64 comments
  1. Basti said:

    Hello! Hope somebody could help me!
    I got the 7900 for 40Euro (yes, 40) .. with a totally clogged head. After manually cleaning the head with a syringe and Isopropanolall channels were free (quite perfect nozzle pattern) EXEPT the black channel. Only the upper 30 and the lower 30 nozzles are free. Rest is clogged. The printhead was never cleaned with SuperSonic-Cleaning, so i am hoping for a „hard“ clog an no head-fail. But that is just another problem.

    My real problem is: while working in service-mode the aim-testing went wrong. before i started the aim-test i tried to change the photo-black to matte-black: this took me 25 minutes with „head cleaning failure / nozzle check fail“ (automatically message on display) … after that i tried the aim-test. Now, when i turn on the printer ALL cartridges are not recognized. When all cartridges are sitting in, the display will show „cartridge error, change cartridges“.
    BUT, when i take one cartridge out, all cartridges are recognized and show the right level of ink. Only, when i put in the 11th cartridge, all will fail (red cross on every cartridge). It is not important which cartridge i put out. Tried all. So, no defective Chip.

    I tried to clear NVRAM via unplugging the power-cord and taking out the NVRAM-battery for 3 Hours; placing the cartridges one on one in the bay. Everyone gets detected. But number 11 … yeah. Fail.
    I also tried to remove bubbles in the cartridges while taking the out, blowing air into the cartridge and draining 1ml of ink (and bubbles). But, no effect.

    I really hope to get this problem solved. Therefore i hope for your help.
    I also need the servprog.exe (maybe the failure could be fixed, while unflagging or so) / Had it long time ago, but i cant find it anyway.

    Thank you VERY much ahead!

  2. Ron Carpenter said:

    Is this one of the printheads from China and you have to wire a bank money first before you receive it

  3. Ron Carpenter said:

    I’m not ever run across that

  4. Chris Edwards said:

    I have a 7900 I would repair for that price…let us know how it goes!

  5. Janusz Dziekoński said:

    good video,i need the servprog.exe program,can you send it ti me,please,thank you

  6. Ron Carpenter said:

    The question that I asked myself this how long did the printer set before I used it and noticed it my next question would be if I ran any cleaning fluid through it how many cycles has it I haven’t talked to anybody that has had good luck cleaning
    without damaging the printhead and needed to replace it there’s a place called Midwest photo of Columbus Ohio that has a place that does work for them that cleans the heads professionally food for thought

  7. Josh W said:

    I’ve got a nasty clog in our 11880. I’ve done all the cleanings (except the SS), windex paper towels, printing a large field of the missing color and I’ve had no success. I have not tried the Ink fill idea yet, becuase I don’t want to flush that much ink just yet. But I’m wondering if anyone has had any success using a cleaning cartridge. Flushing the troubled channel with individual channel cleanings and refilling with ink in the same fashion as to not waste ink in all other channels?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!

  8. Ron said:

    I don’t know what 1138 happens to be

  9. Ken gre said:

    Looking for help with an error code 1138. The cr encoder is not doing something. Any ideas?

  10. Declan said:

    Hi,
    I have just finished installing a new Maintenance kit for Epson 7890, having double checked all leads and that the new unit sits snugly. I fired it up, it goes through some startup steps and then bombs out with error code 1498, which I read from manual as being: The Wiper’s home position can not be detected. Any ideas?

      • rjcarp928@frontier.com said:

        Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  11. Jef said:

    Hello, I try to repare my 9900 but I need Service Program and I don’t know where I can find it??? Perhaps can you tell me where i can find it. Thank you very much

      • Ron Carpenter said:

        I looked it up online Epson doesn’t make a paper one and I look mine up online

  12. What your thoughts on this company if i am replacing my print head for my Epson 7900 for $625.00.

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    Price: $625.00
    Brand: Epson
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    Product Description
    Epson 7700/9700/9910/7910/4908 Printhead To be used with : Epson Stylus Pro 7700 Epson Stylus Pro 9700 Epson Stylus Pro 9910 Epson Stylus Pro 7910 Epson Stylus Pro 4908 Epson Stylus Pro 7908 Epson Stylus Pro 9908 Epson Stylus Pro 7900 Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Epson Stylus Pro 11880C
    Part number : F191010
    Remarks : Original

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    • Eric said:

      My thoughts are, use a credit card that you are confident will get your back if things go pear shaped. Those are some great prices if they actually represent new/functioning/oem printheads. Feels too good to be true

    • Richard Fenn said:

      I too have looked at this site. Did the sale go through? Did you get the item?

