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Ink Cartridge:Epson Stylus 820 Photo

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  • Ink Cartridge:Epson Stylus 820 Photo

    After sitting for 2 or 3 days without being used, the color cartridge in my Epson Stylus 820 Photo will quit applying 1 or more colors. This has happened several times and even with new cartridges.

    I can usually clean the nozzles several times and get it to working again, but this uses a lot of ink and these cartridges are not cheap. does anyone know the cause of this or how to prevent it from happening? Gregory

  • #2
    Are you using Epson brand cartridges?
    Are you powering down the printer between uses?
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning


    • #3
      Re: Ink Cartridge:Epson Stylus 820 Photo

      Originally posted by gblount
      After sitting for 2 or 3 days without being used, the color cartridge in my Epson Stylus 820 Photo will quit applying 1 or more colors. This has happened several times and even with new cartridges.

      Does anyone know the cause of this or how to prevent it from happening? Gregory
      The cause of this problem is inactivity - run a test print through each day to keep things running regular (think of it like fibre in your diet).

      Solutions can include various alcohol or other cleaners and methods similar to ones on this helpful site:

      It can take day's of work in some cases, but you can get there...I hope.

      * * * USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, NO WARRANTY ETC - Contact Epson support or dealer for proper methods. * * *

      A prepress house I once worked for had a cleaning unit for the IRIS inkjet proofer, which was a very minor vibration type thingy (tech term <g>) that can also be found for cleaning jewlery, it may have been distilled water or something else, but you would soak/vibrate the IRIS inkjet nozzles for a few hours. Some suggest a trip in the car on a rough road...

      Good luck.

      Stephen Marsh.


      • #4
        Information from Epson Site
        This is usually caused by dried ink clogging the print head nozzles.
        The most common causes are:

        1. The printer has been turned off using a power strip rather than the printer's power button. This may cause the ink to dry because the print head is not positioned properly when shut down. It will also cause long cleaning cycles on power up.

        2. Refilled, improperly installed or removed and reinstalled ink cartridge. Never attempt to refill ink cartridges. Make sure that only the yellow or blue tape is removed from the ink cartridge before installing it. Never remove a cartridge to visually check the ink level and reinstall it. It is not possible to visually check the ink level because the ink is contained in a sponge-like material and it will always appear to contain ink, even when empty.

        3. Ink cartridge has been in the printer more than 6 months. The ink will slowly lose it's viscosity and dry up over time even if not used. Also check the "USE BEFORE" date on the cartridge box when you purchase it to make sure it is fresh.

        4. Extended periods of printer inactivity.

        If using the printer's cleaning buttons on the control panel does not clear the print head. The printer's cleaning utility program should be used which is a more intense method.

        IMPORTANT! A head cleaning and nozzle check page must be performed as a cycle so subsequent cleanings will advance to a higher intensity cleaning cycle. This process ought to be repeated until the nozzle check prints correctly. When the nozzle check prints correctly the printer is ready to go. If you run more than 6 cleaning cycles and the nozzle check is still not printing correctly, the ink cartridge may need replacement or the printer may require service. First make sure your printer has fresh ink cartridges then do the following in Windows:

        1. Click Start - Printer - Settings in Windows 95/98
        or open Control Panel - Printers in Windows 3.1
        2. Click on your Stylus printer model
        3. Click on Properties
        4. Click on Utilities
        5. Run Nozzle Check
        6. Check printout for missing black or color ink. If any lines are missing, that indicates a clogged ink nozzle(s)
        7. Click on Head Cleaning
        8. Run Nozzle Check
        9. Repeat head cleaning/nozzle check 3 times
        10. If no improvement, repeat cleaning/nozzle check sequence up to 6 times.

        Depending on the severity of the blockage, after going through this cycle up to 6 times (with fresh ink cartridges) some improvement should be noticed, if not totally cleared. If improvement is noticed, continue the cleaning/nozzle check cycles until the blockage is cleared. Slight improvement may be seen after each cycle. This could require many cleaning cycles in sets of 3 cleaning/nozzle checks but as long as improvement is continous it should solve the problem.

        If this doesn't solve the problem contact Epson Support via the web site technical support E-Mail form or phone for repair instructions.


        • #5
          Power-On and cleaning cycles

          All Epson inkjet printers require a complete and uninterrupted ink charging and cleaning cycle each time the printer is powered ON. This ensures that the ink nozzles are cleaned to provide superior quality print. When you first power up a new printer the initial power-on duty cycle usually lasts about 7 - 10 minutes, in which the print heads and pump system are charged and primed with ink.

          Each time the printer is powered OFF, the printer keeps track of how long the printer has been shut down. When the printer is initialized, the printer adjusts the power-on cycle based on the length of time it has been shut down. Typically, the initialization cycle will last from 30-90 seconds.

          Always power the printer OFF with the printer's POWER button, not with a master switch on a power-surge protector/power strip. This ensures the printhead is capped and the printer will be primed properly for the next print job, otherwise it will start up with a longer cleaning cycle.


          • #6
            Thanks everyone for the tips and links. I usually just leave the power to the printer on all the time. The nozzles get clogged after just a couple of days inactivity. To run the nozzle check and cleaning utility uses an unbelievable amount of ink. I usually have to run the cleaning utility 5 or 6 times to get them working again.

            I use only Epson cartridges and use them up within 4 to 5 weeks. I never refill cartridges.

            Do I understand that if I power the printer down, it will put the heads in a position that will prevent this drying/



            • #7
              Re: Ink Cartridge:Epson Stylus 820 Photo

              The climate the printer lives in will of course affect the drying of the print heads a cool moist environment is better than a hot dry one.
              If the machine is the latter then a large poly bag with a wad of moist cotton or tissue tissue in it will maintain a good environment.
              To clear seriously clogged jets- remove the cartridge and look at the 'spike' that pierces the feed hole of the cartridge find a piece of fine tube[polythene or drink straw and a small syringe.
              fill the syringe with commercial alcohol or even high proof drink [vodka?] or a water alcohol cleaner[for windows for example] fix it to the tube, fix the tube to the feed spike and pump back and forth until the the colours of the syringe contents has changed , empty and repeat.
              2 good websites
     - this is a clean and reset utility- load it and when up and running right click the tool bar icon for the menu


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