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. mitsuru said:

    I own the Stylus Pro 7700.

    I washed several times with a cartridge filled with washing solution,
    I inserted a CMYK + MB cartridge, but the ink is not charged.

    I ran Init Fill a number of times in serviceman mode, but this will not be improved.

    I can confirm that the ink is not being sucked out from the cartridge.

    Is there a way to solve this?

  2. Robert Vaage said:

    Yes, absolute! I use windows 7 and works like a charm ☺

    • Michael Redus said:


      • Michael Redus said:

        I can’t get windows 7 to recognize my 9900 as the 9890.I’m confused on USB port to use. I’ve been at it for a few hours now.Any help would be appreciated.

      • Robert Vaage said:

        Oh, I do not know the trick with usb cable. I use network (cat 5) cable from the modem/switch. One to the printer and one to the computer. I set the IP and gateway on the printer manually and the same on the computer, and that works. If you dont manage to get up running I can send you some screenshots. Email robert.vaage gmail .com

  3. Mel said:

    Well, I just completed my second successful print head replacement, and for anyone wondering it’s really not that hard if you’re at all inclined to taking things apart (about 2 hours for me). Thanks again, Eric; your video and resources made all the difference. Look for a donation headed your way.

    My first replacement was a few years ago on a 9900, and the one I just replaced was the P9000. These printers are almost identical inside, so the old instructions worked great. The 3 buttons for service mode don’t work, however, so I ended up opening the door when the head was out as a means of releasing it.

    Supposedly if you don’t touch the forbidden screws your new head will be aligned, but that didn’t hold true for me. However, the slant adjustments aren’t that hard to perform following the instructions in the service manual.

    I’m starting to view these heads as a (rather expensive at $1573) consumable now. I was hoping things changed with the P9000, but nope. About the same 3 year life as I got from the 9900 heads.

  4. Chris Edwards said:

    Anyone want an Epson 7900 with bad print head? Also includes reusable ink cartridges and additional ink.

    Free to anyone that comes and gets it in the Indianapolis, IN area.

    • Eric said:

      I expect you’ll have lots of new friends real quick Chris

      • Chris Edwards said:

        I have tried to sell it more than once just to cover my cost on the ink and no dice…its gotta go!

  5. Hi All, Hoping you can help with some advice. I’ve been given a 7900 which is great but the machine has been stood for around 12 months in a garage. The machine didn’t have the ink purged out prior to shutting down. My question is will this machine be salvageable and worth spending money on ow will this be a case of heads and print lines blocked to baddly they wouldn’t come back? I don’t mind spending a little but if it’s a head replacement I think I’d rather buy a new machine with the money. Hope to hear back. Luke

  6. Jon Wittes said:

    I’m the “proud” owner of (2) 9900’s. The oldest of the 2, bought in early 2010, finally had a printhead failure about 6 months ago with the yellow channel. I decided to keep it for parts in hopes to keep the other running for a least another year. Over the course of January the second printer showed signs of the orange channel going out. It was hit and miss depending on subject matter if the output was being effected. Last week the channel went almost completely out. Just 2 orange lines are printing top and bottom on the nozzle check. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to replace the machines just yet. Replacing the printheads are out of the question given the cost (even if I attempt to do it myself) verses the cost of new machines. I had/have work in-house that still needed printed so out of desperation I deleted the printer from my system (Mac) and reinstalled it using the 9890 driver hoping that it would work given the printers are similar less the orange and green channels. To my amazement it worked and the output looks good. I’m not sure what the long tern ramifications of doing so are but given the printer was going to electronics recycling if figured it was worth a try. I thought this info might help someone out there with a bad orange or green channel.

    • Eric Gulbransen said:

      Impressive Jon. Thinking outside the box bigtime. Congrats and thanks a million for sharing.

      • Michael Redus said:

        Wow.Does this also work for Windows?I don’t know how I missed this post.My 9900 has been down for awhile.Will try it anyway tonight.Hope it works for Windows.

    • Jon Wittes – you are a real hero (!)
      My green channel is almost totally blocked. I did not use the printer enough this summer, and together with an warm and dry summer my green channel started to get blocked. Right now I only have 3 stripes, the other 10 channel is 100% so it is really frustrating!

      Next week I gonna have an exhibition (canvas) with a lot of northern light images. My green northern light got sometimes to blue’ish and or sometimes yellow’ish – completly different compare to my calibrated Eizo screen.

      In panick I googled and found this thread and I followed Jon’s advice, uninstalled the 9900 driver and installed the 9890 driver. Voilalalaalalala, what the heck, it worked out like a charm, never had so beautiful green colors before! 🙂 I have 2 image comparing colors if anyone want the proof.

      Big thanks to Eric, Jon and all you other guys in this forum! 🙂


      • Jon Wittes said:

        Robert – Glad things have worked out. I’m still using my machine this way and have had no problems. I truly am surprised as to how good the output looks, it makes me question whether or not the extra colors are worth the expense. I have an ad agency as a client who’s corporate color is Pantone PMS 151, which is a true orange. They are very picky about matching it from a branding perspective. I have output from when the orange channel was working and bypassing it using the 9890 driver, they both match exactly. I plan to use the printer this way until it dies…

  7. pierre said:

    I am looking for a defective head that has some (preferably two or more) channels still working. Would love to have one somebody pulled out after they replaced it with a new one. Would be willing to pay $50 for it and provide our UPS number for shipping. We print only black ink so help us out and and get few bucks for your bad head!
    please email:


    • pierre said:

      still looking for bad heads! Received one and it worked out great. Please contact me if you willing to send them.