      Please let me know as I am curious and would like to order a printhead if they are legit.

      Cheers Richard

  13. Do you know the best source for purchasing a new print head for an epson 9890 ?

    • Eric said:

      The only source I am aware of here in the US is Epson themselves. You need a serial number to make the purchase.

  14. Mark Ness said:

    Of late I’ve been getting “Cleaning Error – Automatic head cleaning failed” on our 9900. What would you suggest to remedy this situation as it will appear between prints in a job. I’ve followed the items in the manual and the problem persists. I really don’t want to spend $300+ for the service call plus parts. I am using genuine Epson inks.

    BTW – I love your site, although the complete entries get cut off.

  15. ANYONE HELP…Looking for a clogged print head that was in good working order otherwise. I am getting an 1A39 error and before I buy a $1700 print head I want to confirm if its the print head or the main board…epson will happily sell them both to me but I don’t want to spend $2000 if not needed. So far everything has been gone over and the Technician was ready to order a print head and main board so I said WAIT!

    • Hal Gage said:

      I have an old 9900 head that I replaced nearly a year ago. It had green and orange nozzles clogged. I would guess ALL the nozzles are clogged now. But, I can send it for the cost of postage. My guess is that the error is probably due to the board. Was the head firing on all nozzles before the error message? BTW, if you search in the backlogs of this thread, you’ll find a much cheaper source for a replacement head.

  16. Saif Biplob said:

    I want to see your vedio instructions. How can I get it?
    Pls tell me.

  17. Saif Biplob said:

    Hi
    Eric
    I m in Bangladesh.
    Having problems with 9900&7900 printer.
    In 9900 cyan is totally blank and in 7900 green is totally blank.

  18. Craig said:

    Hi Eric, I’m not sure if you still use this page but I could really do with some hepl if you do:). I have a 9900 (6 years old) and is developed a fault where my prints are coming out desaturated on the yellow channel. Nozzles check looks fine but if i print a larege block of 100% yellow you can see that there is a small band of beautifull bright yellow for about 2cm then it just changes to a far more “insipid” yellow for the rest of the block. I used your walkthrough video (many thanks) to get to and change the damper but the problem is still there. I’ve tried running the printer from a different pc to rule out any driver issues, I’ve tried a replacement yellow cart, ive tried every version of cleaning (ss, cl, power) and the problem persists. I’m in the UK so the cost of calling out Epson and letting them go through the whole “change everything untill it works” is just not realistic. I’ve had the problem about two weeks and my customers are getting to the point of starting to look elsewhere so monday I have to order a replacement printer (cannon ipf8400) but I dont want to scrap the epson if it’s a simple fix! Any advice is greatly appreciated 😉

    • GoGo said:

      enail me directly Craig, I will set you up with service manuals to troubleshoot the problem. Sounds like drop in pressure to me but that’s a long distance guess. I’ll wait to hear,

      Eric

    • Chris Edwards said:

      I did the same…my 7900 sits with clogged heads and I bought a ipf8400. Best purchase ever! So much faster, awesome quality and 44″. Don’t think I’ll ever buy Epson again.

