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Success with Epson inkjet R1800 printer, clogs and banding problems


Michigan, US
237 posts

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Bug Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2007
Sun 05-Aug-12 05:16 PM

My R1800 is about 4 years old and minimal usage, maybe <100 photos totals. I was of the mindset that my printer’s banding and color problems could not be fixed, so It was time to trash the printer and move on down the road. I also decided to keep running nozzle cleaning cycles until I used up all my spare ink cartridges and then disassemble the printer to see up close and personal what a clog looks like. I must have run 20 to 30 cleaning cycles in one day and by golly by gosh I started getting flawless nozzle test prints and then flawless photo prints.

When I was examining the printer head and track, I found a pool of black ink on the far left side of the printer head track. I know that my printer parks on the right and over an ink “spittoon”. I don’t know if Epson designed an ink over flow station on the left side of the printer, but this area was thick with ink. This area is about 25-30mm square, flat plastic, no sponge nor any plastic walls to capture ink overflow. I did find a few posting (not on Nikonian) that people were using baby wipes to clean clogged nozzles. I guess that it worked for them, but baby wipes are not recommended by Epson so, I used pieces of an old t-shirt to dry wipe this area.

I’m not sure how I (if I) fixed this R1800 printer, but this printer is working perfectly, great colors on Epson premium luster paper. The R1800 printer is now printing great photos from both the software controlled printing to the Epson only controlled prints.

I could not be happier with this printer!!!

Thank you, Thank you to the Nikonians!!! You all have been more then tolerant with me asking the same “help me, help me” questions over and over, Thank YOU

So, here are some helpful links and info I acquired along the way. It seems that Epson "Photo" printers are designed to run daily, not the 5 or 6 times a month, like I do.

1). A must have book on printing “FINE ART PRINTING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS” by Uwe Steinmuller and Juergen Gulbins, Published by “Rockynook” See his webpage www.outbackphoto.com

2). Epson seems to be the leader with their “Micro Piezo” head design vs. HP/Cannon thermal inkjet design.

3). HP and Cannon may have less clogging issues because the nozzles are replaced when each ink cartridge is replaced.

4). Find a “good” a printer evaluation target. JPG, this will help you see a local problem vs a global color cast problem.

5). Yes, I’m glad that I purchased the X-Rite i1 Display tool for my monitor calibration, but at the peak of problems, the banding strips were screaming more loudly than my other problems, like prints too light, too dark, or some kind of color shifting.

6) Find a good printer evaluation target, it helped me see what my printer was capable of printing. You can see light/dark scales for B/W and color scales that are both light and dark.

7) I can’t find my source, but I read somewhere that Epson printers should be turned OFF when not in use, maybe because ink will dry/clog more so withthe Micro Piezo head design. VS The HP and Cannon printers use a thermal inject printing technology and I believe that HP/Cannon recommend leaving the printers ON. I will find where I found this!!!
I never did find an Epson sponsored user form. (still looking)

Thank you to the Nikonian’s, You have been more then tolerant with me asking the same “help me, help me” questions over and over, Thank YOU

Here are some Links to Epson’s website and technical over views.



Also Wikipedia’s take on inkjet head designs: