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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am the not so proud owner of a new Epson 4880 running the 8 color sublijet setup. I have had weekly nozzle clogs on my blue head basicly since the 2nd or third week of owning the machine. It will usually fire after a couple nozzle cleans and then run fine for 4 or five days. I didn't realize how much ink these nozzle cleans were using until I got a low ink readout on my led screen and I have only made a total of about 50 shirts (all small lineart) and a couple tiles.

I have been dealing with Sawgrass all this week and we have been troubleshooting. So far I have run the prn files that allow you to run nothing but the channels that are clogged ( this is pretty helpful to have) but that did not help.

Next step was to clean the flushing box and soak the cleaning station with Simple Green for 20 minutes. That did not work.

Now I am waiting for 2 complimentary inks from
Sawgrass so that I can do the next troubleshooter which is a PowerClean. They are giving me 2 free inks because the PowerClean uses about the same amount of ink as 2 carts.
Now that was kind of them but even if this miraculously fixes my problem I am probably going to fork out cash for 6 more carts since the carts are probably all pretty low from the excessive nozzle cleans.
If the PowerClean doesn't work then Sawgrass wants to do a complete flush of the system. Which will basically toast the rest of my sublimation ink ($1200.00) and then if that doesn't work they figure it is a problem with a printer and I will need to Send it back and get a new one. Are all these steps and wasting of this ink nessesary to determine it's the Printer. If I go through all these steps it is possible that I will have wasted 1200 bucks trying to determine that it is the printer at fault and then I will have to spend another 1200.00 to get the replacement printer ready to go.

The company that sold me the Printer recomended soaking the heads with a Windex soaked cloth overnight before wasting all the ink with a PowerFlush.

Are there any other ideas before I should do a PowerFlush. There seems to be a lot of costly steps to go through before you can rule out the Sawgrass ink and determine that there is a problem with the actual printer head. Please Help!!!!
 

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I may be able to help but need to talk directly with you. What is the status of the nozzle check?
Is it changing after cleanings? Please give me a call: 251-639-4202
 

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You are not alone. Mr Gross is a very skilled man and I hope has has been able to help you.

MY PERSONAL experience with Sawgrass SUBLIJET ink is that I can no longer print anything with an Epson 1280, and 2 Epson C-88+ printers. I also can barely print anything with an Epson R1800 after cleaning the heads aggressively and returning to the stock Epson ink. After using the add on ink reservoirs on the 4 Epson printers and the Sublijet ink I discovered that it was becoming very difficult to get any consistent flow. I removed the ink, cleaned and flushed all the printers per Mr Gross's help, but to no avail. That garbage ink was solidified in the print heads and somewhat gummed up in the remote reservoirs TUBING. Sawgrass has an excellent staff of service techs and they did their best to resolve the myriad of problems I experienced with the Drivers and many other issues to numerous to relay in this forum. I have one C88+ printer left that I was able to salvage for my sublimation work. I purchased re-fillable cartridges, a chip re-set and ARTAINIUM UV+ ink from Conde. I flushed the printer with Whip It citrus cleaner and installed the cartridges and ink. That was two months and many refills ago. The ink drivers and the ink delivery has been FLAWLESS.

What is the bottom line?? I have had good success with refillable cartridges and ArTainum Ink.
 

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My point is that if those things do not work then please call me. I am a Electrical Engineer that designed
printers in the first part of my working life. The advice that folks are giving is helpful to an extent but
if it does not work, I may be able to help. The cost for my help is free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for everyones help. I did the head soak in Simple Green for 18 hours and am back inbusiness as of today. I will have to see if it stays clear for more than 5 days or so. Maybe it got badly clogged during the charging process when I bought it and it just really needed a good soak. I hope so but at least I will get a good sleep tonight.
 

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I just bought the epson 4880 hoping I wouldn't run into the problems I had with the 1280, it was a nightmare. I haven't loaded the ink in it as of yet. After reading all the problems people have had, is there anyone out there that isn't having trouble with clogged ink heads? I thought buy spending the money on a better printer I would have better luck.
 

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The most important step to minimize most print head issues is to print SOMETHING every day. Conde has software called HARVEY HEAD CLEANER that can be set to 'tickle" the printer on a specific schedule to print the nozzle check pattern. It can be used with most computer OS and most of the Epson Stylus printers. It will also test print multiple printers in the same session. Just leave the computer on, load standard printer paper, tell the software what printers to test and use the default time value of 0300 hrs.
MIS ASSOCIATES has a FREE downloadable series of JPG images called PURGING TEST PATTERNS that can be used to print the four, six, or eight colors of the popular Epson printers. You can use the JPG in Adobe or your favorite program to create color print files and send them to the printer. This will cause all the colors to print and shows exactly how the heads are behaving. You can create the image as 8 x 11" or for a simple test I made an image set at 2 x 2". I run that test EVERY MORNING. You can create individual color JPG by cropping. This is saves multiple head cleanings and the waste of ink when only one head is skipping. Generally when one or two heads start to skip, I will do one head cleaning and run the print on the color heads that were acting up. I run multiple printouts until the heads are flowing properly.
I am in process of creating a document outlining how I was able to recover the use of two Sawgrass CIS systems. Both had become completely clogged and were shelved for over four months with ink still in the bags, lines and carts in the AZ heat. I will publish it in the proper forum category by weeks end.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I have purchased a cover for it; it’s very dry here in Colorado. I will keep it covered when not in use. Also I heard if you keep a wet sponge in the paper tray it will keep the humidity high with the cover over it. When the 1280 did work the tiles I produced came out beautiful, going to start doing t-shirts and other items now. Once again thanks for the advice.
 

