before I say anything else let me say this:

OK moving along now.. is dedicated to helping Epson Stylus Pro 4900, 7900, 9900 and 11880 users work through some of the typical problems which can stop your printer dead in it’s tracks.  Clogs.  Chances are if you are here you have clogs and you need help clearing them.  First please refer to the red text just above – do not do SS Cleanings.  More on this later.  Second, refer to the side bar on the right to navigate your way through learning some not so common points about maintaining/repairing/and keeping your Epson Stylus Pro printer out of trouble once it’s up and running again.

Here’s a feedback email from happy camper number I can’t even count anymore, Rick Robinson, who just fixed his Epson Stylus Pro 9900 all by himself (with a little help from  :-)

“Hi Eric,

Well this is me, happily reporting from the end of the rainbow.
I did in fact call Epson on my own, I really didn’t think they would sell me the printhead. I thought they would insist 
that I go through their DecisionOne service company, but to my great surprise they did not.
The printhead arrived 24 hours after I bought it, and I spent an other 24 hours trying to find a #1phillips head 
screw driver with a shaft at least 6 inches long, the most frustrating part of this exercise (Radio Shack has them), except for the price of the printhead!!
I must say that I followed your directions to the letter, and am very happy to tell you that the entire operation went off perfectly.
It is only with your detailed instructions on the video that I would have attempted the process.
The head registration, through the “Servprog” program  went  flawlessly, and once I  ran several pairs head cleanings to 
charge the head with ink, the nozzle patterns were perfect, and the prints are flawless and I didn’t even have to run a 
head alignment.
I took the old head and cleaned it, flushed it with distilled water, using a syringe and small plastic tube.I am keeping it
I would love to know if my attempts to clean it were successful, but I’m not going through that process again until I have to (hopefully never).
I thank you very much for bothering to make the video in the first place, it was invaluable.
please fell free to post this note on your site if you wish.
I will be contributing to the cause
No thank YOU Rick.  And thank you to the many others who also have benefited/contributed to/supported  I have to say there are few better ways to wake up in the morning other than to a thank you email stating that someone has just revived their Epson from the dead, and are successfully printing again because of the work we have put in here.  …Never surrender,


If you feel you’ve got something valuable from, please help keep it alive! Any donation you feel is appropriate will go toward funding the research, development, and maintenance of this site. For your security and convenience we accept paypal donations, please follow the link below. And thank you for helping back!


  1. R. Zahn said:

    R. Zahn here again with Print head problems 2.02. I replaced the head on my 9900 in Feb. as you know, I hope my donation expressed enough gratitude, for your video made it about as easy as it can be. Anyway, for the first time my yellow head came in after a few cleanings, it has not been 100% for 3 months, so I thought I was over with my problems and it was time to celebrate and get on with printing. Wrong!
    Reading your blog it seems many people have had a whole lot of problems with their Epson, I have not. In 5 years of
    printing I have experienced only occasionally cleaning problems before my yellow lost the middle section of nozzles. But now I start the day with every color loosing nozzles and have to clean to get them back. Once back they stay for the day, but every morning I have to clean. I am wondering what might be the cause of this? I am questioning the selector unit as a good possibility as it has the female connecting orifices which accepts the male nipples on the head itself. I checked in with Compass Micro, whom Epson connected me to for buying parts other than a head and they also brought up the cap and pump station as a possibility, they also recommended calling Epson Pro Graphics (562-276-1305).
    So I did, they were not conclusive of either one as a definite solution but one of them was most likely the problem. They brought up that the head alignment might be off due to the change and if it is not resting in the cap station overnight that my nozzles may be drying up. Meaning that possibly when I changed the head it did not seat and realign itself in the carriage as before. Here is where I gave you a plug as you warned us of this concern when it came to removing the upper right and lower left screws to the head. From here I also stated that the head sets in and the 4 screws set it comfortably back in place, he agreed. I then mentioned the union of the old seals on the selector unit possibly not sealing on a new head and loosing pressure and they agreed that was possible as well.
    So Wise One in your experience what might you do as your next move.