  19. Ammar said:

    Hi Eric
    thank you for what yu did by ur amazing simple easy way of explanation videos really its so helpful its solve me alot of problems
    really thank you so much

  20. Rich Hansen said:

    Eric ~ thanks for your creative videos !! I followed the repair manual for my 7900 to correct a 1439 (Cleaning Assembly Replacement, basically). The repair manual was actually really good. You have to move from the Cleaning Assembly Removal Section to the Remove Right Cover Section to the AID Board Removal sections. Doing this on line, I just clicked on the table of contents page number and zoomed right to the section I needed. All went well until I started looking for the wiper. Your video (after I replayed a couple of times) quickly illustrates how the wiper assembly pops down from the cleaning assembly part. Sort of sneaky. I looked for this damn thing for over 30 minutes ! The manual has you manually turn the gear on one of the servo motors. This, also, is sort of a subtle instruction but as soon as you do it, you see this illusive part move into view. After I figured this out, the instructions made sense. I got the Cleaning Assembly installed and hooked up. Next step was to temporarily hook up the Control Panel. That came up ok, then my problems started. I followed the manual on the tests to run. Sort of casually, it states run the AID (Auto Ink Detection) Check. I ran it and it failed miserably. Reading what this could be from, I started thinking about buying a new printer !! After pondering this for a while, and perhaps I say this with a bit of embarrassment, I guessed that the carriage needed to be back into its normal run position to do any sort of testing. (The carriage was out of the way from when I started the repair). I started the printer in normal mode (turned it on) and let the carriage reset. I restarted in service mode and re did the AID Check. At this time, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. That ended quickly, test again failed miserably. Shit. One of the “easier” remedies mentioned somewhere was to update the firmware on the printer. I thought this was silly, but it’s free. I screwed around awhile finding the firmware, loaded it onto my hard drive and manually pushed it to the printer. Eureka !! I reran the AID Check and it passed with flying colors. I screwed around with the PG Adjustment and Check for an hour or so. I think it was ok after the AID Check said it passed. Not sure. OK. I’m Golden !! I turned on the printer to do a quick nozzle check. Interesting, the printer said it was printing, but all that happened is the carriage initialized, then started an interesting dance back and forth across the length of it’s travel with nothing else happening. It did that about ten passes and I figured something was screwed up, so I cancelled the job. I screwed around for another hour or so doing more tests (read, pumping a pile of ink into the maintenance tank) but could not resolve the “carriage dance”. I gave up for the night. Next morning, I did a chat with the Epson guy. Gary Fong. Listened to what I had done, didn’t scold me for screwing around with the printer and told me to be patient with the carriage dance. He told me the printer was looking for itself. He said, let it run until it’s happy. I fired the printer up and started a nozzle check. It danced for about three minutes or so, then all of a sudden came alive. Perfect Print !! Wow Success. Saved $1,300 and now I’m not scared to death if this monster ever acts funny again !! Thanks again, Eric. Rich

    • GoGo said:

      That’s awesome Rich. I’m sure many will benefit from your story. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the new/old printer!

      • Peter said:

        I REPLACED MY INK UNIT AND NOW IT DOES NOT COME DOWN
        AND I GET THE SAME ERROR MESSAGE 1489
        MAYBE IF I RUN THE FIRMWARE PROGRAM
        WHICH I CANNOT FIND?????????????????????????????????
        I ALSO CANNOT FIND THE SERVPROG.EXE WHICH PEOPLE TALK ABOUT????????
        ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED
        PETE

  21. hal gage said:

    Seasons Greetings Eric,
    We talked a while back. I have a 9900 with a clogged head and was going to follow your instruction to change it out. Finally got around to that. Thanks for your very clear and instructional video. It was a tremendous help.

    HELP!
    As would be expected (at least in my life) I had some problems. After reassembling everything I turned the printer on and almost immediately got an fatal error message: 1A39 (whatever that means). Any clues? I went back and checked the ribbon wires in the electronics area. I hesitate taking the damper assembly a part again to check the wire ribbons to the head, but I’ll do it if that’s what it’s going to take.

    BTW, you do have to have the Epson 9900 printer driver software installed in order for the Servprog to see and register/sync the new head. I’m not sure if the software installed correct (I’m not a PC guy) because the printer couldn’t be started in anything other than service mode. In the end, it installed, but the laptop couldn’t make a connection to the printer. It keeps showing as offline.

    Also wanted to give you a heads up on the SERVPROG software. It can be downloaded from Epson Insider (just have to register). It’s in Support>Tech Info>Ink Jet Printers>Epson Stylist Pro 9900 Ink Jet Printers> in the “more info” window to the right select “downloads.” Under Window XP you’ll find “Service Program” which has a file name of “epson13816.exe.” Unzipped, it will have the service program as one of the components.

