Epson inkjet printers have proven to be most reliable when used on a daily basis, but whether you are a photographer returning from lengthy field work, or a designer returning to the office after an extended time working from home, the recommended steps for restoring your Epson printer to daily use are much the same as they’ve always been.
Spectraflow recommends reviewing your stock of printer supplies as soon as possible (remotely, if necessary) and gathering the inks, maintenance boxes, and paper you may need to bring your printer back to reliable daily operation. Supplies are available at www.spectraflow.com and have so far been shipping same-day, even during the pandemic.
These are the steps that Spectraflow recommends to restore an Epson printer that has been idle for two weeks or longer:
- Run a nozzle check to see where things stand. If the nozzle check pattern doesn’t show 100% clean nozzles, then the color output will be affected.
- Open the ink bays, check the imprinted expiration date on each ink cartridge and replace any that have expired. Remove the remaining inks with current dates and shake gently side to side about twenty times (also shake any new inks before installing them!)
- Run an Administrator Power Cleaning (on P-Series printers: Menu -> Administrator -> [Password is usually Blank] -> Powerful Cleaning -> All Channels) or run a Heavy (aka: Powerful) Cleaning on All Channels
- Once complete, follow up the Heavy or Admin Cleaning with a Standard Cleaning on All Channels. This step resets normal pressure in the inking system after a Heavy Cleaning.
- Run a Print Head Nozzle Check pattern and carefully inspect the pattern for any missing nozzles (use a blue or UV light to easily show the hard-to-read yellow ink). Clean color pairs individually until the pattern prints 100% perfect.
At this point, if you have successfully restored your printhead to 100% operation, it would be a good time to print and validate a color reference. For proofing printers, we’d recommend the IT8.7/4 chart of 1617 colors as a good test. For photo printers, choose a favorite image to make a small match print from your master file and evaluate against prints you have on-file.
If you were unable to restore the print head to 100% clean nozzles or if the validation prints don’t show good color, there may be additional work to do to bring your printer back from idle. Epson will repair printers with unrecoverable nozzle clogs while the hardware warranty is in-force, and Spectraflow can recommend additional cleaning and testing procedures to troubleshoot mysterious “bad” color output.
If you are having trouble with your printer or if you have questions about the procedure above, please send us an email at tech[at]spectraflow.com and we’ll look forward to supporting you as you return your Epson printer to daily use!