I ranted about these before.
I think the refillable cartridges are a major weakness in the piezography system. When brand new they seem to work reasonably well and allow good ink flow to the head. But after 3-4 refills - the flow of ink degrades significantly and ink no longer properly flows to the head. What at first looks like a few clogged nozzles quickly turns into 2/3 of the nozzles not firing and eventually a completely blank channel.
In January I received a replacement p400 from Epson and I installed brand new cartridges for a clean start. I’ve been printing 4 days a week and not one day has gone by that I haven’t performed at least one nozzle check.
I DREAD anytime ink runs out knowing I’ll spend hours going through cleaning cycles after refilling a cart, and today I had to refill yellow. As usual when I started printing again yellow started losing nozzles, and shortly after the whole channel disappeared. I ran a few cleaning cycles- nothing. So take out the cartridge, tap it, prime it, tap it again, make sure the air vent is clean and reinstall. Ran a few more cleaning cycles- and boom yellow is finally back. But after running all those cleaning cycles, now cyan is out of ink. Except I wasn’t so lucky with cyan, after going through a whole set of inks in cleaning cycles- and even with a white air vent sponge - cyan never came back.
I had a spare unopened PK cartridge so I swapped the chips with the cyan cart… And cyan came back on the FIRST TRY.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE piezography but these cartridges SUCK. The ink flow sucks and they are extremely fragile. I forgot to mention that when I reinstall epson factory carts all channels always come back immediately - so there’s definately a problem with the refillables. And it’s not user error.
The problem always begins after refilling a cart - there’s something about breaking the seal around the gasket when removing a cart that effects the flow of ink. I’m convinced it’s related to the air vent not working properly after being saturated with ink after a few months. At first I thought it was the white sponge at the top of the vent filling with ink but this last cart is still white - so I think it might instead be the tiny sponge at the entrance of the vent cavity on the bottom that becomes restricted: as it becomes saturated with pigment, flow is restricted and creates a vaccum in the main ink chamber which then limits the flow of ink to the head. It continues to work as long as no air is in the system but as soon as you remove the cart, the little air that enters the inlet makes it too hard for gravity to overcome the vaccum in the cart. At least that’s my theory.
Is there anyway to reenginneer the carts to be more reliable? I feel like if those vents were user serviceable and if both foam pieces could be replaced the carts would last forever.
For now I’m trying a new technique. I’m refilling the carts WITHOUT removing them from the printer and resetting the chip by slipping a thin strip of plastic between the chip and the sensor to break the connection.
Am I the only one experiencing so much pain with this printer?