    • GoGo said:

      You will only know the answer for sure, after you don’t need to know it anymore. Could be your wiper, jamming crap into the yellow channel nozzle openings only. Or maybe leaving a streak of crap on top of them. Could be the capping station not sealing well on that channel. Could be your selector unit. That’s not hard, or expensive to replace. You’ve basically already done it when you replaced your head. Hard to imaging the head went out of alignment on the install, especially if you were conscious of it as you worked. Those tiny nipples have what seems like zero play as they hold the head. Maybe monkeying around in there tweaked the carriage. Easy to tell, run some alignment tests. If they are off, it is fixable, by you actually. It just takes patience going through the steps multiple times until you nail the alignment. I have not had to do it yet but I’ve heard from others who have. At this point there’s no turning back for you, I’d do the selector AND cap. Maybe the selector first so you can tell if that was it. Some spray distilled water on the capping station before parking the head over night or for days. Can’t hurt..

    • Ica said:

      I am almost 100% sure that you have a problem with capping station. The rubber parts on it is probably deformed or sodden with ink and can not seal the head perfectly. That why print head is drying and have problem wit proper firing ink…

  2. Mike said:

    I’m trying to get SP4900 (the service program I downloaded for the 4900) working. I’m on Win 7 64bit. When running it in compatibility mode I get the error “Two printers or more are connected….” Has anyone solved this?

  3. michael said:

    I found a working printhead for my now dead 9900 for a very reasonable price (someone i know was offloading their 7900…).

    does anyone have a copy, or have a link to a copy, of servprog.exe?

    thanks in advance

    • GoGo said:

      email me directly I may be able to help you, the address is linked to above

  4. DaveB said:

    Many thanks for all the information you have on this site. I’m at my wits end. I’ve replaced my print head on my 9900 twice due to the green channel failing(progressive inside-> outside channel clogging), and now it has failed again. I used only epson inks, within the expir date. Gently shook each cart at least every 6 weeks. This was a 6K printer, filled with 2K of ink, that took 6.4K$ in repairs over a 4 year period. I can’t justify the money to fix it again. I’ve talked with Epson, the lower level cust support guys..”just buy another one”.. The higher level customer support folks just offer compensation in ink and paper.
    What person has this kind of cash for a small business? I could have had my prints printed at a local print house for a fraction of this “overhead”…

  5. Michael said:

    Hi, i have a 9900 and it has been working perfectly for years. i do a few test pattern prints on weeks that i don’t print much or a test print of something small just to keep the ink moving. well last week i did a test pattern print, was perfect. did a 8×10 print on standard luster paper and that too was good. did another test pattern just before i was about to print something else, Boom! two rows of cyan are out. i really don’t do cleanings a lot because i just don’t have to, maybe once every other month tops. i really have never had a problem until now and this is horrible.

    i fear that my head is cooked. I tried the windex thing and that did nothing. replaced the wiper blade, nothing. did 3 or so cleanings, nothing.

    any suggestions…

  6. charlotte said:

    Hi friends,

    Using my 9900 and the paper came out from the suction right before it began printing. However it continued to print and now there’s ink sitting in the printer where the image was supposed to be. Im in a tight squeeze right now and not sure where to go from here. Any suggestions?

    Thanks ooddles

    • GoGo said:

      Not sure I follow you exactly, what paper you are using, or how the printer would print without seeing paper in front of the head but regardless, apparently it did. Sometimes heavier paper with a serious bend to it can pull away from the vacuum. Once you clean the ink from the deck (it’s water based, no harm no foul and easy to clean), either put a “counter-bend” in the paper (if it’s heavily bent in the first place), or go into your settings and adjust the vacuum to be stronger. Email me directly if you need manuals. Good luck

  7. Tim L said:

    Hello to all.
    Looking for a little advice with my Epson 7900. It has what I thought was an unclearable clogs in the Yellow, but now think it’s something else and need advice. The clogs seems to clear as it prints. Then if the machine is idle for an hour or so, the clogs return at the start of the next print.
    History: New machine in Feb 2011, and currently has about 25,000 pages. No real problems before. Firmware is up to date. Always use Epson ink. Replaced wiper hoping that would solve the issue.
    Ordered a new “Ink Selector” but have not installed.

    Thanks for any input.

    • replace cap and selector unit (dampers) and you will be good to go. Parts available from
      Sophia . They have not ripped me off yet.

      • Tim L said:

        Sophia? Is that a Person or Company.
        Thanks for the reply.

      • Tim L said:


      • Tim L said:

        I have replaced the Pump Cap and Selector / Damper Unit and still having issues.
        Yellow channel only. Looking at the Nozzle Check print, the Yellow has a small “wiggle” in it towards the center – it’s was there prior to replacing parts, just never noticed it. I had scanned the Nozzle Check print hoping to be able to post it for some insight.
        Thanks for any input.

