asked Jan 1, 2005 at 9:00pm
Epson Epson LQ 850

Stylus Color 850 service

I've been busy patiently reviving an Epson SC 850, looks like I have all the print heads purged, which begs a new question: How do I remove and clean the sponge-like pads the print heads rest on when they park? The black pad is pretty saturated with ink and cleaning fluid, and I can only soak so much up with paper towels and q-tips.
Also, what's with those little hoses that connect to the bottom of the "sponge tray"? Do they carry extra ink to some sort of reservoir or something?
Is there a source for service diagrams?
Thanks in advance.
In reviewing some other messages on replacoing sponge pads, there's talk about resetting the printer, and the only software for resetting the printer I could find online was an .exe file that doesn't run on my macintosh.
That begs the question: If I do manage to clean out the pads, do I *HAVE TO* reset the printer, and if so, am I going to be able to do it on my Mac in the first place?
by unknown on Jan 2, 2005 at 11:12am Add comment
RoboClown: That small rectangular felt pad that the Printhead Assembly rests over, is called the "Cap Assembly". That felt pad or pads, will always have ink on them, because that is their purpose. Vacuum, created by the Pumping Mechanism, draws ink out of the Printhead Nozzles [as well as running normal printing jobs and cleaning tests]. That ink residue goes onto that pad, where it is pulled thru the pad, thru tiny hoses and finally onto the Waste Ink Pads. You can wipe of any build-up on the rubber ridge that surrounds that felt pad, as well as wipe off the actual top of that pad, but thats really all that is normally required. That cap assembly is really hard to reinstall once its removed, so normally I would not recommend actually removing it...AS FAR AS RESETTING YOUR PRINTER: That reset procedure is for when the actual Waste Ink Pads reach their limit, not that small felt pad that you are talking about. When the "Maintenance Request Error" does occur, then those waste ink pads will need to be replaced or at least pulled out and washed and dried and reinstalled. Then that reset procedure can be performed. JUST SO YOU WILL KNOW: A Service Error where all LED's/Lights are flashing at the same time [some models the lights will be alternatly blinking], is normally a Maintenance Request Error. The maintenance request error is actually a Waste Ink Ink Pad Error and usually your remedy is to replace the Waste Ink Pad/Pads with a new one/ones and then reset the Internal Waste Ink Pad Counter. If you just reset the counter and don't replace the pads, then your printers old pads will eventually overflow and normally start leaking ink out the bottom of your printer. You can see "Exploded Parts Diagrams" of most Epson Ink Jet Printers and can also check on possible parts ordering, by Compass Micro Inc, at http://www.compassmicro.com/parts_select.cfm . Some people actually wash the ink out of the old pads, by holding them under running cold water, then dry them out and simply reinstall them back into their printer. The choice on what to actually do, is yours to make. I would at least recommend getting that Waste Ink Counter reset procedure and performing it first, to make sure your printer will then work...THIS ADDITIONAL INFO MIGHT ALSO BE OF SOME HELP: Tim H 12/10/2003 2:46:24 Subject: Epson Reset Program Download Location. after a long search for a reset program for waste ink, without paying, i found it. goto: http://inkjetprinterhelp.us/sscserve.exe . please check that your printer is compatible goto: http://inkjetprinterhelp.us/epsonSSC.html . this program has other features as well...Unfortunatly, that "SSC Service Utility" does not work on MacIntosh Operating Systems [usually only on Win's 98], or even on all Epson Printers and sometimes will not even work on actually listed printer models, so you will have to check it out for yourself. Just in case that source does not work: You may actually need to go on-line to try and locate a "SERVICE MANUAL" and also the actual "RESET PROCEDURE", to buy and download for reference in disassembly, troubleshooting and servicing. I have not checked, but you can normally find Service Manuals & Reset Procedures for most Epson Printers, from 2manuals.com, at http://www.2manuals.com/index.php?cPath=2_18 . Most Service Manuals can usually be downloaded for around $10 [ /-]. The reset Procedure is usually available from the same source and is also around $10.00 [ /-]...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Jan 3, 2005 at 10:56am Add comment
Thanks, Denny. Found a service manual for the 850 at your source at $4.99, which is problably equally-appliccable to my 800, but especially since I cannot run RESET PROCEDURE on my Mac, it sounds like the whole issue is best left alone until 'maintenance request error' hits.
by unknown on Jan 3, 2005 at 11:35am Add comment
RoboClown: I think you are right to wait until the servicing is actually needed. When it is time, you might want to consider connecting your printer and printer cable to a friends Win's 98 Computer System, or possibly an older computer system at work. Then simply download new Printer Drivers from epson.com and then try resetting that Waste Ink Counter using that SSC Service Utility, or the actual Epson Reset Procedure...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Jan 3, 2005 at 12:14pm Add comment
One reason I did ask about all this is that I saturated a certain amount of cleaning fluid into the pads, but it would appear Epson provides a reasonably large reservoir in the storage end of that vacuum system you described.
I'm keeping in mind that, while the SC 800 and 850s are built to last, they're ageing and can't hold a candle to the newer hi-res Photo models in terms of quality. It may not be worth resetting when the time comes.
by unknown on Jan 3, 2005 at 12:29pm Add comment
RoboClown: Although you are right about the quality of the photos on the newer lines of printers, that does not always hold to be true about the actual quality of newer printers in general [all makes]. The older ink jet printers, were just built better and lasted longer. Of course they also cost more, so you paid for that quality. The new ink jet printers [from all manufactors] are made so cheaply, that the have basically become throw away printers. Anytime something goes wrong, its cheaper to buy another inexpensive printer, than having your old one repaired. Its almost cheaper to buy another inexpensive printer, rather than replacing the ink cartridges in the one you own. Basically, any printer under $100 is considered a disposable printer in the Printer Industry. Even the quality of the printers from $100 to $150, is starting to look like they are becoming more disposable as well. The majority of people seem to buy those inexpensive printers at a high rate, so in turn printer manufactors keep building cheaper printers to compete with each other. To keep the prices lower, I guess something has to be sacraficed along the way. Unfortunatly with new ink jet printers, it seems like its the quality of the new products being produced. As usual, it turns out to be the consumer who ends up really suffering the most. So it may be worth keeping your older printer up and running, at least as long as no major parts start to fail [Example: failing Printhead Assembly or Main Board Assembly]...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Jan 3, 2005 at 12:50pm Add comment
> As usual, it turns out to be the consumer
> who ends up really suffering the most. So it
> may be worth keeping your older printer up
> and running, at least as long as no major
> parts start to fail [Example: failing Printhead
> Assembly or Main Board Assembly]