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You are most welcome. I have been doing sub work on all the Uni-Sub hard goods as well as Vapor and Haynes T-shirts. The quality is superior and my customers love the feel of the shirt. There are hundreds of professional people on this site ready to help all of us.
 

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Thanks for everyones help. I did the head soak in Simple Green for 18 hours and am back inbusiness as of today. I will have to see if it stays clear for more than 5 days or so. Maybe it got badly clogged during the charging process when I bought it and it just really needed a good soak. I hope so but at least I will get a good sleep tonight.

I have a 4800 and sometimes it sits for up to a week with no problems and I use sublijet ink. I had a clog once and just printed something with alot of that color and then did a nozzle check again and it was fine. I also had to move my printer from the garage to a room in the house b/c I had a few problems with the printer as the weather became hotter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As the originator of this thread I must say it was just a bad printer. Epson took the printer back, no questions asked, they even new it had sublimation ink in it. They rushed me out a new 4880, took my other back even gave me another set Epson original inks which I sold on ebay for a second time for a total of $400.00 And to top that off Pro Digital Gear (where I ordered my Printer Gave me 2 Sublijet inks and got me four new inks from sublijet. I allready had a coupon for 2 free inks from Sawgrass. So I got a new printer and all new inks.
My new 4880 is awsome!!! I have had it for about a month and have had nothing but perfect nozzle checks!!!
Thanks Sawgrass, ProDigital Gear, and Epson
I am back in business and loving it!!!!
 

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I had some issues early on with the 4880... I use Sawgrass as well...

Every morning when we opened shop I would run a nozzle clean. NEVER had problems after that. Just once a day when the shop opens is all you really have to do.
 

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I've had mine for about 6 months now running Artanium and it's starting to act up. I can print 10 sheets perfectly and the 11th will be bad. A nozzle check then shows a completely clogged head. I then spend a half a day getting the head cleaned. Just spent an hour getting yellow to flow and ran a job just to find that the light cyan is now clogged. I upgraded to this 4880 from an R1900 because it had so many problems. Now the same thing with the 4880. The 4880 was supposed to be more economical. So far, it's been anything but.
 

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Ross,

It sounds like you might have an ink stravation issue. This happens a lot of time with dtg printers based off the 4880 when the capping station gets ink build up on it. Might want to see if you can put some cleaning fluid in the capping station. Just something to consider.

Mark
 

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I did clean the capping station and removed and cleaned the flushing box. Neither seemed to really need cleaning. I've been at it now for about 4 hours. The last auto head check looked close with one small void in the magenta. If I can get a clean head check tonight, I hope it holds till morning so I can run a job.
 

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Just as I started to get clean head checks, I started getting low ink errors. I only found one cartridge to be low,the rest were all between 25% and 50% verified by opening the carts and looking at the bags. I replaced the one near empty cart and still got low ink errors. Even though some of these carts are 50% full, I had to replace all of them to get the printer up and running again. Head checks are now clean.

The problem with this is that I have $500 work of ink sitting in 8 useless cartridges. I'm very disappointed with this 4880. Actually, at this point I'm not real happy with the whole Epson line. We have this 4880 and two Pro 3800's just because they are so problematic..and those are running stock Epson ink. Seems like every job I'm wasting more ink trying to get the printer to print than I make on the job.
 

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I am beginning to think that the issue may be that the printhead is loosing
its seal over the capping station. My therory is that the ink dries on the seal of the capping station.

This would result in the kind of issues that
I am seeing. Interestingly, I did see this volume of issues with the 4000 or
4800 printers. I have started providing our clients with a small bottle of the "Epson head recovery solution" to pour into the capping station once a week. This seems to help to keep the pump and seals clean. It also cleans
the bottom of the printhead if you let it soak before doing a cleaning.

I also recommend the Harvey Headcleaner to exercise the printer on a daily basis.
 

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Everything printed OK today with one exception. After 5 pages or so the printer starts dropping red and blue ink spots randomly over the page. If I print 4 pages, let the printer head park on the capping station, print 4 more, park, etc. I can print all day long with no problems. I'm guessing that after a few pages the head develops a drip now and then and letting it park cleans it up.
 

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I would clean the flushing box. That is the pad located under the printhead. The pad on the right is the capping station. The pad on the left is the flushing pad. Two choices: clean the surface of the pad or remove the box (one screw) and soak. Let me know if you need additional info.
 
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