, I cleaned beneath the printhead with a paper towel and cleaner, and there were definitely some dried particles that came off, which blows my mind because of how much cleaner I've ran through the printhead.

Earlier, I gave up tryiand decided to do the reverse flush, regular flush on the magenta (I know you say to never do that....but the frustration today pushed me). So far it's been printing fine for the past hour since then.

I'm wondering if cleaning below the printhead shouuld be part of the daily maintenance at the end of the day. I thought it wouuld always be clean since I use cleaning carts every night, but with dried ink still being there earlier this week, it looks like it may be necessary.

The bottom of the head gets build up from the wiper as it wipes with ink on it, head strikes, clogged nozzles etc. 

I only use foam swabs, but that’s me. Paper towels are made of fibers, which usually are left behind in some degree even if you can’t see them, I’m just weird though. 
 

I’ve seen VVI stuff too, I agree with you, but I have no first hand experience so I’m not really sure, it’s too expensive for me. 
 

On the p400’s- every now and again I cleaned the bottom. Maybe 3 times in total before I stored them away. I never manually did anything flushing wise, except for the R2400 heads if I remember correctly. It’s my last resort.  Cleaning the bottom just depends, if you have build up after 1-2 days of printing, then I would clean it daily. It usually took at least a week or two for any noticeable build up, the chunks didn’t come for awhile after that though. Maybe once a month to 1.5 months. 

 

Edited by johnson4
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2 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Spoke too soon...magenta started going out again 1 minute after my post. 

Gotta knock on wood next time :)

 

You could always swap your ink order around. Like yellow in the magenta, see if yellow then clogs or vise versa. Mine followed the ink colors and eventually any channel I put cyan and magenta in started clogging. With OEM inks though, it printed perfectly fine. My personal opinion, when the piezo functions it creates a light suction. Possibly over time this wears out, gets build up or some other weird thing causing it to lose that suction. If a head clean fixes it ( with the cap sucking) that’s my theory behind it. I don’t really know though. Like I said, a brand new head in my situation did the exact same thing with the same ink, yet that ink worked in the p800’s without a single issue. Maybe because it’s pressurized, I’m not sure. 
 

after so much time I just have to give up, until I have more time. I worked on the p400’s for two weeks trying to figure this out, and never did. 

Edited by johnson4
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13 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I've been trying different Chinese suppliers....at the moment, I'm using OCBestJet for the ink (CMYK only...ran out of white) and DTF Superstore for white. I've had no issues for a month (until now with the magenta). When I had issues similar to what you're describing with your cyan and magenta, that was with DTF Superstore inks. 

So it's a huge guessing game as far as inks. People over on the DTF Facebook groups seem to always say that Vibrant Vibes on Etsy has the best ink. Although I honestly feel like they're just trying to support her since she's in the same Facebook groups so I can't say for sure how well her inks are. But I did research and found that I may know her supplier. I've used their whte inks and they're VERY thin compared to everyone else's inks that I've tried. When I used their white, I had to increase it to 75% while I use 60% with DTF Superstore in Cadlink. But I'm thinking the thinner inks just may be what I need to do. I still have their color inks (they're a bit old) but they claim a 1 year shelf life if they're unopened, so I will give them a try.

When you used your P400 for 6,000 transfers, did you ever have to remove the printhead and do any cleaning? That's one thing I haven't done because I've seen way too many warnings against it. 

What I typically do at the moment is put cleaning carts in at the end of the day, run one head clean and then an ink charge. In between each, I clean the wiper blade each time, and squirt cleaner into the capping station while it's cleaning. It was going well until this week. For the first time on Monday, I cleaned beneath the printhead with a paper towel and cleaner, and there were definitely some dried particles that came off, which blows my mind because of how much cleaner I've ran through the printhead.

Earlier, I gave up tryiand decided to do the reverse flush, regular flush on the magenta (I know you say to never do that....but the frustration today pushed me). So far it's been printing fine for the past hour since then.

I'm wondering if cleaning below the printhead shouuld be part of the daily maintenance at the end of the day. I thought it wouuld always be clean since I use cleaning carts every night, but with dried ink still being there earlier this week, it looks like it may be necessary.

If you manually clean your printhead too many times, even if you do a good job, after a while it will start to leak from sides or channels will mix together because you will damage the glue inside of printhead. If you are getting nozzles right problem is something else.

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9 hours ago, anum11 said:

If you manually clean your printhead too many times, even if you do a good job, after a while it will start to leak from sides or channels will mix together because you will damage the glue inside of printhead. If you are getting nozzles right problem is something else.

I rarely cleaned the bottom of the printhead. The nozzles have been getting clogged since Monday. At the same time, I'm getting the 2 blinking lights (printhead obstruction). I thought I fixed the problem, but it is still happening. I'm thinking this is somehow related to the clog. It typically happens when I hit the ink button to refill inks. When it goes back, it fails to dock at its home position completely (although it feels like it did..I can't move the printhead physically).

A few times, it happened while printing. Really not sure what I can do about this...I cleaned as much as I possibly could on and around the capping station and I don't see anything blocking the printhead from moving.

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9 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I rarely cleaned the bottom of the printhead. The nozzles have been getting clogged since Monday. At the same time, I'm getting the 2 blinking lights (printhead obstruction). I thought I fixed the problem, but it is still happening. I'm thinking this is somehow related to the clog. It typically happens when I hit the ink button to refill inks. When it goes back, it fails to dock at its home position completely (although it feels like it did..I can't move the printhead physically).

A few times, it happened while printing. Really not sure what I can do about this...I cleaned as much as I possibly could on and around the capping station and I don't see anything blocking the printhead from moving.

If you cleaned the encoder strip, the only other two logical things are the rail needs lubed, or the capping station needs replaced. 

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