  8. Chris Edwards said:

    Have a 7900 with a bad print head. It has a complete refillable ink system. I am willing to part it out or sell it complete. Contact me with interest. It had less than 200 ft of printing done before the head failed due to lack of use.

    • Eric said:

      Chris, ping Pierre, he’s looking for a bad head.

  9. Hal said:

    You have been a great help to me in the past. Thank you for that. I have a new problem with my 9900 that I hope you or the community can help me with. I have tried the user boards with no luck.

    I was doing a black ink switch the other day and it wouldn’t let me. I realized that I had one very low cart and that maybe that was the problem. I changed the cart and was about to do the switch when I decided that I should check my waste tank. When I took it out the right tank, it was spilling-over-full. I have been using a chip resetter and changing out the adsorbent material for a few years with good luck. Anyway, I cleaned out the compartment, changed out the absorbent material and reset the chip.

    Here’s where the problem starts: When I put the waste tank back in I got a message that the “right waste tank was missing.” Figuring that it was dirty contacts, using a solvent and cleaned the contacts and compartment. I reset the chip again, and still the same message. I swapped tanks from the left side, but still no luck. I tried going into maintenance mode, but found nothing there that would help. I ordered a new waste tank hoping that would solve the problem, but it persists. So, I have a stalled-out, non-functioning 300 lb paper weight in the studio.

    Any suggestions? Is there a mode that I can restart in that I can reset the waste tank? Is there something else I should try? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Eric said:

      I’ve been thinking about your problem Hal and my gut says something got wacked on the receiver end of your chip contact in your maintenance tank receptacle. The receiver/contact is now not making contact with your tank/tanks. That’s my guess. I doubt it has to do with the excess ink overflowing into the area, but that is possible too. Maybe something got shorted. Email me directly and I’ll send you the service manuals, maybe you can find something in there

  10. First, thank you for this amazing web page.
    I have a 7900 and I have been fighting clogged print heads for black and orange channels. I have tried everything listed on you web page except replacing the print head. I’ve even tried an SS cleaning, but the nozzle check comes back with orange and black still clogged. It seems like the clogs got worse over the many times I have run cleaning cycles. The printer is now about out of ink in two good channels, but I am not going to buy more ink unless there is a real solution. I love printing my own photographs so I guess it is time to buy a new printer!

    • Eric said:

      Yea, for a 7900, considering everything, it makes more sense to replace it than to repair it. Especially if you get a deal on a new one, and a warranty with the option of buying into an extended warranty. Etc. And you are right, when I respond to emails asking if they have a clog or a dead head that’s the first thing I ask them. “After repeated cleanings, do the “clogs” look even slightly worse? If so, dead head. Sorry Darrell

  11. peter jacuk said:

    Can you recommend good source to purchase a print head, preferably in Canada?

  12. Hi Eric. I have enjoyed reading about your initiation into Epson printing on the Luminous forum with your 7900. I have been to this website several times in the past year looking for information. I also have used your wiper blade video to check out my wiper blade, and for releasing the head to do the windex dance.

    A bit of background.

    I bought my first Epson colour printer in the 90’s. In 99 I bought an Epson 3000 and converted it to 3rd party pigmented inks. In may of 2000 I bought an Epson 9000 and installed Staedler Mars pigmented inks in it. (this was before the 9500 existed). Epson agreed to back the warranty on it even with the third party inks. Once they brought out the pigmented version, they upgraded me at no charge to a 9500. We had clogging issues with the Staedler inks, but rarely had them with the Epson Archival inkset. I finally replaced that printer with the 9900 in 2014 (yes, I did get 14 years out of it).

    I love both the speed and the colour of the 9900.

    I spend 5 months in Canada and almost 7 months in Australia. The printer is in Canada. That means that for 6.5 months it sits idle, off, unplugged, with nothing more than trust in the capping station to save my printheads. I so far have opted not to go for the cleaning carts during storage due to the wasting of 10 pages of prints both storing and unstoring it. My first couple of winters, a few cleanings and it was good to go.

    Last year it was missing one bar in the magenta, right at the bottom, in sept 2016. No amount of cleaning would clear it, but I found it did not affect the print quality. I also found that doing pairs cleaning would cause other colours to drop out, so I stopped doing the pairs cleaning.

    I later found that pairs cleaning works very nice if you employ one little trick, patience. After doing any cleaning, let the printer sit for 10 minutes, then do a nozzle check. When doing a pairs cleaning the other colours can suck air in, and give you a false reading of clogged nozzles that were not there before you did the cleaning. Talking to an Epson service tech a few months ago produced that little tip. He also advised to not use anything but distilled water for cleaning.