    • hal gage said:

      Addendum:
      Mechanical success. It probably was a crocked ribbon cable going into the head. Had to take it a part to the point of pulling the head. A hassle, but no more fatal errors, starts up just fine.

      Here are a few observations to add to the already vast amount of excellent information on this site. On what may be a newer model 9900, the ground wires go to different places: one to the grounding plate of the carriage and the other to the circuit board (where the ribbon cables attach). The only one that needs to be disconnected is the one to the circuit board.

      It is possible to check and see if the head replacement has taken before reassembling the printer. Once the head is installed, the damper unit reattached and the ink line bracket put back. You can leave the cover off the circuit board/electronics area. With the top plate and side cover of the machine still off, slide the ink door on the left side of the machine into place and close (you don’t have to put in the screws). Put the waste tank back in and make sure all doors (ink doors, front door) are all closed. Start up your machine. Everything should start up fine if the head replacement was a success. If you get a fatal error message 1A39, that refers to a problem with the connection to the head, probably a not square insertion of the ribbon cable to the head. If so, take it a part again and check your alignment on the ribbon cables. If all goes well, shut down the machine and start it up again in service mode and shut it down. Now you can move the head and finish putting on the covers and cosmetic panels.

      I’ll let you know how the Windoze part of the adventure goes.

      • hal gage said:

        Success!
        Everything went according to plan. Once the printer was up and running (no error messages), I was able to load the Epson driver software on the PC laptop. Once that happened the computer recognized the printer. One note on running the SERVPROG.EXE program, the characters listed on the side of the new head (BTW, it’s a good idea to copy these numbers down BEFORE you install the head. But if you forget, like me, the little label with the QR code and the list of number is visible by looking on the right side of the printer carriage where the head is. I used a small camera and some closeup lenses to make a photo and zoomed in on it to get the numbers) are alphanumeric. BUT, the Os are zeros (numbers not letters). The program will tell you that you have put in the wrong characters (but not which ones). Other than that, everything went well, albeit over the course of 2 days.

  22. Paolo said:

    Dear Eric,
    I write you from Italy so You Will exsuse me for tue big mistake i’m going to do
    I saw your video at vimeo….great video…Thanks a lot for it. Well i’ve big trouble with my epson 11880…and I’m going to spend a lot of money if you can’t help me…some days ago the print suddenly doesn’t print the Yellowstone and the black…I tried to’ di a lot of cleaning but nothing….before call the service i tried to remove the print head by myself….then I tried to cleaning with water and alcool the i bring the head to a center that cleaning with ultra sound it.
    Uau the head seme sto work again cause the water I push with a pipe go down…..then i replace the print head on the machine….but when i start the ink cover (both) open themselves and this error message came out 131B….
    What coul i do? I saw in your video i ha e to out the code if i install i new one mah e i have to do this procedure???pleas help me or contact me if you need more details
    Best regards
    paolo

  23. Hal Gage said:

    Hi Eric,
    All my ducks are in a row now. I have a replacement head I purchased from The RO Company in Carrollton, TX. It took several months for them to get it in from Epson, but it was a good price ($880 + shipping). I have been reviewing your video and one thing jumped out at me. You mentioned a plate to seal off the damper head that you could “send” me. I was wondering what that was all about? Could I just use a piece of saran wrap and some tape to cover it until I am ready to reassemble? Do you sell these cover plates?

    Thanks for all your help, advice and willingness to share. I’m sure none of this would have been possible without it.

    Hal Gage

    • Dan McIntosh said:

      You can just leave the old print head in place until the new one arrives. If you do use tape, make sure there is no residue left on the damper assembly – you don’t want ink leaks

      I don’t believe you need the Epson driver installed for servprog.exe but I may be wrong.

      Also, thanks for posting the source for a replacement head (RO Company). I had been unable to find anyone who would sell me a replacement, other than Ep$on.

  24. Nate Smith said:

    Anyone having any luck putting a 4900 head on a 7900? I’m thinking about getting my dremel tool out and giving it a try.