  8. GoGo said:

    I hate to say this but what I did after all the knowledge I acquired was buy a used HP Z3200PS for $1,600, put new heads in it for $70 a piece, and have been blissfully printing ever since. I leave the machine on, it monitors itself – once a day or so it comes to life taking care of the heads. It’s been five months, never one clog yet. And the printer, quite remarkably actually, seems to not use ink. I swear the ink carts in there must just be for show, the levels never go down. I print more, I print less, I print on various media, I make my own profiles, and on and on. Printing is fun again

    • eltaller2013 said:

      Thanks a lot for the quick answer! That is great to know. Your site has been really helpful and after reading a little bit more, I come to the conclusion that the problem indeed must have been the temperature/moisture thing.I live in Mexico city and I’ve just realized that all of the three heads failed in march, after the dry season and just when whe start having really hot days…
      Good to know about your experience with HP and really helpful!
      Thanks again for all the help I will donate as soon as I am done with the expense I have in front of me right now.

  9. eltaller2013 said:


    Your pain is my pain…my heart had a really strange feeling today when I found your thread at luminous landscape.
    I’ve gone through almost all of your experiences as well, 3 damaged heads in the last 3 years, lots of hours of work, trying to understand, feeling there most be something that could be done for them.
    I own a 7890 and previously had a 7800. I am a mechanical engineer, who went into photography…so tearing things apart does not scare me. After I saw once or twice what Epson technicians did, I just said; I am a better engineer than that! I can solve the real problem!
    I also did the SS cleaning once, for my second dead head. And I regreted it so much…feeling that by doing that I totally fried the printhead, as everything went worse after that.
    I tried the flushing carts, the windex (not the inkfills) and finally taking it out and running cleaning fluid throug it with syringes and all.
    Nothing helped…it was dead and had to be exchanged!

    But with my third, I took a different way, once I saw this pattern of exactly the same nozzles clogged after a while (tipically a line in the printpattern) which did not cleared with cleaning cycles, I stopped early in the process and decided to open it right away, I made a deep cleaning, with flushing fluid and all. Re installed it…no change at all!

    So it was not the SS cleaning cycle..Also, I’ve seen them too through a microscope, totally clean!
    My conclusion, after reading about piezoheads an what I’ve seen is that it all goes to a damage in the piezoelectric pieces…why? I can not tell…maybe a mechanical damage because the head hitted something? Piezo wearing out?
    I don’t know, these pieces are so micro…

    One thing I know…both 7890 heads went dead after about a year of use, both in the LightCyan, almost exactly at the same place (that’s what makes me think it has to do maybe with the head hitting something at the exactly same position). Today I have to decide what to do, as I do need the printer working ok for my job. It’s been a month sinc I lost 70% of LC. I have a pretty good offer from a new 7890 that would cost slightly more than just the printhead by itself, but is valid until tomorrow. That’s why I’ve been reading a lot today.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about going to another brand…seen a lot about canon and hp, but I would have to spend more, and I just don’t know…

    I feel frustrated…and can not make a decision…maybe buying the new one and this time really caring about pad drying? What would you do after all the knowledge you’ve acquired?

  10. Stewart said:

    I run 2 9700 and 3 7700 machines which are exactly the same as the x900 except the cmyk is doubled up to make the machines faster. I use a nano resin pigment ink that is especially made for printing on uncoated (no inkjet coating that is) litho papers and we print a lot of prints. Machines are all above or below the 20k prints mark. We use chip resetters and external pressurised ink tanks having cut the cartridge system out all together. I can back up what you have said on this site from my own personal experience. The machines will give trouble if operated in an environment above 25 degrees c. best temp is around 20. Below that the ink takes too long to dry and you start to get mottling. New heads can be bought off a number of sites off Alibaba. They are around US$1400. Replacing dampers, wiper blade and caps regularly is essential and these parts are cheap. This is not mentioned anywhere in any of the manuals. Don’t bang your head against a brick wall once the head is troubling, replace it. Expensive as it is, it is a lot cheaper than wasting time and losing production. For all the problems these are very good and profitable machines and there is nothing else out there that even remotely compares

    • GoGo said:

