Diagnosing repair ink flow problem

customerNovember 12, 2013

Ink may stop flowing in one or more lines for any of four reasons:

 (Note that a stoppage of ink flow is different from a restriction of ink flow. By “stoppage” this article means that Cleaning Solution cannot be drawn down one or more ink lines, not just that flow is not printing from certain nozzles or channels There is solidified ink creating a blockage or clog in one or more parts of the Ink Delivery System.
 There is an air leak which is restricting flow.
 A line or connection is cutting off or restricting ink flow.
 The Maintenance Station is not able to draw ink.

Please follow these steps to diagnose the cause that the issue is occurring from.

1. If flow is stopped on four or more ink channels, inspect the Maintenance Station. If flow is stopped on fewer than four ink channels, skip to step 2. Follow these steps to see if the Maintenance Station is operating correctly. If the Maintenance Station cannot draw correctly, it will cause a stoppage of ink flow. (Parts a. through c. describe the how to inspect a Maintenance Station.)

 a. Power down the printer and move the Print Head to the left as in normal maintenance procedure. With Cleaning Solution or distilled water, fill the two foam pads inside the Maintenance Station. Then power on the printer with the top cover open, and observe the Maintenance Station. The printer will do a Print Head Clean as part of its initialization process. This Print Head Clean should draw down any Cleaning Solution or distilled water in those pads and you will be able to observe this. Note that as an alternative, you can manually turn the pump with your screw driver to observe the correct suction. If it does not exhibit correct suction, the Maintenance Station is likely clogged and needs replacement.

b. Inspect the Maintenance Station for physical damage. If the Maintenance Station’s gasket seal is damaged, the pump will not be able to draw ink correctly. Also check that the
Maintenance Station pads are approximately level. If thepads are 10 degrees or more off level, it is a sign of a damaged Maintenance Station.

ink flow problem1

c. The Maintenance Station needs to raise and lower in order to function correctly. To test this, use the access hole as in normal maintenance. Once the Print Head is moved to the left, attempt to raise and lower Maintenance Station with your screw driver by alternating between rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise. A properly functioning Maintenance Station should raise and lower, and you should be able to turn an indefinite number of times in either direction. If the Maintenance Station does not raise or lower, or you are not able to rotate the carriage release in either direction, your Maintenance Station is damaged and likely needs replacement

2. If the Maintenance Station is free from damage, we will next need to rule out other potential clogs or leaks in the Ink Tubes, Ink Needle and Dampers. Lift out the associated Damper(s). The following tools are recommended: Syringe , Needle tips, cartridge Needle . We will use the Syringe to inspect for clogs.

a. Access the Dampers. To gain access, review the Damper replacement procedure document. Inspect the O-ring for signs of wear. If the O-ring shows signs of wear it may be causing an air leak preventing flow and should be replaced. .

ink flow problem2
Good O-ring                                                                                    Damaged O-ring

b. Insert the Syringe and Wing Tip into base of the Damper and attempt to draw Cleaning Solution or ink through the Damper. The ink or Cleaning Solution will normally draw easily; if the ink or Cleaning Solution draws through easily then skip to step 3. Note that when replacing the Damper, do not over tighten. Over tightening Dampers to the Ink Tube can result in a restriction or stoppage of ink flow.

c. If the ink or Cleaning Solution will not draw through easily, remove the Damper and insert the Syringe directly into the Ink Tube using the recommended Needle. If the ink or Cleaning Solution will flow through the Ink Tube but not the Damper, then the Damper needs replacement. Damper Part Number.

d. If ink or Cleaning Solution will not draw down the Ink Tube, there is a likely clog in the Ink Tube and possibly the Needle. Remove the cartridge associated with the affected Ink Tube. Then attach a Syringe to the open end of the Ink Tube, and attempt to clear the clog by drawing back on the Plunger. If the clog will not clear the Ink Tube, you may need to remove the Ink Tube from the machine to try to clear the clog. If the clog still will not clear you will likely need to replace the Ink Tubes. 

3. If with a Syringe, ink or Cleaning Solution will draw easily from the cartridge to the Damper but not through the Print Head, then the Print Head is likely clogged or damaged. You can attempt to restore a Print Head by soaking the Print Head in Cleaning Solution for over 24 hours. To soak a Print Head in Cleaning Solution, remove the ink cartridges and replace them with Cleaning Solution cartridges. Then run the Ink Charge several times until all the ink is completely replaced by Cleaning Solution. To verify that ink is completely removed, run a Nozzle Check. When completely replaced, the Nozzle Checks will print clear Cleaning Solution without ink pigment. If flow through the Print Head is not restored after 24 hours, the Print Head most likely needs to be replaced

4. Whether or not you have resolved the issue, reassemble the printer to reseal the Ink Delivery System and avoid any ink from solidifying and damaging the printer.

Leave a comment