    I have an Epson 7900 with a bad printhead. I ordered a replacement off of ebay, and it was for 4900 with the note that that printhead can be used in the 7900 as well. The print head looks very similar, but the form factor is off. Basically, there’s some extra plastic in the way that is preventing me from inserting it, and the print heads look slightly different. I’m kind of hosed cause I can’t return the print head, but I don’t want to mess up my Epson either. I also have a 4900 that I could use this as a spare for.

    …or I could dremel off the parts of plastic that don’t fit and try it out. The one thing I’m wondering about is that the Service reps said that once they installed the new print head they needed to run a print head ranking program to calibrate the voltage to the individual print heads (a program I obviously don’t have), and they couldn’t make mine fit to try. I don’t even know if they’d do this, or if they even need to… Also, I checked the tech specs ion the head and the printers and the droplet size, resolutions, etc. look exactly the same.

    Thanks,

    -Nate

    • Bob said:

      Hello Nate,
      Can you tell me the name of the seller on eBay,
      I’m thinking of buying a head and I don’t need to get hosed again (Epson already gave me all the hoseing I can handle)
      Thanks,
      Bob

      • emc said:

        Hello Bob
        Have you putting a 4900 head on a 7900? And if yes pleas gave me all the hoseing I can handle it
        Thanks

  25. Pedro Santos said:

    Thanks Eric,

    You have a hell of good info there.
    My 9900 it´s printing fantastic but in the future if i have any problem i know now what i have to do.

    Cheers from Portugal 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Pedro Santos

  26. Moises Vega said:

    Hi Eric,

    Please help with this question, well I hope I do not have to write the nightmare of trying to clean the print head of one 9900, well I found a Print head part number F191010, Epson claims that part number is the original one and ther is no possible to find it brand new, also we found a print head for Stylus Pro 9910, it’s compatible with the Stylus Pro 9900?

    I appreciate all the time you take to helps us.

    Best Regards,

    Moises Vega
    Mexico

  27. Hi Eric,
    I have a epson 9900. I have done cleaning with windex, normal cleaning, strong cleaning, cleaning SS (level 1) and still have banding in photographs. I’ve been running 1 hour, I eat healthily …. 😉
    I think I’ll have to change the printhead.
    A week ago I changed the WIPER BLADE, following your video (very good and easy).
    Before changing the printhead, you recommend me to change some other device?. If it’s cheaper than the head, I prefer to try their luck before.
    My plotter is 3 years old and has printed very little in that time. I bought it secondhand.

    Thank you very much for your attention and work.
    Roberto Manrique
    http://www.robertomanrique.es
    Spain
    (sorry for my english)

    • GoGo said:

      That is the problem Roberto, using the printer very little causes the head to clog. Too much time sitting still lets ink dry up in the face of the head. The nozzle holes are extremely tiny. Twice as small as previous models. This is troublesome. Are you in a rush to change your head? If not I may have an alternative solution for you. Let me know asap.

      • Hi Eric,
        I can wait one week, at most two weeks. I have an alternative before changing the head?

      • GoGo said:

        OK then Roberto, I don’t think I can help you. I am setting up a 7900 machine here with cleaning carts filled with Epson’s cleaning fluid. I plan to use this machine exclusively to clean heads. It is an un-proven idea which will take some time to get up to speed. Probably a month.

        Good luck finding a head. I heard recently that US parts suppliers were out of them for a few more weeks. Not sure that is true. Good luck,

        Eric

        ________________________________

      • Hi Eric,

        Thanks for your prompt reply. If I can, I’ll wait to see your results.
        I buy the pieces in Barcelona. They have told me they have stock. In the U.S. I do not know.
        I look forward you make cleaning tests.
        Thank you very much Eric.

        A greeting.
        Roberto Manrique
        Spain

  28. Dan said:

    An amazing journey and many thanks for sharing with the world. I plan to donate shortly!

    Do you know of a source for Epson parts in Canada? I may end up getting a new print head for my 7900 if I can’t clear the stubborn LC channel clog. I may also need a Damper Unit and Wiper Assembly. If not, can you share any experiece with a good supplier in the US?

