asked May 22, 2003 at 8:20pm
Epson Epson LQ 850

Epson 850, ink monitor and clogged nozzle?


I've looked through the boards and feel totally ignorant. :-( Also, I'm not even sure if the questions I have, have already been answered because of the previously described ignorance.

I've had this printer for about 3 years and it worked very well but last year I'd noticed some degrading on pictures I was printing. "Okay," I thought, "great printer, great work-life, it's probably had its day as a photo printer." I then purchased a C80, and the 850 has been sitting idle for about 6-8 months. Nothing else was really wrong with it other than fuzzy pictures.

Now to my questions: Regarding the print ink monitor -- I tried fooling the printer once because I knew I had quite a bit of ink left and re-inserted the cartridge which it read as "new." Now, no matter what I do, it states what it "thinks" is the ink level. In this instance, it says I have about 1/2 when in fact I've installed a brand new cartridge. Is there any way I can re-set anything to correct this?

My second question is in regard to the 850's 6-8 month hiatus. It prints color fine, all aligned, and colors showing great on the nozzle-check test. If I print a page with text, the text looks what is best described as "furry." And with the tests, the black comes out choppy even after several alignments and/or cleanings. Could something have clogged because of sitting around for that time? I've taken the new tank off and looked at it and that seems okay. What do you suggest I do? I've read about the solvents, cleaning kits, and all the printer-ese hardware talk, but honestly, I'm scared that I'll REALLY ruin this printer because I have NO idea what all of you are talking about.

If anyone can help, I'll gladly e-mail you a copy of the tests to look at and perhaps make a suggestion as to what's wrong.

Thanks for ANY help with these questions!


Nora: As an "Epson Authorized Service Dealer", there's only so much information and help that I can legally give...Reguarding your incorrect ink levels: Thats why Epson says to install a new cartridge anytime you remove an old cartridge. The cartridge you removed lost its prime [internal pressure] when you removed it. That pressure is what causes the new ink in the cartridge to be sent into the "printhead nozzles" as it is installed and forces out any air that got into the printhead assembly. When you reinstalled it, if the power was on, your printer assumed it was a brand new cartridge and the "Internal Ink Counter" was also reset. Unfortunatly if the power was on, your printer may not actually know when you run out of ink. Air can and usually will get into the nozzles, drying them out and causing them to "CLOG"...TECH NOTE: If you turned off the power prior to removing the cartridge, you would not have RESET the "internal counter", but you would still have let air into the "Nozzles" and lost the "Internal Pressure" that WAS inside the cartridge...I will e-mail you some info on how you can now reset the NEW cartridge that you say you have installed. Unfortunatly, when you remove the new cartridge to reset it correctly, it will also loose its prime [internal pressure] and may not work correctly until you run several "printhead cleaning cycles" and "nozzle tests", to get the ink flowing again...As to the "furry" look: Its probably because the bottom areas of the printhead assemblies are dirty. Dust, dirt, lint and hair all can stick to the wet ink on this bottom area. It can build-up and cause tiny black sreaks, kind of like drag marks on your paper. The "printhead cleaning cycle" cannot remove this build-up, because that cleaning is actually only new ink forcing out the old ink and a rubber "cleaning blade" wiping off the bottom of the printhead assemblies. There is not any in-depth scrubing or cleaning actually being performed. Manual cleaning can be done, but requires in-depth cleaning methods. I will also e-mail that information to you, in case you want to try it...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on May 27, 2003 at 2:14pm Add comment
Hello Denny
My Epson 850 won't print any black whatsoever. I live in Spain and didn't use printer much over July/August (and it was very hot here) - obviously nozzle is clogged. Nozzle clean through PC doesn't work (done about 15 of them) just using ink. Could you possibly email me the information on in-depth cleaning methods?
Many thanks for any info you can send me.
by unknown on Oct 16, 2003 at 2:21am Add comment
Anita: Check for e-mail messages from me...You may want to consider actually using a "Printhead Cleaning Kit" first, because its considerably easier and seems to work real well on most clogs. Just to let you know, I do not work for "fixyourownprinter.com" or even "Epson Company". If you want too, you can try using the "printhead cleaning kit", available through the home page on "fixyourownprinter.com" and see if you can get the rest of those printhead nozzles to open up again. The KIT is around $10.00 plus shipping and it includes a syringe and some Epson Printhead Cleaning Solution. Epson fluid is designed to dissolve most clogs, especially if you use Epson inks...REMEMBER: The "nozzles" inside the printhead assembly can be easily damaged by using to much force. Damage can even occur when you are using the printhead cleaning kit method, if you actually try to force the fluid thru the nozzle. Sometimes with too much force, the nozzles can be damaged. The correct method is to use the syringe to add the fluid into the nozzle and then leave the fluids set inside the nozzle for a couple of days, to try and dissolve a possible bad clog. Sometimes you might have to use the fluids several times to be able to disolve the clog in the printhead nozzles. Sometimes the clog will never disolve, or it actually damages the nozzles. The longer the clog has been in, the worse it is to remove. Again, if the cleaning fluids don't help, then its generally time to invest in a new printer. In some more expensive printers, you may want to get an estimate to replace the printhead assembly, but as a general rule, its not really economical to do in the small Epson Ink Jet Printers...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Oct 16, 2003 at 1:23pm Add comment