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Hi Snyde.

There's a great probability that it's simply a severely clogged head nozzle/ink channel that the printer's internal pump cannot fix during a head cleaning cycle but that YOU can fix. I have an Epson stylus color 440 bought in 1999 that refuses to die and feeding it with ink cost almost nothing. I just cleaned the print head two times since with absolute success. Did a few other printers successfully also. For a total of 17 machines with the same problem as you have, only two could not be saved. So the chances are great that you may save yours. >The printer gets easy use, just occasional printing at home. That's part of your problem. A fact with inkjet printers is that they must be used often (at least twice a month) to maintain print quality. Sooner or later the ink dries out in the head's nozzles. I don't know what is the price range/quality of this printer, Snyde. If it's an el-cheapo printer...the kind that cost the same amount to get ink cartridges than to buy a new one, my procedure may seem to not be so cost effective, timewise. But if you're like me and preffer to spend some time to get a new life on a piece of equipment instead of throwing it's 3~4 lbs worth of plastic to the environment, you may want to spend the time and follow my procedure. Since you've already disassemble the head, starting from there, it should take about 45~60 mins + the one hour soak time for the head once you have all the stuff needed. First, check the obvious. Is the print head's an integral part of the cartridge? I think that it's only HP doing that but i'm not shure. Replace simply the cartridge if the head is integrated to it! Also, be shure that you have remaining ink in the cartridges! Speaking of it, i just hope that you just not let the cartridges stand there in free air? The holes underneath should be sealed with adhesive tape, but better, use a small Ziplock bag and put the cartridges in with a wet towel and seal. Note that you need at least 1/4 remaining ink for each color since when you reinstall the cartriges, the newly cleaned head and it's channels will be empty, and a few cleaning cycles will be needed for priming. You did noticed the approx. remaining ink recently with the printer's utilities, isn't it? Now that the obvious things have been ruled out, let's get to the fun part! ;-) 1st, here's the stuff you need. cost= <$10 CND: I've bought the ammonia at the local drugstore among the other domestic products. I've bought that syringue medication dispenser at the same place. You will need to find in an harware store a 1 foot lenght of clear plastic tubing. It obviously needs to fit snugly the dispenser's tip. Get thereafter some distilled water (at least 2L / 8 cups). Ordinary tap water just contains too much impurities that may clog further the very small ink channels/nozzles. Have a clean container that can go to the microwave oven. I used 1L empty plastic margarine container throughly cleaned. Rince that container with the distilled water. Rince also the the dispenser/tubing assembly. Using a (rinced!) measuring cup, prepare 2 cups/ L of the "magic head cleaning potion" that is one part ammonia, for ten part distilled water (10% ammonia). Stir the mix and put it to the microwave oven (no, that won't catch fire! :-) ) for 25~35 seconds depending on the power of you mw oven. The goal if to warm the mix to only about 35~40C (about 95~105F). Leave the mw door open for the next few hours as there will be a slight odour remaining. Now that you have everything ready, let's go to the 1st step of the cleaning process. Depending on the type of head, fill the container with between 3~10 mm of the potion. My particular container has a slightly curved bottom so i only had to put the head straight down in the container as you can see there: This is my print head in 2002 before actually cleaning. Dried ink, dust, cat's hair...yackkk! Of course you don't want the controller board on the head to get wet... only the head surface soaking a few mm deep. If your container's bottom is perfectly flat, you may want to tilt the head assembly against the side of the container so ink can freely wick out. Or use some small diameter straws or something else under the head. Be shure to not bump the head surface against anything. You will notice that inks will wick out from all channels and mix together under the head and spread into the potion in a messy black fluid. Don't worry since it's only the 1st part of the procedure. Leave the head there for an hour, gently stirring away seeping ink from under the head every few minutes. Ok it's been a hour so let's move on. Place the head on it's side over a towel so you don't mess anything with ink. Discard the messy fluid down the drain and rince the container with ordinary tap water this time. Now reheat in the mw oven the potion in the measuring cup. Time to ask for your spouse, your son, no matter who to help you with the 2nd step. That person will control the dispenser (well, you'll control that person! ;-)). Use safety goggles to protect you eyes from the potion. It's not battery electrolyte, but with a small amount of ammonia, i would not like to have it in my eyes. Place the head over the container you've just rinced. Ask your helper to fill the dispenser with the warm potion and while holding the head with one hand, use the tubing with the other one to rince the inky surface of the head while your helper push the piston of the dispenser. Ok now the tricky part: While holding the head face down toward the container with one hand, you will have to push and hold firmly the tubing over one of the spigots pictured here while your helper push slowly the piston. The pressure that your helper is maintaining push away the remaining ink corresponding to the spigot you are injecting to. This will help finish to clear out the channel and nozzle. That's why i suggest that you protect your eyes because if you happen to stop holding correctly the tubing on the spigot, the potion will spurt. You should see the tiny microjets (impressive!) of ink (eventually the clear potion) flowing out of the nozzles. Here's a picture taken with a computer microscope set at 60X magnification, were you can see some of the many nozzles. Too bad i forgot to get a picture of the microjets from those nozzles while cleaning! Depending on the resolution of the print head, if your room have the correct lighting you should be able to tell if any nozzle is still clogged for that particular color. If so (infrequent), then the procedure should be repeated but ask your helper to put a little more pressure on the piston. Keep in mind that enough pressure is when the nozzles produce straight microjets. Applying more pressure is risking to make a mess and/or damage the head. Even if fluids seem to flow perfectly from all the nozzles from a particular color, always use all the dispenser's contents (about 2cc). Now continue for the remaining spigots. Thereafter, ask your helper to rince the dispenser with distilled water. Then it's time to rince all the ink channels/nozzles by repeating the same thing but with distilled water this time. No need to warm it in the mw oven since now the head should be unclogged...we just want to rince it. Ok the worst is over thereafter. :-) Now place the head on a towel. Place an air dryer about 1 foot of the head's control board. Put a towel also under the dryer so the vibration of the motor won't make it moves