    ..Dan

    • GoGo said:

      Here you go Dan,

      CANADA
      PCPARTS NOW (888) 309-4570 or (905)752-0222
      M.S.P.S. (888) 426-4580 or (905) 936-6006


      UNITED STATES

      Compass Micro, Inc. (503) 408-8725 or (800) 388-8595
      Encompass Parts Distribution (954) 723-9191 or (800) 432-8542
      Micrologic Systems, Inc. (903) 561-0007
      National Parts Depot (845) 469-4800 or (800) 524-8338
      TSAworld, Inc. (770) 417-2323 or (800) 633-6626

      • Dan said:

        Thanks for the reply – much appreciated. I will post an update with prices for any other Canadian readers.

  29. GoGo said:

    Email me directly Hal, I know where you can get it.

  30. Eric,
    Thanks again for all your help and advice. I have started the ball rolling, so to speak. I called Epson parts warehouse in Indianapolis (Diana @ 3174062679) to order a print head. Once that’s in hand I’d like to be ready for the software part. I have Googled servepro.exe, but came up with no leads on where to buy or download. Your video leaves specifics out on that front. Any clues on where to find this elusive software?

  31. GoGo said:

    Hi Hal. Yes that number 562-276-1305 is actually the number straight off Epson’s website. And yes, it is the number to use to eventually end up at a person who will ship you your new head. Thanks for the new part number on the damper unit. I’ll make note of it.

  32. GoGo said:

    Oh Luminous Landscape.. What a journey. That’s what gave birth to this site, it got too difficult for people to zero-in on the key points with all those pages. Wow.

    OK to your problem. I hate writing this because every time that I do I am reminded how much of a failure I still am – I still don’t have a way of clearing a clogged head, yet I still am hopeful that one day I will. Having said that I will tell you that it feels like your head might be dead. I know that sounds horrible to hear. The things is it only USED to be horrible. Not so much anymore thanks to the video I made for all of us who end up in the same dam clogged printhead shoes.

    If this is the case Hal, you are fortunate because now you have choices. Before you did not.

    1 – Worst case scenario you hire Decision 1 to come out and replace your head. They will replace your pump and cap assy too, along with your damper unit. Typically I hear repair costs ranging from $2,400 to $2,800. The other hidden cost here is how much ink it will take to re-charge your entire system (do the math, you have long lines on a 9900, it’s a lot). With this service you get a six month warranty (or maybe it’s three, I’m not sure). Warranties are nice.

    2 – Buy a new head – $1,350 – straight from Epson, follow the video I made and install it yourself. Decide for yourself if you want a new pump and cap assy, or damper unit. Go back to printing.

    This isn’t just me airing my opinion here, I have insiders who say the same thing – the typical clogged head service call “go-to” is to first change your pump and cap assy. This never clears the clog. Not surprising. The clog is in your head obviously, not in the flush box or the cap – which are after the head. Changing the pump and cap in order to clear a clogged head is like taking the garbage out in order the clean the kitchen floor. Totally unrelated. On the other hand I have had Epson customer service people tell me that they are still running dampers from 2008 on their own printers today. So what the hell.. I guess I need to do some experimenting/videos on these topics too.

    Hal, my best advice to you is to calculate your expenses before you go down either road you choose. IE, if you want to run more SS cleanings, figure how much ink you’ll run through in the process. Add it all up – all of what you have done and all that you most possibly will do in the future, chasing your clogs through your head. I bet it adds up to not much less than installing your own new head. Ink adds up quick, never mind time, and most of all that crushing feeling you get every time you watch the next nozzle pattern come out just the same as the last twelve.. It’s heart breaking, I know.

    DO NOT TOSS YOUR MACHINE. If it was a 7900 I wouldn’t say toss it, but it would be debatable. But a 9900 is DEFINITELY not junk just because the head is.

    I am glad to help you any way that I can, Hal. Let me know,

    Eric

    • The number I got from Compassmicro.com for Epson Pro Graphic Support is 562-276-1305. Is that the number that you have used to buy replacement heads for the 9900?

      BTW, the correct part no. for the Damper Unit is 1543056, $173 + shipping from Compassmicro.com.

  33. Eric,
    Thank you for putting this website together and all the work in research and making of the videos. This is a first rate job. I’ll get a donation to you directly.
    Meanwhile, I have a question about cleaning a head once you have it out of the machine. I have seen YouTubes about sending cleaning solutions through a head (usually the little printers). Do you think this might be a reasonable approach, or should I just toss the head and replace it?
    Lastly, do you have recommendations on where to purchase replacement parts for my 9900? Addresses, links?
    I’m running a 2 year old 9900. The orange and green channels have dropped out. No success with power cleans or SS cleans.

    • GoGo said:

      Sorry for the delayed response Hal. I’ve been away. I wish I could give you better advice on the best process to follow to clean your clogged 9900 head. But so far I have yet to successfully clear one and I have tried a few times. I have built a prototype cleaning station which I am anxious to try out but I have no X900 heads to use yet. The key to cleaning (or trying to clean) your X900 head is that you first must surrender yourself to the fact that most likely it won’t work, and you will probably damage the head worse than it is. Hugely fragile they are. I’ll update the site with more microscopic images to show how fragile they are. Luckily though, all is not lost. Used to be you’d be facing a $24-$2,800 service call repair bill. Hopefully now with the video I made you can do the change yourself. That’s my hope anyway. I have some edits to do to it to make it better but it is perfectly effective how it is now. Three users have already changed their heads successfully via the video. That’s awesome.

      Let me know if I can help you. Happy to do what I can,

      Eric

      • Thanks for the response. Just after leaving my comment/question, I found your thread on Luminous Landscape. I have say, you have been on the odyssey of a lifetime. It took a couple of days to get caught up with your research and discoveries. I feel a bit sheepish now having left that rather naive newbe question. I do feel grateful and emboldened to take on repairs of my 9900 due exclusively to your brilliant (and self-deprecating) videos and your thread on Luminous.
        That said, I sit here in a quandary: I’m not sure how to diagnose my problem with my 2.5 yo 9900. With the green channel completely empty (after letting the cart go all the way down and then having to wait a week before a replacement came in) and the orange channel only showing a small part of one line (after much the same situation as the green channel except I had a replacement at hand), I have heard several different possible explanations. Some suggested that if a channel is blank there is air in the lines. Also heard that the cart might be bad. Still others recommended against doing too many cleaning (power, SS) cycles. After checking for air in the lines (visual inspection) and seeing none, I first ran several pair cleanings (O&G) and nozzle checks, then power clean & nozzle check, then went into maintenance mode 1 and did a SS clean & nozzle check, then after seeing one of your posts went in to the other maintenance modes and did a SSCL clean-level 1. After no success, I ran test prints with all color management turned off of a file with a long rectangle of orange (RGB: lots of red with some green and little blue/ CMYK: 100% M and Y), a rectangle of green (RGB: 0R, 255G, 0B) and a rectangle of red (RGB: 255R, 0G, 0B). I made several prints to see if there was an air bubble, that I could coax it out. After a nozzle check, I confirmed that O and G are still dead to the world.
        Do you have a diagnosis? Any idea what would be best to replace first? Your thoughts on direct would be most appreciated.
        After combing through your LL posts I contacted a few places that were mentioned as sources for Epson parts (compassmicro.com, americaninkjetsystems.com) for quotes. So far I have a quote on wiper blades and the Pump and Capping Assembly, but the part no. (1504216) for the Damper Unit is incorrect and they couldn’t source it. They sent an exploded view diagram of the 9900, but I can’t make heads or tails of it. Do you know if that is the right part no.?
        Wow, sorry to inundate you with so many questions. I know you’re a busy guy and also very generous with your time and help. Thank you for that. Where I live (Alaska) there isn’t much of an option to call for a repair guy to come out, and I am sick to think of tossing this machine after only 2.5 years. Hope to hear from you.

