I just got off the phone with a tech support person at Epson (on my dime, mind you – no toll-free number – but that’s a whole other gripe).
My mom’s having the same problems with her Epson Stylus C60 that I had with my Epson Stylus Photo 820 last year. The print heads get clogged all the time, and no amount of head cleaning seems to remedy the problem. Like I did with mine last year, I ran all the diagnostics they suggest at their site, and still the problems persist.
This tech, though, told me some new information.
1. The print heads in the Epson Stylus printers are not part of the cartridges.
2. You should not leave the printer on all the time. Just turn it on when you want to print. Why? The print heads are not sealed when the printer is on; therefore, they’re exposed and the ink dries in the heads. Also, the heat generated by the printer causes the ink to dry up in the print heads.
3. This is the big one: He said to run the head cleaning utility 5-6 times without printing the test pages in between cleanings.
The third one was a shocker to me, something I’d never thought about. He said that when you clean the print head, the printer expells the little bit of ink reserved in the print heads and cleans them. When you go to print a test page after cleaning, the printer injects more ink into the print head. That’s the reason head cleaning uses up so much ink — it’s continually expelling and refilling the print head with ink.
He advised that was the reason the cleanings use so much ink. So, if you run the test 5-6 times without printing, you’ll not waste any ink, and the printer will actually clean the print heads better.
That said, he asked me to have my mom do this as one last step to see if the print heads could be cleaned. It sounds like he’s going to see if they can bend a little on the warranty and send a replacement if this does not help.
I am not very happy with Epson’s printers because of this print head issue. I have never had this problem with HP printers. We’ve always left our printers on all the time, and the Epson’s are the first to give us problems. Epson’s drivers allow much more customization for users, but they also are a nightmare to navigate sometimes, and choosing the wrong settings can end up with bad prints.
I’m going to plug my refurb unit back in and try the multiple cleanings on it. Now that I know the print heads are NOT part of the new cartridges I put in, it makes perfect sense that installing new cartridges didn’t solve the problem.
WHY can’t Epson be more up-front about this with customers in their literature? I should not have had to spend all that time on long distance calls to find this out.