    This spring the magenta head had a few stubborn nozzles, but the more I tried to clean it, the worse it got. I did some test landscape prints and they looked fine, but a print with solid colours would show the banding. If the image does not use much full magenta then missing a nozzle or two will not affect the print. I was able through cleaning to get it down to “only” missing about 16 nozzles but with some misfiring in the wrong direction. This was consistent with this outage, it was not just that the nozzles were missing, but they were misfiring obliquely, so that some are actually landing a bit over into the next colour. I knew I had an issue, but since the prints still looked fine, I would work with it. I even skipped doing my regular nozzle checks if it was idle for a few days or a week. That came up and bit me the other day when I jammed 7 prints through without checking, oops, cyan missing some, a few others, banding, trash. Head cleaning brought back all nozzles except the Magenta, but this time I am missing about 1/3 of the head, again, many fully missing, but many misfiring off of where they should be. Lucky me, the prints still look good, although I have not tried one with heavy magenta. From the number of times I have had to replace the magenta it is one of the least used inks, so that is good.

    I keep all of my nozzle checks, date them, and write on them what was done or the event prior to the check, so fairly good records on the results of cleanings etc. I did try the windex this spring, which the nozzle checks indicate it made it worse, and used only distilled water this past week, twice, with no change.

    Is it possible to post a pic of the nozzle check? I am sure you would find it interesting.

    This morning I just ordered a new printhead, from the Philippines. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get here, and if it works when it does. I will pay for your head replacement vid when it arrives.

    • Eric said:

      Fingers crossed Ken. Keep us posted. Everyone learns from everyone

      • Well an update. I did order the printdead from the Philippines, there were two outfits that sold them, both in the $660 US range. The one outfit only took bank xfer for payment, the other one you could choose between bank xfer and paypal. I ordered with Paypal. Their site said I would have it fedex in two days. I got no email response from them whatsoever, so after a week I put a claim in with Paypal. They had until yesterday to respond, but the same result there, no response whatsover, and the money is now back in my Paypal account. Searching further I see this same outfit has other complaints about never answering, so if you do pay them with bank xfer, consider the money gone.

        Also looking at the dropped nozzles, I wonder if it is not a damper issue. The prints still come out fine, unless it is solid blocks of colour, but otherwise no colour shift and no banding. This could be because the printer knows which nozzles are ineffective and compensates for it if possible on other passes. Only when it is solid colour that it cannot do this.

      • rcoomer said:

        Kent, I’m currently having the exact problem with my 9900. All 3 center lines from my black nozzle check are gone, but only shows in solid prints. My green nozzle only has a few lines left, it went about 6 months ago.

  13. Richard said:

    I’m having a volume related dropout on my yellow channel, repeatedly printing the same colour test results in the yellow being significantly reduced in the same location every print. After screwing around doing cleanings, I popped out the yellow cartridge to find the ink port is leaking. I cleaned it up, popped in a new cartridge, and.. same problem. Also still leaking.
    I suspect that the leak at the port is causing a pressure drop leading to insufficient ink at the head.
    Are those ports replaceable? Where can I find them?

    On semi-related note,
    This site has kept this 9900 going for way longer than expected, since at one point it surely seemed like there was a pump or head failure due to catastrophic ink head clogs, turns out cleaning the head with windex (there was a ridiculous amount of buildup) and disassembling and cleaning the wiper and dump station brought it back to life 100%, it’d be a shame to have to replace it now for something so simple.

    • Eric said:

      The only parts you can order from Epson are the heads. All other parts you need to order from third party parts suppliers, like Compass Micro. If you need help finding what parts you need I am happy to help, email me directly.


      • Mark said:

        I’m having the exact same problem except with Cyan. However, I’ve checked the Cyan ink cartridge and there’s no leakage there. No matter how many cleanings, using Magic Bullet, printing purge files that is done, the middle part of Cyan’s nozzle check pattern is missing. Every time. Anyone else have this happening? Richard, did you find a solution to this issue?


  14. adrien said:

    Dear Eric,

    Thanks for your work. I paid for your video on (my user name is: adrien lucca) and it was very easy to follow. I did change a damaged Epson printhead all by myself on my 9900 with your help! That was cool.

    However, after carefully following all the steps, I got a problem, which, after a long investigation, seems to be damper-related.

    In short, I have something like a pressure-related problem on my green channel. The nozzle check is 95% fine, with random missing dots (almost never the same dots are missing). When I print, however, the green makes very bad banding, which increases during printing.

    For example, if I print a green “purge file” of 30 x 30 inches, the top of the print is dense green, the bottom has nearly 5% or 10% of the ink that the top has… The longer the print, the longer green ink seems to not get out of the head. It looks exactly the same as when a ballpen reaches the end of its life, but:

    – my 700ml green cartridge is 1/2 full
    – I have done all the possible head cleanings (except for SS) with no change.

    After printing a purge file, the nozzle pattern looks very bad (95% of green missing), but it comes back to 5% of random nozzles missing after a simple pair-cleaning O/G

    > on an old Luminous-Landscape thread, I have seen that at the very begining of your journey, you did chage the “INK SELECTOR” unit that contains all the dampers. I have a strong feeling that this is what I should do now to get my 9900 back to printing. I can find easily this part where I live.

    Would you be kind enough to explain the procedure to change the INK SELECTOR unit, the one that connects to the printhead? Are there some mistakes to avoid? Some advices?

    Thank you very much,

    • adrien said:

      Dear Eric, I have changed the ink selector without problems today. No change! Still the exact same green banding problem. Any ideas?

      • Eric said:

        Email me via the contact button and I’ll send you some helpful files Adrien

  15. I just acquired an Epson 7900, and am very excited to start using it!
    Unfortunately, someone removed all the ink cartridges before I got it.
    Does anyone have a starter/empty set that I can have/purchase inexpensively?
    I’m going to be using it for sublimation printing, so I will be filling the cartridges myself,
    but I’m not even sure if the rest or the printer works, and would prefer not to spend a large
    amount of money on all new cartridges before finding out.

  16. Mark said:

    Hi Eric

    I have had a 4900 for a few years now, lightly used it, no issues with clogs. I haven’t used it for a few months and I have been working on some clogs that have been unusually stubborn. I have most of the clogs free with the Windex technique, but I now have a new problem. The Vm and C cartridges show low ink, and both of them are close to full. Because of the low ink sensor readings, I cannot do any automatic head cleaning.

    I made a print and it seems fine. Now I am wondering whether I really am ink blocked, and the only reason I can print is that I am just running on ink left in the tubing. Do you think this is just a sensor error and I can ignore it? If you think it really is a blocked cartridge, is there any way to fix it?



  17. Jeffrey said:

    Hi Eric – Was looking for info about Epson 11880 ink pumps and came upon your great site. I have an 11880 which has a “sound” running when the printer should be in idle mode after completing a print. The sound is at the rear of the printer about the rear maintenance tank. It runs for 20 minutes or so and then stops. It starts up again as soon as I insert a sheet of paper into the printer. I called Epson support and asked if I could send a recording of the sound to see their take on it. They informed me the engineers thought it was the ink pump running and that there might be a micro leak in on of the ink cartridges and the pump was working to pressurize it. They also told me that I could figure out which cartridge by getting a tube and blowing it into one cartridge at time and reinserting it into the printer and when I manually inflated the cartridge, the pump would not come on. So, I opened the door to see the diameter of the stem on the cartridge, and when I closed the door, the pump did not come on. I inserted a sheet of paper and the pump did not come on, it did come on when I printed an 8.5″ x 11″ print and stayed on again at idle. There are no error messages and it is printing a clean nozzle check. Have you ever heard of this issue and have any suggestions. T

    wo other notes. I bought the printer used, it has 280 prints in total. The ink expired in 2013 but as I mentioned it is printing a clean nozzle test. I also have an Epson 9800 and make a test print on it to compare the quality to my “new 11880. In essence, the prints were close, but the blacks were much denser and the colors slightly more saturated on the 9800. Because of the blacks, the prints appeared sharper on the 9800. I have a friend who has a 11880 and we made a print on his machine and my machine to compare prints, using my laptop, my paper (Epson Hot Press), everything the same. The same image on his 11880 also had denser /deeper blacks and slightly warmer with more saturation and were very close to my 9800 prints. Do you think the difference would be due to expired inks? I took out each cartridge and gentle agitated the ink, aligned the print head, did a minor head cleaning and came out with a nozzle test without any breaks.

    Apologies for my long comment, but I have been working on getting the printer set-up and dialed in for 5 days. I have been printing on 9600 and 9800 for 12 years and have never run into these issues with printing. But, I have never bought a used printer.

    Hoping you have some suggestions. I’m (gulp) thinking of buying a new set of 9 700ml cartridges…

  18. Alex H said:

    Hey Eric, or anyone I guess… Looking for a source to buy a new or at least working head for my 7900. All I have been able to find via Google is in Lithuania and China. I need one ASAP and can’t wait on the shipping. Any ideas would be appreciated!

    • Eric said:

      Depending on where you are located, Epson is your most reliable source. I have found a few on ebay but they do not come up often and buying used is entirely risky obviously, since the first thing to go is the head it seems.

      • pete said:

        i still cannot find the servprog.exe file????

  19. Neil Williamson said:

    Hi Eric
    My 9890 has a dead head. I am thinking of trying to attempt to replace the head myself, following your amazing instructional video. Am I correct in my understanding that my 9890 is structurally identical to the 9900 and I can just follw your instructions? And do you have the servprog.exe program for the 9890? Thanks in addvance

    • Eric said:

      From what I have been told your answer is yes. Email me directly and I will help you out with the program as well.

  20. Jim said:

    Hi and thanks for this resource. I’ve found this site for the usual unfortunate reason: my otherwise great E4900’s black ink is AWOL.

    I’ve got ink leaking from around the black ink print head, or possibly from the nozzles (then cleaned off by the wiper), I think even when sitting idle (there was some in pooling in the capping station). I don’t see any ink on the top of the head (around the edges, I have not removed the ink selector). Oh, I twice briefly had fatal error 1A39, but it went away after checking the seating of the ribbon cables. My guess is either 1) printhead is damaged. 2) leak is coming from top of printhead due to problem o-ring or tube and leaking down to face.

    background: 3.5 yr old printer with ~12K pages printed. Was printing fine one day… just a few days later ~20% of black missing. Nozzle cleans made it worse, with some intermittent improvement but eventually nothing. I’ve tried every trick on this website including all cleaning cycles and ink charge. I don’t think it is clogged. Can’t see any air bubbles in the lines.

