My Epson 900 won't print black, chuck it?

  Muckleface 16:27 21 May 2005


I have an Epson 900 printer and have been using cheap ink cartridges with it for probably 18 months-ish. I hardly use the printer at all, maybe once a month to print some bank statements off or something, but I've gone to use it today and it won't print black?

I've had problems with the cheap inks before where they seem to dry out if they arent used regularly, but this time I've put in two new black cartridges and still no luck. Epson status monitor shows that there's a full black ink cartridge in there, and it even gives me the "warning, this is not an Epson cart" message, but when I go to print only the colour cart works! :(

Do you think the printer beyond economic repair? Or if it's just a case of replacing the "heads" or something, how much will it cost and where do I get it done? Will I have to send it to Epson?

Any help much appreciated,


  Fingees 16:33 21 May 2005

you can try dipping the printer head ie, the part the cartridge fits in, in a saucer of boiling water for ma few seconds.
This usually desolves the solidified ink. do it two or three times, the water will blacken, then you may be OK.
All the best.

  Muckleface 16:38 21 May 2005

How do I get the printer head out of the printer?


  jack 17:07 21 May 2005

If you can get hold a small Hypo syringe and a small bore tube - a slice of drinking straw- fill the syringe with distilled water with a dash of alcohol
[Vodka] say about 10% then fit this over the ink take up spike in the cart chamber and give it a good pumping- back and forth. that will clear it.
If the syringe is a difficulty - boots sell a baby's medicine applicator for a £1 or so - this is a small hypo sans needle.

Using said Distilled water and 'additive' you can make your self a head cleaning set by pumping distilled water into a finished cartridge and pumping out and refilling etc., until it comes clear then fill with the distilled water and additive.

  Border Collie 18:29 21 May 2005

It's unlikely the cheap ink causing the problem, it's the lack of use. Do a small test print at least once per week to keep the heads from clogging.

  Border Collie 18:29 21 May 2005

It's unlikely the cheap ink causing the problem, it's the lack of use. Do a small test print at least once per week to keep the heads from clogging.

  Gordal 20:52 21 May 2005

Answer is fairly simple.In Control Panel, go to Printers & Faxes. Right click your Epson icon and select Printing Preferences. You should now be in the MAIN tab. Click the Advanced button in bottom right hand corner. (Click Continue if prompted to do so).

On left side of this new advanced menu you should see the option for "Black Ink Only" or "Greyscale". Tick this check box. Click Apply and then OK to get backi to your desktop.

(You may need to close and then re-open the application you are trying to print in black from).

Your Printer will now be fully configured to print in black only.


  2neat 21:15 21 May 2005

A while back I was in PC world & they were selling off samsung laser printers for £49
I also mostly print black & upload photos to lab for printing. Lookout for sales & get a laser printer when the price is right.

  woodchip 21:48 21 May 2005
  Rogerfredo 09:30 22 May 2005

If you do manage to unblock your heads, I would steer clear of the cheaper inks, which do tend to dry up faster. I use Jettec brand from SVP Communications which seem to work as well as Epson for about 20% of the cost.
It is also a good idea to run the test utility about once a month if you are not printing regularly.

  heavymetalkid 09:31 22 May 2005

It's a common problem with Epsons.....mine's the same. Download SSC Utility from Google. It's a quick download and enables you to do a much more powerful clean. Unlike your Epson clean, you can clean the black and colour cartridges individually.

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