Then it's a good thing that is exactly the plan.
I've found I can pick-up slightly 'expired' genuine Epson cartridges for this model quite cheaply on eBay. No problems with clogging, but the magents seems to fade or break down as they approach 4 years past exp date.
I wonder if I can expect same to happen to prints as they age?
by unknown on Jan 3, 2005 at 1:12pm Add comment
RoboClown: Sorry, but I do not really know, because I have not actually seen any data on the older Epson Inks. The newer "6 Color Dye Inks" is listed at lasting up to 25 years. The "Durabrite" & "Ultra Chrome Inks" is listed at up to 75 years. The "Archival Inks" are listed at over 100 years...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Jan 3, 2005 at 1:37pm Add comment
> The newer "6 Color Dye Inks" is listed at
> lasting up to 25 years. The "Durabrite" &
> "Ultra Chrome Inks" is listed at up to 75
> years. The "Archival Inks" are listed at over
> 100 years

Then again, if you're looking for that sort of longevity, a 6-color Photo printer and the newer higher-resolution is more appropriate. Even if the newer printers are pieces of junk...
To that end, how do the competing HP and Canon printers compare in terms of print quality, product longevity, color accuracy, and ease-of-use?
by unknown on Jan 3, 2005 at 1:58pm Add comment
RoboClown: I don't know, so you would have to do some searching for information, to try and find out. I work on the Epson & HP Printers, but mostly the older ones and do not keep up on the newer printers. Hopefully someone else may read your posted questions and be able to help you further, concerning the newer printers...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Jan 3, 2005 at 2:25pm Add comment