How to clean an Epson Photo 780 printer

I just cleaned my Epson stylus photo 780. After running the nozzle cleaning utility several times, the nozzles were not getting any cleaner and I was just wasting ink. There were two separate problems.

symptoms: no black at all

This was easy to fix. I took out the black cartridge as if I was changing it, gave it a good shake, and put it right back in.

symptoms: the nozzle check test pattern had a few missing lines

This was more difficult. I had to open up the printer and wipe globs of excess ink off the internal parts.

First a warning: you have to be comfortable with small screwdrivers and fiddly plastic parts. Spread a cloth on your table so that when you drop a screw it won't bounce onto the floor. Get a good light that you can direct onto the work. Take the time to work carefully.

I have been told that there are less intrusive methods of doing this repair job, but this is what worked for me.

Take out the 6 screws holding the main cover (two are hidden but you can get at them from underneath the front with a long philips). Now watch the printer do its cleaning cycle. The parts you need to wipe are the face of the print head, the rubber wiper, and the foam ink-catching tray. Press the front-panel button to put the head out for cartridge reloading. Now disconnect the power cord (normally you should not cut the power like this). The rubber wiper can be pushed gently out and cleaned with a tissue. The foam tray can be cleaned with a tissue, but don't rub or you will leave bits of tissue on the foam. The print head is more difficult. Remove the cartridges, two philips screws, the clips that hold the cartridges, and the cover on the ribbon cable. The head lifts out and can be cleaned with a tissue.

Reassemble, but leave off the main cover. Do a nozzle check (you will have to feed the paper by hand).

Reassemble the main cover, and be sure the paper thickness control lever is in place.

Copyright 2005 Rick Leir

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