Blocked inkjet

  Rodders6 18:47 31 Aug 2005

I have a 6 year old Epson Stylus colour 640 inkjet printer. It has not had heavy use. Despite replacing colour and b/w artridges twice, and multiple cleaning cycles, the output as diminished particularly on red, but the other inks are getting worse.

I don't know if it is due to a blockage, but wonder if the cleaning / flushing liquid / cartridges are worth trying before I scrap it. It is not exonomical to replace the head.

Any sugestions appreciated. I am a TV video service engineer so I am not afarid of stripping it down,



  €dstowe 18:55 31 Aug 2005

6 years is a great age for a printer and, unlike some, Epson printers do not appreciate not having had heavy use. Epsons should be used at least once a week (if only to keep their pipes clean) otherwise the propensity for blockages is very high - as you are now seeing.

With the price of new printers being so low now, it really isn't worth your while bothering to rejuvenate it.

  Gongoozler 19:02 31 Aug 2005

For under £5 it might be worth trying cleaning cartridges click here, but although I don't like to be negative I think your chances of reviving this old printer are pretty slim.

  ICF 19:04 31 Aug 2005

From were I get my ink from it would cost you £8.99 to find out if a flush out would work.

  jack 20:08 31 Aug 2005

Well there you are. New printer on the horizon then -got a birthday coming yo -can you wait till Christmas?
If in the interim you feel like having a fool around
here are some zero cost tips.
Down load the SSC utilitiy- click here com.
this takes a bit of time to figure out what it can do, but is very effective.

Make your self a cleaning cartridge[s]
Take a selt of old carts and pierce the refill hole
find a syringe or a refill squeezy bottle and fill the chambers with ionized distilled water[steam iron-battery stuff] and suck it out and dispose.
Now refill with more and do the same.
Refill this time with ionized water with about
10% alchohol- Voda or Gin- place in the printer and run lots of cleaning cycles.


Find a small length of 3 core flex. nip out one of the conductors wire about 4 inches, strip out the copper. and fit the insulating sheath over the end on the syring/squeezy bottle.

With the cartriges removed you will find in the bottom of each chamber a 'spike' that enters the cart. fit the flex over this. fill the syringe with the cleaning stuff above and pump away with vigour
These simple things have worked from me in the past. and even my beloved R300 has had it purge to good effect.

  Al94 20:13 31 Aug 2005

Never had an Epson so don't know if this will work, had a similar problem with a Canon, took out the printhead, soaked it for an hour in a saucer of luke warm water, rinsed and dried it, put in new carts, ran a clean cycle and it's been 100% since.

  palinka 10:56 01 Sep 2005

I've had recent experience of Canon and Epson printers. Neighbour's Epson, younger than yours (the printer, not the neighbour)never responded to the sort of treatment jack advises (even though good quality Vodka was used!). Gave up the struggle and bought new printer- but alas, she bought Epson again and first action had to be print-head alignment, etc, so that 2nd action had to be installing a new black cartridge almost before she'd printed anything. Now, 3 months later and very little printing done - a few emails, that's all - it's already showing a low-ink warning.

My own Canon (maybe 8 years old) began to play up after several years of use with compatible inks. Again I tried solution like jack's without noteable success. Bought new printhead c/w inks and all is OK again.

Moral, avoid Epson - tried to advise neighbour of this, but she thought the Epson was cheap! To buy, maybe, but not to run.

  TOPCAT® 12:16 01 Sep 2005

here click here if, like me, you hate throwing away good hardware that can be recovered with a little effort.

I have just successfully unblocked my own Epson CS760 and I thank Stuartli for posting the link elsewhere. Your chosen occupation should definitely allow you to accomplish the task with ease.

I also found I could safely remove the printer carriage assembly without disturbing the left-hand bushing at all. Just make sure you note/mark the exact position of the timing belt and bushing(s). TC.

  pj123 15:51 01 Sep 2005

As €dstowe says, "I think the time has come..."

Have a look at the Epson R200, uses separate ink cartridges and also prints direct to CD/DVD (providing you buy Printable CDs/DVDs)

click here

  Rodders6 16:43 01 Sep 2005

Many tthanks to all of you who have replied to my question. I certainly have a lot to try, the one from topcat certainly tooks involved! Well DID ask!

I have in between posting this, ordered some cleaning / fluching cartridges, which I assume use something similar to Isopropyl Alcohol, whci we use to clean video heads. I also assume this is used in the cleaning cycle, so will have to wait and see if they work........

At least they were cheap, about a tenner for both.

thanks agian ato all, will post any success (or failure!)


  daba 22:31 01 Sep 2005

.. it had the same problem, because I had bought some incredibly cheap ink cartridges - damn things wer so cheap I got suckered into buying 20, 10 black and 10 colour - big mistake.

Anyway, following some advice, this is how to resurrect the printer, at least it worked for me.

Get hold of some Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol), and a glass dropper from the chemist.

Take out the cartridges, and place a couple of drops only onto the ink receptors in the printer.

Replace the cartridges and carry out at least three cleaning cycles, then try the nozzle check print again.

Repeat the above procedure until the check print is OK, then remove the cheap nasty ink cartridges and treat the printer to some nice new Epson ones.


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