    Any thoughts?

    PS on my 4900 I’ve never found any mention of SS cleanings in the menus or in the service manual. In the panel menu there is auto clean, manual clean:execute and powerful, in the service program there is CL1, CL2 & CL3. Which if any are the feared SS cleaning?

    • Eric said:

      Sorry Jim I do not know the 4900 but from what I have been told there is not SS cleaning option on that machine. I never owned one. The first thing I would chase is your o-rings at the back of the head. Hard to imagine one failing without being removed but what you report certainly suggests this could be the problem. Plus if the leak began at the same time the drop-outs did, well that’s another yellow flag waving at the same turn. I never took a 4900 apart but I’m sure it’s similar to the bigger machines. Should be fun.

      • Jim said:

        Thanks, Eric. I will take in down deeper and see if I can find the problem. Jim

      • Jim said:

        I dug deeper after rechecking the symptoms on returning from a trip: No black on nozzle check for a while now and after trying all the tricks in the book, and ink leaking from the area of the black print head. The ink mostly shows up around the perimeter of the head surface, and sometimes laps up onto the edge of the printhead unit. The black ink returns soon after cleaning it off. I have seen other colors around other printheads a couple times, and those colors have only occasional partial dropouts which I have been able to restore. So, I don’t know the significance of the ink around the print head.
        Anyway, I removed the ink selector assembly to try to look for the source of the leak. I found a small amount of magenta ink here and there on top of the printhead, but I suppose it could have gotten there when I pulled off the selector. The o-ring for the black ink maybe did not look quite as perfect as the others, so I pulled it out and switched it with the one for the orange, and cleaned everything up and put it back together. In short nothing jumped out at me as an obvious problem, and there’s been no change in the printer’s status.

      • Jim said:

        Well, I don’t give up easily. I actually got an Epson tech to give me some candid advice which hinted that it might be worth replacing the ink selector (a “Hail Mary” he said). However after another open heart surgery I’m not sure, and wondered what people here think. Ink does seem to flow through the system. Black ink levels go down with cleanings chargings etc. With the ink selector out, I used a syringe to gently push diluted windex in and out of both input and output ends of it…black and a couple working colors. The solutions flowed through and there did not seem to be any difference between the dead black and the working colors. I then gently pushed some solution through the black printhead. (I know I could kill things with these actions, but it’s this or the dump.) It came out the bottom. I put it all back together and after a charge no change. Black totally missing, other colors fine or a few clogs that I think are clearable but I don’t want to fully clean because I don;t want to buy more cartridges. Light black seems to have one missing segment that won’t clean up. I think the head is dead for black and maybe sick for it’s partner light black.

        I’d have given up sooner but having trouble finding a replacement I like. Apart from the head issue I think the 4900 is an amazing machine. I like the solid build and good handling of both rolls and cut sheets. The only other 17 incher I can find that is designed to handle rolls (built in) and cut sheets (with cassette) is the Canon ipf5100. Looks pretty good but it is almost 10 year old technology. Also, the heads are user replaceable but at 2x$400 and not a great life expectancy I’m wondering if it is much an improvement over Epson, though the touted lack of clogging sounds good. Moving up to 24 inch is tempting but I have yet to see a 24 inch model of any brand that is designed to load more than 1 cut sheet at a time. Any recommendations?

  21. RNelson said:

    Hi, I recently had all carts show up on a 9890 show up with ‘X’s and an error. I did some research and thought it could be a faulty chip / cartridge (some a bit old) or an alignment problem. I brushed all the contacts, tapped the chips, and put cardboard shims along the right side of each of the carts: Suddenly the levels were read on all but 2 carts! I continued to fiddle with the two that wouldn’t register but this only resulted in causing all the rest to eventually relapse to `X`s. I don’t have any 900x carts as a backup that I can try (the 9890 is a backup machine), do you have any advice for aligning the cart bay or cleaning the chips? Thanks!

    • Eric said:

      Sorry RNelson I have been away. Did you resolve this already?

      • Vaykay said:

        Actually, the replacement carts I bought were mislabeled and not compatible with the 9890, so no, I haven’t been able to resolve the issue yet. Do you have any suggestions? Many thanks for the reply!

      • RNelson said:

        Sorry, that was under a different alias. I haven’t been able to resolve it yet. Is there anything you can recommend trying before I potentially tank a few hundred bucks on new cartridges (as my main is a p 8000 and the carts are cross compatible)?

  22. Marty said:

    Not an X900, but 7890 owner question. After 18 months of near perfect almost-daily nozzle checks, my Cyan channel went from one speck to 3 specks to 25% of the channel now blocked over the course of a few days, and countless windex paper towel soakings over the past week have done nothing. All remaining channels remain perfect — not a speck. So I have 2 questions if anyone is still monitoring here: (1) Does anyone know whether a single channel pair fill on just C/VM can be initiated from service mode as a final attempt at clearing the blockage? (2) If blockage can’t be cleared on the Cyan, does anyone know whether re-profiling a set of ICC profiles with the ColorMunki will have enough of an effect to offset the half-blocked channel? Reason for asking #2 is that I’m having a hard time seeing a problem with several 8×10 photo test prints, but feel that color has to be off a bit. No banding is detected.
    Eric, thanks for all your work and willingness to share your experiences.

