Look’s like I screwed up my Epson R1800 printer. This is my prime printer for photos. I have an Epson 1280 I use for everyday printing. I have always used Epson inks on my R1800, which uses pigment as opposed to dye-based inks. Buying Epson brand ink, even online is about $110.
Originally, I also used only Epson inks in my 1280. About the time I bought my R1800 and stopped using my 1280 for photos, I began to buy non-Epson ink for my 1280. Doing this cost me about 30% of buying Epson ink. I use this printer all of the time and have had only minor ink clogging problems over the years.
So about about a year or so ago, I began to buy non-Epson inks for my R1800 at roughly 60% savings relative to Epson-brand ink. I began to have significantly more ink clogging problems than before. I was slow to react to the problem, because I was printing less photos than I had been. At times, I would not use my R1800 for two or three weeks.
So about three months ago, I took my R1800 to a repair shop and had it cleaned etc. I had never had it serviced since I bought it, and I figured it was time. I was not very impressed with the store, and frankly I do not think they did that good of a job. By the way, I basically cannot find a list of Epson authorized service centers by going to their website. If anyone knows of one in the Los Angeles area or the link to Epson’s list of service centers, please leave a comment.
So over the past couple of months, my clogging problems have increased tremendously. Also, I have had other quality related issues with the non-Epson ink cartridges I have been buying. Recently, I have spent (wasted) a lot of money fighting this problem. By the way, the non-Epson ink cartridges I am buying for my 1280 continue to perform about the same as the Epson ink I initially used.
It all reached a head late last week. I could no longer get my R1800 to pass the Nozzle Check Test, no matter how many times I ran the clean cycle and its more sophisticated auto cleaning routine. I was using up lots of ink trying to clean the nozzles. Blue the ink was almost not present, in the print pattern, even though I put in two different blue cartridges, hence the title of my post. Through Google, I found an Epson authorized service center nearby and took my printer in last Thursday. They called me back Friday. So far they have been unable to unclog my printer using special cleaners and syringes. They told me I need a new $350 print head. I only paid $500 for the printer. They are going to try some more, and call me back on Monday. I fully expect the result will be the same, so I’ll go and pick up my basically worthless printer.
Fortunately, my daughter gave me her R1800. She had a few ink clog problems and got frustrated, so she gave it to me a few months ago. She basically only prints 4×6 and now and now uses an online printing service. A couple of print nozzle cleaning cycles and her printer is working perfectly. By the way, she has only used Epson inks.
So here is my plan. Assuming the repair shop cannot get mine to function properly, I will bring it home and try to clean the nozzles myself. What harm can I do? Nozzle cleaning kits are a hot item all over the internet. I’ve already ordered one for $20 or so. It should arrive in a couple of weeks.
I’ll let you know how this all turns out in a future post. To be honest, I’m not sure I am going back to Epson inks or not. I want to talk more with the technicians who worked on my printer.
So far, I have learned one thing, however. You are better off using your printer than letting it sit for extended periods regardless of the brand of ink you use, especially if it uses pigment inks instead of the more common (but less permanent) dye-based inks.
Please leave a comment and tell us about your photo printing experiences.