from it's target. Start the dryer on low speed/low heat and let it run for 10 mins. This is just a precaution in the case were fluids spilled on the board. In the mean time, have a look at your printer. If ink in your print head dryed, there's a possibility that the head cap (where the head parks after printing) is not making a perfect seal. Most often it's because of impurities. Cleaning the cap and the wiper blade is necessary. This is the 3rd step. Here's the cap from my Stylus Color 440. Ok, if you dont feel comfortable removing the entire cap asembly as i did (not evident the 1st time), you don't have to. I did it to clean all the cap assy by soaking it completely in the same potion as for the print head. But if you don't do the same, do at least the following. Remove the porous pad shown here. Soak it in the potion a few minutes just in case there's some dryed ink on it. Use cotton swabs or better, the foamy thing women use to remove makeup. Soak it in some of the potion and clean the rim of the cap. Depending on your model, you will have a kind of wiper blade that looks like that one. As for the cap, i've removed the wiper blade assembly to clean it the same way as the cap. But as an alternative you can clean it in-place just like the cap, but i will take longer. Keep in mind that the wiper blade will probably contains A LOT of ink. Unless you soak it separetely in the potion, you will never be able to remove all the ink...never! You won't have too. Just get rid of the sticky ink particules, dust...etc. Reinstall the porous pad in the cap. Be shure that every section of this small porous pad is UNDER the level of the cap's rim. If not, the pad may come in contact with the head's surface when the later is parked and may wick out the ink from your cartridge! The only function of the pad is to absorb (with the help of the internal pump) the ink that your head's spits out before printing or during a head cleaning cycle thus, preventing splashing. The control board must be dry at that time isn't it? ;-) Time to reinstall the head and give it a try. (Don't forget it's ribbon cable and the ink cartridges! :-) ). Just follow the priming instructions like when you install a new cartridge. After a certain amount of cycles and testing, the test pattern should print ok, hence everything else. Sometimes, the test pattern may show ok, but printed text may still have some minor quality issues like thin lines or dots beyond the character boundary. Then i've found that it's better to make in Wordpad or something else a page full of text in the color with wich you still have a problem, and print a few times that page. It waste less ink that to do make multiples cleaning cycles to correct that. Another issue that happens sometimes after you've primed ok, is that all the text or images print perfectly, but 24~48 hours later, you find that you have problems again. I think this is related more then everything else to air buildup in the cartridge itself during handling. Normally, a cleaning cycle or two and everything is back on track. Remember, unless you have a laser printer, print often, print better! ;-) Goodluck and keep in touch Snyde. -Alain(alias:Kilowatt) Montral Qubec PS: 1000 excuses for grammatical errors or omissions, i'm a "pure" french canadian! :-) (If replying also by e-mail, remove

"no spam" from the adress.)