    • Eric said:

      That’s an interesting question Marty. Over my head, but maybe someone will chime in. I get a lot of emails about 7890s, especially asking for the servprog.exe program for that machine. I don’t have it so if anyone does, please let me know because someone needs to help..

  23. Lots of good info here… I’m a teacher using a 7900 and am having an issue. Does anyone know why I might be getting blue smudges, mostly on the vertical margins for the paper (although there is a little streaking horizontally across the top margin)? I just did the clean wiper trick and that didn’t seem to solve my problem (though there was quite a bit f build-up there).

  24. Chris Edwards said:

    I have decided not to repair my 7900. I will be parting it out. It was used very little and had a print head failure.

    If anyone needs anything let me know. I also have the full refillable 350ml ink system with additional inks. They are much better than the factory inks. I purchased it from

    Contact me at

  25. Tony Huerta said:

    Hi, within the last week my photo black, on my pro 7900, started giving me problems. Nozzle checks printed and all colors but photo black was there. After unsuccessful cleanings and replacing the wiper blade and cleaning the capping station and wiping the head with piezoflush, I tried swapping photo to matte black. When I did my nozzle check showed an almost perfect test print. Encouraged I changed it back to photo black and then after a cleaning, printed a test print only to find that photo black was barely there again. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t matte and photo black share the same ink line? If I’m getting a near perfect nozzle test print with matte and not with photo black, could the problem be my photo cartridge? It’s the only color that I have installed after its expiration date , October 2014, and now it’s giving me problems. Thanks for listening, any insight would be very much appreciated!

    • Sean Hayes said:

      My guess is either the Photo Black Cart, or blockage in the line. Photo & Matte back use the same channel in the ink head & damper, but do have different feed lines. I guess I’d start with trying a new cart.

      • Anthony said:

        Thanks. I did opt for a new refillable from Inkjet mall. Installed it, executed a cleaning and it produced a near perfect nozzle check test print. I printed a few things then began to notice dark blues instead of blacks in the shadows. Performed another test print and it was back to the almost non-existant photo black pattern. All other colors were perfect. After another round of cleanings and still the same thing. I’ve read making sure the capping station and flushing box is cleaned could be the problem. I’ll do that when I get home and see if it helps. Next would be to install a piezo-flush cartridge in the photo black and see if that brings it back. I’m hopeful, but not confident.

      • Sean Hayes said:

        Have you done a power cleaning to prime the ink system?

      • Tony Huerta said:

        Yes. Regular cleanings and Power cleanings in Maintenance mode. Also, CL2,CL3,CL4 and Serviceman CL in Service mode. I ‘ve refrained
        from SS cleanings because if what I’ve read it could do to piezoelectrics. I’ve ordered a #1 philips, and have Erics step-by-step video as a guide to removing the ink selector. Can this be cleaned? Or are there just too many parts to consider. I, more than likely, will order a new unit from Compass Micro and cross my fingers that that’s the problem.

  26. Eric, thanks for the excellent video. I replaced the head on my sp 9900, then got to the section on entering the head’s serial number etc using servprog.exe. Where can I get of copy of this program so I can complete the installation? Can it be purchased somewhere? thanks Darrell

    • Eric said:

      Hi Darrell. email me directly, I can help you with the program.

    • pete said:

      do you know where to find the servprog.exe??

  27. I remember seeing somewhere in the posts a name and phone number of a woman at Epson who could assist in purchasing a new print head. Does anyone have that info or any other info on getting a new head for 9890 ?

    Thanks! Drew Endicott

    • Sean Hayes said:

      That was me. Here’s the post:

      I got our head from Epson directly here:

      Found it from Epson. Call 800-234-1445. Speak to Elaine. Super easy, nice to deal with.

      Don’t recal the exact price, but it wasn’t cheap

      • Eric said:

        Thanks Sean

  28. Alex H said:

    Hi there Eric, GREAT info here!

    I have a handful of Epsons, right now my issue is with a 4900. I am rather positive I have a issue with my csic sensor in one of my channels. Is there a way to test them? Any suggestions of where to find a replacement?

    I have a 7900 that I bought to harvest parts off of if needed, would a csic sensor from that work on my 4900?


  29. Jim said:

    Hi Eric,
    I work in education in the UK. I have just watched your 9900 head removal video, very clear and thank you for taking the time to share with the world. I, like everyone will try every solution before paying out for a replacement head. I am having trouble with just the yellow ink. It will print for a couple of mm then stop. I have noted that on some youtube films people have taken the head out and syringed cleaning solution through directly, drawing it through , then pushing it out.

    Have you had any success with this method? I have also tried running the head over a doubled up towel soaked in Isopropanol and leaving it for a number of hours, no success.
    I noted you added a cap over the damping unit when it was removed. Do you sell these or know where I can get one? I have ordered some original Windex cleaner to try the towel method again, but do not hold out much hope.