  34. GoGo said:

    Most cleanings Don, draw ink from the face of the head via vacuum build up in the pump and cap assembly. Pairs cleanings, power cleanings, and service mode pairs cleanings on all of the three settings. SS cleanings (I have not yet researched if there is a difference between SSCL or SS, please inform me if you do first) are the only cleanings that fire the piezo nozzles. There is mention of “ultrasonic vibrations” in the SS cleaning description of the service manual. This refers to the machine firing the nozzles in rapid succession, in an attempt to shake dried ink from the chamber walls. I do not know if this also incorporates the same sucking as in the other cleaning modes, but I expect it does because it uses a lot of ink. Also because firing nozzles like that would need cooling of the piezoboard, which flowing ink does well.

    You are not the first to doubt whether or not the Epson was the right choice for you. There is not doubt, however, which machine produces the better print.

    You’re 25 years old, sitting at a table with two women – one is kind of frumpy but super nice, the other is just completely to die for hot, but maybe a little distant, a little hi-maintenance, and to some even a pain in the ass. Neither you or I have to ask each other which woman you chose, this time…

  35. Don White said:

    Thank you for the time you have taken. I did in fact see an air pocket in a Magenta line close to the head just now with an inspection. I still have some confusion as to which mode to use to remove the air. I know that the power cleaning uses a LOT of ink, having done it once, (they warn you too in the manual that all carts must be at least 50% full!), but you say that SS clean also uses a lot of ink? So does one use power clean, SS clean, or is it less costly just to have the occasional ruined print over a channel drop out, that then clears easy with a basic paired clean in my case.

    I see that there is a SSCL mode in the service mode, would this be the same as SS clean in the maintenance mode?

    I love my Epson printer and the engineering, but sometimes I think a Canon would have less issues.

  36. GoGo said:

    Yes Don, I just checked again – to answer your first question there is indeed a difference in the regular cleanings mode and the SS cleaning mode and the power cleaning mode. Sorry that first question got by me. All of the cleaning modes are described under the “Understanding Cleanings/Cleaning Cycles” tab above right on each page of MYX900.com. All you need to know about the different cleaning modes is on that page.

  37. GoGo said:

    Hi Don. I have not yet measured the difference in ink consumption between SS and power cleanings. That’s an expensive experiment 🙂 I am suspect though that SS cleaning wins the battle of the maintenance tanks. I’ve performed a few and holy mother… Supposedly power cleanings only draw ink from the channels where the machine detects problems. That’s what’s written at least.

    General consensus on clogs mid-print, is that they are not clogs. They are drop-outs. Drop-outs generally mean you have air in your lines. Lift the lid of your machine, you can see air pockets in the lines as they draw nearer to the dampers. What causes air to get in your lines? Could be bad cart seal, faulty O-rings at damper connections, maybe a cart went too low before a change, or it’s just a bad cart. It’s pretty complex but sometimes the head can actually draw air up through it’s nozzle openings. This has to do with positive ink pressure in the channel not filling an expelled chamber quick enough as the chamber walls flex back to straight after firing – so air gets sucked back through the nozzle opening to fill the chamber instead. It’s a path of least resistance thing. Air in a channel though, is quite different than air in a chamber.

    Your problem is an air filled chamber, which is not coming from air through the nozzle openings. In order for air to knock an entire channel out, you’ve got blank spots in your ink lines. Go check them, I bet you’ll see some.

    By the way power cleans are specifically designed to eliminate air in your lines. Power cleans do not fire the nozzles. They simply suck in from the head. SS cleanings fire the nozzles.

  38. I was under the impression that power cleaning cycle used a lot of ink, like half a cartridge. Is the SS Cleaning: Maintenance Mode 1 (Hold the Pause button at power on) different than that accessed in the main user menus for cleaning? I have used pairs cleaning in service mode with good success.

    My printer 7900 is not used for months, then I may print a 100′. There are many clogs at start up but clear quickly with pairs cleaning. My issue is that once cleared and printing a batch, a whole color channel will just drop out completely from one print to the very next in a spooled series. It clears easy again with one or two paired clean cycles, but may happen again later. It is not always the same color, but cyan is the greatest repeater. What goes on here? This is not your average clog. Epson support on what is going on is non existent.

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