UNDERSTANDING CLEANING CYCLES
Epson Stylus Pro 4900, 7900, 9900, 11880
Cleaning Cycles (Types and Uses):
The Ink System is tuned to the gentle ink flow demanded by regular printing. However all Cleaning cycles employ a much stronger ink demand (and use) than printing. It is not unusual for the Ink System to “pull back” after a cleaning cycle, drawing air or ink from the Cap into the Print Head Nozzle Plate. This can cause more Nozzles to be missing after a cleaning cycle than before. It also can cause contaminated (used) ink to be mixed with the “fresh” ink in the Nozzle Plate.
If the same Nozzles are missing after each cleaning cycle, continue cleaning. If different Nozzles are missing after each cleaning cycle, stop cleaning, and print until the air or contaminated ink has been expelled from the Print Head.
Normal Cleaning: User Menu/MAINTENANCE/CLEANING/NORMAL
When a normal cleaning is activated, the Printer cleans all 5 color pairs, and uses the AID Circuitry to check results. According the information reported by the AID Circuitry the Printer increases or decreases the strength of the clean-ing cycle appropriately, and only cleans the color pairs that require additional cleaning.
The Printer always cleans color pairs individually. A color pair is defined as 2 colors that share a Cap. In theory the Printer will only clean the color pairs that have missing Nozzles. Cleaning color pairs individually takes more time, but saves Ink.
Color Pair Cleaning: User Menu/MAINTENANCE/CLEANING/CLEAN FOR EACH COLOR
Color pair cleaning is the cleaning method with the most efficient use of ink. How to use effectively:
1. Print a nozzle check, and identify the color pair with the most missing nozzles.
2. Clean that color pair only. After the Printer cleans the instructed color pair, it will use the AID Circuitry to determine the appropriate cleaning levels for any remaining missing nozzles on other color pairs. This method uses less ink than any other.
Power Cleaning: User Menu/Maintenance
The purpose of the Power Cleaning cycle is to remove air from the Negative Pressure Dampers, or air from the Print Head side of the Dampers.
The Power Cleaning cycle closes the Valves that restrict ink flow from the Ink Bays while simultaneously running the Cleaning Pump to build a vacuum on the Print Head Nozzle Plate. When sufficient vacuum is created, the Printer opens the Valves allowing the ink to “fill the vacuum”. This technique facilitates the removal of air from the system. Air in the system causes Nozzle drop out while printing.
Technicians: Use the Power Cleaning cycle after changing Dampers or Print Head.
User: Use the Power Cleaning cycle if Nozzles drop out while printing.
SS Cleaning: Maintenance Mode 1 (Hold the Pause button at power on)
SS Cleaning has a strong ultra sonic component. The Piezo Elements internal to the Print Head are used to attempt to break up pigment particles that may be clogging the interior of the Print Head.
Use SS Cleaning when a Nozzle can not be cleared through normal cleaning.
Color Pairs on the Print Head (Listed Left to Right)
1. Cyan and Vivid Magenta
2. Photo Black (Matte Black) and Light Black
3. Orange and Green
4. Light Light Black and Yellow
5. Vivid Light Magenta and Light Cyan.
Pairs Cleanings in Service Mode: (Hold Enter/Down/Right buttons at power on)
There are four different levels of pairs cleanings for each color pair, in Service Mode. This is my preferred cleaning method because it uses the least amount of ink – and because it works. Most clogs I find are cleared by using the most gentle (level 1) cleaning.
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