    I have only been able to find a Windex that uses Ammonia-D, which the chap in this film does not recommend. For this reason I have also ordered some Ammonia and pure alcohol to create my own solution.
    Lastly, I also noted from your film that if I were to replace the head that the software to download is Windows based. I am running a mac to the Epson, I can assume that the exe file will only run on a PC, is there a Mac version of this to download?
    All the best, Jim

    • Jim, Your story sounds like the same story that we that have found Eric @ MyX900 have had. I suffered 6 months of trying to clean my Yellow head before finding this source Once I did, I pulled my head as I had nothing else to try, cleaning cartridges & solutions were not much of an option with price tag of almost a $1000 or more by the time you recharge the
      system with fresh ink, just to find out your head is still clogged. So as I was saying I watched the video and pulled my head, soaked it in solutions over night and re-installed and tested. Still bad, no worse no better… so I pulled it again and soaked it more, sucked and blew through the nipple on the back, put it back in and tested again. No better no worse, it was so easy to take the head out, so I thought I would try again, with a tooth brush this time. No better no worse. I bought a new head from Epson and ended my misery. I will share that it took the system a few days to work it self out. It was perfect at first and then I lost one of my inks, yet with a standard cleaning it came back. I considered changing my capping station but found it was unnecessary as after a week or so all the air bubbles or whatever worked themselves out. 7 months now without any further issues and once again I love my 9900.

      • Jim said:

        Thanks Randall,
        your message is to buy another head… is doesn’t seem that anyone has a positive method for clearing effectively. My problem is, I fear that the school will not pay for a replacement head and would be happy too bin the printer all together!! It has been the best printer we have got. I take it you tried the SS cleaning mentioned in…


    • Sean Hayes said:

      If the nozzle test pattern changes at all between cleanings, you may be in luck, and continued efforts at cleaning, charging, purging the ink system may help.

      If the nozzle patterns stay the same, as it did with me, you’re probably screwed and cleaning will only waste more ink, time, money and peace of mind. If the pattern doesn’t change at all, the micro-piezo tech in the head is more than likely fried. Only solution: new head.

      • Jim said:

        hmm, the test prints look the same, although I have just printed a large patch of just yellow and what has come out looks slightly brighter than before… this was after running a clean under maintenance mode on just the yellow/LLblk head using force 4, it looks marginally better. I am going to give it another soak in fluid tomorrow and then another maintenance clean, print the same patch and see if the improvement continues. It maybe that it is just the same nozzles printing, but cleaner. we shall see

      • Sean Hayes said:

        Are there missing, deflected or unclear lines in the yellow on the nozzle check?

      • Jim said:

        Yep, there is about 5-8% of the nozzles firing. After numerous restarts from standard to Maintenance mode, SS cleans at power four on the appropriate head,… carrying out soaked paper towel experiments under the head, there has been little difference, if any to the nozzle pattern under ‘test print’. i do believe she is screwed and the only option is to buy another head. This may not be an option, not sure what funds are available for maintenance. Besides this, referring to one of my earlier questions, running a Mac with the 9900. The software used to re-configure the head to match the machine was an .exe file… is there a mac equivalent?

      • Eric said:

        Not that I know of Jim. But it’s a pretty simple process I’m sure you could grab someone’s pc laptop and do the sync. It takes just 2 minutes. Your head prognosis seems accurate (and familiar).

      • Jim said:

        So Eric,
        what’s the next step?… if I can raise the funds here for another head, which at the moment seems highly unlikely, (I am trying to be optimistic). After watching your film i feel I am able to tackle the task in hand. Can you send me the software to marry up the head and printer? Would I also need a cap to go over the damper whilst changing it over or is this only necessary if the machine is to be left exposed (sucking in air) for lengthier periods?
        I understand that your time and commitment to this cause is something worthy of recompense and if this does indeed save the school an additional £500 for the engineers support, it is well worth it…. this decision is out of my hands, although I would remind the powers that be, a fully working machine has been reinstated with your valuable help and this should be considered honorably.

      • Jim said:

        Hi Eric,… also… But before you declare your X900 head dead and replace it, there’s one more thing to try – an ink charge series using cleaning carts filled with Epson’s own cleaning fluid. I don’t know yet if this will work, but I will by the end of this week. Stay tuned for updates!

        Have you tried it? Has anyone had success doing this?

      • Eric said:

        I don’t do this for money Jim. Neither does anyone else who helps on this site. It’s a crap situation you end up in when your head fails, and Epson doesn’t help you much at all. They profit enough off ink as it is, replacement heads for registered X900 users should not cost as much as they charge. They used to cost $1,200, now suddenly they’re $1,600+. Email me directly I’ll help you out with the program – eric at

  30. Martin Pocai said:

    Please help! Hello there! I love this page. Has always helped me out. Now I have a problem with my 9900. When I send any document to print even a testprint for nozzles check the print head goes from side to side of the plotter but nothing comes out. It doesn’t print and the sheet never moves. It just goes from side to side of the plotter. What can I do about it??? Thanks so much for your reply.

