asked May 2, 2005 at 8:31am
Epson Epson Stylus Photo 1200

Epson 1200 Wont Even PrintTest Pattern

I would appreciate help from anyone. My Epson Stylus Photo 1200 started clogging and clanging, so I did the cleaning and lubrication recommended in this forum. I also flushed the printheads with an epson cleaning solution which ran fine through the heads and soaked into a blotter. Now, after installing fresh cartridges and running the self-cleaning cycle at least 6 times, the printer wont even print a test pattern. Nothing, not even a dot of ink. Only blank paper comes through. Any troubleshooters know what might be going on that I can tackle? Thanks
jmendoza17: If the print heads are not actually clogged, then you have an actual hardware/parts problem and most likely an actual failing print head assembly. ABOUT THE ONLY OTHER THING YOU CAN CHECK: The pump in the "Cleaning Station Assembly", actually creates a vacuum [thru pumping action] which pulls the ink from the print head nozzles, thru the felt "Cap Assembly", thru the hoses and onto the "Waste Ink Pads", where it is absorbed. REMEMBER: NO PUMPING ACTION = NO INK FLOW & NO VACUUM = NO INK FLOW. A loss of pumping action, or a loss of vacuum can happen when: The pump quits; hoses get clogged; the hoses come off; the hoses get crimped/pinched; springs under the cap assy fall off; the cap assy comes unhooked from its mounting points; the cap assy gets so dirty [build-up of dust, dirt, lint, hair, etc.] that it fails to seal correctly. Generally speaking, the pump seldom fails but after a year or two of steady use, the capping assembly and head may need some attention. If the felt cap assembly, with the rubber seal/ring around it, does not seal under the printhead assembly correctly, then the vacuum is lost and no ink is pulled thru the nozzles. You will need to remove the Top Cover [normally four screws] to be able to easily test your printers pumping action. You will also need to unlock your printers "Print Cartridge Holder Assembly" to be able to perform this pumping action test. Also its best to use DISTILLED WATER, during the following test, as it has less minerals and chemicals in it. Use a syringe, to fill up the felt cap assembly with water. Keep applying water to the top of the felt pad until it no longer keeps soaking into the pad. You may need to watch the pad and add more water, untill the water does not soak into the pad anymore. Once the cap assy's felt pad is full, manually turn the large plastic gear [usually white], thats located to the far left side/end of the printer. You can turn this gear both directions, but normally when you turn it backwards it will cause the water thats setting on top of that cap assy's felt pad to be sucked/pulled down into the pad. You may have to turn this gear several full revolutions, until you can see the water being sucked/pulled into the felt pad on the cap assy. Some printer models have more than one felt cap assembly and this trick may not always work using that large plastic gear. Sometimes you have to turn one gear one way for the black cap assembly and the opposite way for the color cap assembly. Sometimes there's no large plastic gear on the left end of the printer, but there is a series of black plastic gears located just under the cap assembly/cap assemblies. By turning that gear one direction, one cap assembly will pump and by turning a different gear the opposite direction, the other cap assembly will pump. Basically you will just have to experiment on your particular model and find out what actually works. REMEMBER: If the water does get pulled into that felt pad, that would indicate that your printers pumping action is probably not working. AGAIN: NO PUMPING ACTION = NO VACUUM = NO PRINTING WITH INK...Generally speaking, the pump seldom fails but after a year or two of steady use, the felt capping assembly may need some attention. Usually that involves some general cleaning with damp q-tips, especially around the rubber ring or seal, thats around that felt pad assy. A GOOD TRICK/POINT TO REMEMBER: If you remove the top cover off your printer, you can actually watch the pumping action while the printer is operating/running. Then run a "Print Head Cleaning Cycle" on your printer. Shine a flashlight onto where that felt cap pad is located, so you can watch as that print cartridge holder assy moves off that pad. As that assy moves off that pad, use a syringe of water, to quickly and carefully place some water onto the top of that felt pad area. You should actually be able to see the water that you placed on top of that pad, get pulled or sucked into that felt pad. When the water is pulled into that pad, then you know the pumping action is working properly and the vacuum is working as it should. Again, if your model of printer has more than one cap assy, just do one pad at a time for this testing...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on May 2, 2005 at 2:53pm Add comment