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Epson Printing Problems - Blocked Nozzles in the Print Head

A common problem with Epson Stylus Inkjet Printers is a blocked nozzle in the print head. This can be caused by the Ink, either original Epson or Compatible, going solid and clogging the valve that is connected to the print head assembly. Ordinary head cleaning routines using the Epson printer driver software does not always unblock them.

To avoid scrapping the printer or costly repair bills it is usually possible to unblock the print head by using special head cleaning cartridges. These work in a similar way to ordinary ink cartridges, instead they contain specially formulated cleaning fluid, designed to unclog the blocked nozzles.

Cleaning cartridges usually come in a complete set of 4, 6 or 8 because the Epson printers will not accept a different type of cartridge and chip being used compared to the other ordinary ones in the machine. Even though the other 3, 5 or 7 nozzles are working fine, this means that cleaning fluid will be fed through those nozzles also. Because of this, when the whole set of cleaning cartridges are installed; begin to print full A4 pages of an image containing the colour that is blocked. So if for example the Cyan Ink is not flowing, then print full A4 pages of a light sky. This will feed mainly cyan ink through the nozzles of the print head and tackle the problem area concerned, rather than other colours that do not require attention.

Once five to ten pages have been printed using the head cleaning cartridges they can be removed and the original cartridges put back into the printer. Perform two head cleans and then a nozzle check to see if all coloured lines are now present. If they are not then repeat the above exercise. If on the second attempt the nozzles have not been cleared, then it might be a good idea to repeat the exercise again, but this time leave the cleaning cartridges in over night for the solution to eat away at the stubborn blockage.

It is estimated that using cleaning cartridges has a seventy percent chance of clearing blockages on Epson print heads, so is well worth a try if this saves your printer!

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