      Thanks Stewart, valuable information. Have you ever bought an X900 printhead from alibaba? Did everything work out fine? I get asked where to buy new printheads a lot. Used to be a painless process straight through Epson, but now they direct you to a “different department” which specifically handles printhead ordering in the US. I have called this number many times. Typically you get no answer, and no call back. The people at Epson, who give you this special number even suggest that you will have problems reaching this person in this special department. For the life of me, after going down this road a few times now, my best assessment of this “new department” is that it is a young girl’s phone line that you actually call. I get a sense this line rings in Texas. Believe it or not after calling and leaving at least five messages for this “woman”, her mother called me back. Or, actually, it could have been her grandmother. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – this woman actually calls back. But still that’s not the end of it, you need the serial number off the machine you are replacing the head on (I think you only get to replace the head once, possibly twice), the price has gone up about 25% from what it used to be, and you have to wait quite a while after ordering the head for it to arrive at your door. Sometimes months. Hopefully this “new system” will be re-thought soon. No way it’ll survive as it stood when I needed a new head months ago.

      • Bob said:

        I just went through Epson for a new print head. It started with me complaining big time to the CSR at Epson, Margret – (I wouldn’t want her job) – She had to talk with her bosses to see if I qualify to purchase a print head, and finally after several days went by I got the go ahead and a name and a phone number – Diana @ 317 406 2679 after 3 days of leaving messages 3 times a day with no response. I complained to Margret and got another name and number which help a lot because I got through right away. What I wasn’t prepared for was the increase in price, I was ready for a $1200.00 hit to the wallet but instead it was $1600.00 plus shipping HIT!

        She said I was in luck, there were in stock and it’ll be shipped in several days. (YaHoo)

        Now I know it was just me, but I swear I could hear the sound of a cash register – ching ching in the back ground and the thought of a fat Japanese guy rubbing his hands together saying
        “wle gotts another wone!”.

        We all thought Epson was over pricing there inks, (well they are) but it appears they have a real money maker here. Sell a printer and wait a year for them to break down then charge for defected parts. GREAT SCAM GUYS!

        If I only knew then what I know now – I NEVER WOULD HAVE BOUGHT THIS PRINTER!

        Someone needs to create a web site where all the failed print head people could file a official complaint to Epson

      • Stewart said:

        Hi Gogo

        These are the people I buy from. They have not ripped me off so far. I must emphasise this is one company of many that sell these parts.

        Zhenxiong Technology Co.,Limited
        Email: or
        Skype: goodfriend51
        Mobile: +86- 15220900029

        They sell all parts for these machines including ink selector units, capping stations, chip re-setters and so on. I have never bought their ink, but I would believe they sell ink too.

  11. Bob said:

    what kind of solvent is used in epson ink

  12. Jim Fisk said:

    Hi Eric, Jim here,
    Read most of your novel and I say you need to pursue writing. The conclusion I have drawn from your journey is to put a few drops of distilled water on the head pad about once a week. If only I had known. In my case a 4800 that has sat due to a move for about 9 mos. and as I was cleaning it of course I had to change the LC and that taught me all about chip reader pins breaking off as the LD Products cart has a tiny gap at the chip just big enough to tear off a contact. I just hope that when I get that changed the print head will come back. I started the water trick in hopes that softens things up while I wait for the contacts (ordered 4).
    I have never in 8 years had to do a Power Clean but rather do an “auto clean” and then let it sit for an hr. and do another and wait again and so on until it passes. Never really thought it thru until I read your thread and realized I could just make sure that park pad, as I call it, never dries out. Thanks also for the info on the wiper. It looks like hell and now I know how to do that as well thanks to you. I will make a donation in a few days as soon as I sell something on Ebay.
    I print nature pans up to 16 feet long and have them in bars and restaurants, offices, etc, I also print a chart that I sell on Ebay and that was great to exercise the printer but I printed enough to get me past that move. Big mistake!
    Damn near did a sonic clean. Not anymore. I will just soak in water and Simple Green and hope for the best.
    Happy New Year and thank you so much for all your advice, Jim Fisk, Digital Studio

    • GoGo said:

      So great to hear Jim. I hope any and all that I have suffered through and shared can help at least some find better ways to handle similar challenges. Thank you for your generosity. Donations like yours keep this site running – so I helped you, you helped someone else, and so it will hopefully continue on. Happy New Year!

  13. murray said:

    i think epson should visit this site, these machines need a recall.

  14. Just bookmarked your site…..I hope I don’t need it…..but am looking forward to seeing it evolve. Thanks for all your work Eric.

    • GoGo said:

      Let’s hope enough people learn from it that no one needs it!

      Thanks, and you’re welcome Peter.

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