    • Eric said:

      Email me directly and I’ll send you a service manual. Could be a few things. eric @

  31. I have an epson 9890, I know,I know. I got is free, obviously it has issues but I’m always up for a challenge! It seem Epson has been successful at removing all sources for a service manual.. Anyone know wher to get one or have one that they would
    D be willing to share?

  32. Godstime said:

    Good day sir.
    my name is Godstime form Abuja Nigeria, Sir i have espon 9900
    and the LIGHT CYAN and CYAN Nozzel is not coming out and i have try some of ur tip u always Advise on but still did not come out and am confuse and tayerd
    pls sir wat we b the next solution. pls sir kindly hepl me. Waiting to hearing from you
    Best Regard.

    • Eric said:

      If you’ve tried everything and nothing changes with your nozzle patterns, you head is likely fried. Buy a new head and follow the video on this site. Changing your printhead is not very hard. May as well change your damper unit and wiper assy too. I have a video here for that as well. Good luck.

  33. Michael said:


    I replaced my print head in January (thanks for the help!!) with a new original Epson print head. It prints perfectly, However…. when i don’t printer for a few days (something like 4 days) i lose most of the cyan color when i do a test print. it comes back with a normal cleaning but this really troubles me. i once had an issue where i lost both cyan and orange when did not print for 2 weeks and again they came back with one normal cleaning. i have not had any other issues with any other colors. this is odd because i am not having an issue with magenta, which is the cyan color pair.

    any thoughts on this? printer cap maybe? air leaking in the line?


    • Eric said:

      Could be a poor seal on the capping station. Channels are not connected in the head so there’s nothing strange about one side of a pair being clear while the other is clogged. Do you ever get drop-outs in magenta on long prints?

      • Michael said:

        drop-outs?? a nozzle or two or an entire color? i never lose a color channel while printing but i do lose a nozzle once in a while when i check between prints. however the missing nozzle is always in some random locations and random color. i print mostly on epson canvas so i do know i get a little more dust in the printer but nothing crazy.

  34. Michael said:

    Hi, was looking at your recipie for printer cleaning fluid and was wondering about adding some dye / colouring to be able to test pattern print and see there still any clogs. Any ideas what to use? thanks

    • Eric said:

      No this is not sarcastic – how about some ink?

      • Michael said:

        A good point, though as trying to clear ink blockages would this not be counter productive?
        If the dilution is great enough it may work.
        I know some flushes such as the one from piezography are coloured, though doubt they will tell what they use 🙂

      • Eric said:

        It’s a good point. I actually experienced trouble seeing nozzle patterns with some solutions. Epson’s RED cleaner however was easy to see, which most likely is why they make it red. Then you use the clear to flush it. Sounds great on paper but didn’t work for me any better than other solutions I tried.

  35. alex said:

    Hey from brussels here, got a 9900 and prints are perfect, just some yellow ink runnings(got a picture) on the print ?
    somebody an idea

    • Eric said:

      When does it run and where? The whole print, the beginning of the print, the end of the print..?

      • alex said:

        Hey actually we just found out the yellow inkt coms running out of the printblock

      • Alex said:

        Thank you for your quick answer ! The yellow marks is everywhere on the print , i made a picture but i see i can t send you here !
        The problem seems to come from the head but i don’t know from where exactly form the head !
        Best regards Alex

      • alex said:

        Hey Mister E, any idea what it could be…

  36. 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…

  37. 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?

  38. 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

      • we have a epson 11880 that’s been down for 8 months thanks to epsons so called 3 party service techs. all it needed was a print head replaced when the tech left it started leaking ink and air in the ink lines. We take a lot of pride in repairing our own printers, we replaced our Epson GS6000 printhead with ease do to that we found the service software (servprog.exe) to work on and register the printhead, not so with the 11880, Cant’ locate any help with finding the software. we contacted epson directly with no results there service company just stopped returning our phone calls an emails (this after we paid them over $2,700)
        Any help would be a great help as were are turning away work for the 11880 do to this problem

      • Eric said:

        Email me directly Mark, I may be able to help you

  39. 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”…

  40. 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…

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

    • markmusephotographs said:

      Well, it is a year later. Are you still happy with the HP? I am thinking I should perhaps make the same move.

      • Eric said:

        I cannot imagine being happier with a printer than I am with this Z3200PS. Never yet have I experienced a clog, I still do not know where or even if there is a maintenance tank, they mail me ink the next day free shipping when I need it – no stocking necessary, I don’t need my computer on in order to print bigger jobs, and finally, girls find me sexier. I can’t figure it out either

      • markmusephotographs said:

        LOL! Damn… I’m getting one!

        But back on the darker side, how does the print quality compare (exhibition quality image prints)? I know it has a PS RIP built-in (CMYK) which I do not need, at least in an Epson workflow. Can you print RGB psd or tiff files without pain and without having conversions to CMYK occur somewhere in the pipeline?

        How does it do with B&W? Can you do the same kind of tinting of monochromes like with the Epson? Can you print RGB or grayscale for monochrome prints?

      • Eric said:

        Yes to all, Mark. Even simultaneously, which I am actually doing as I type this.

  44. 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?

  45. 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.

  46. Bob said:

    what kind of solvent is used in epson ink

  47. 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!

  48. murray said:

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

  49. 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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