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I think you have two things to consider. The immediate or short term one is how to unclog the nozzles (if that is the problem). The second or long term one is why is this happening?

You did not provide any additional facts that would suggest what happened prior to the nozzles clogging. Did you do any type of cleaning? If so, how did you do it? (Exact steps including if you let it sit for any period of time). Did you take the print head or disconnect any flat ribbon cables? This background information will help guide you down the path of both of these answers.

If the nozzles are truly clogged, you can try and unclog them by manually cleaning the nozzle plate using a clean stick and some of the cleaning fluid (small eye drop size bottle that looks like it has apple juice in it). You will need to do an initial cleaning to reprime the W3 head. Then run a nozzle check. If that fails, you might have an issue with your inline filter (round disc in the ink line right above the print head). That could be clogged and could be blocking the ink from getting to the print head.

There are a couple of other things that it could be (i.e. air block in the ink cartridge, air leak in the ink line, clog in the waste tube that prevents a cleaning,...). I would recommend that you contact Brother Tech Support again (or the dealer you purchased from) and ask them to walk you through the process. You should also ask them if there is anything that you are doing that can help prevent this from happening in the future.

Best wishes,

Mark
 

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Wow. I have had my 381 for about 1 1/2 year and haven't seen that one yet. I am not a technician and I can't really tell you what it is but it looks like that head is not firing. Normally when a head start to clog it would look like the other ones. A lot of missing nozzles. I would guess that if it were a clogged head you would see at least a couple of nozzles lines. That picture shows nothing on that head. Is there any ink in the tube? have you try to do a white tube cleaning? maybe a couple of times to see if that clears a couple of nozzles and see if the head is firing. Have you tried to contact Brothers about that? Let us know of you progress and if you were able to fix that problem. Good luck!

CD
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I regularly clean the nozzles with the fluid and swap (once a week)
Also many maintenance solutions/white cleanings. There is definetly ink in the lines and I switched cartridges but still...... getting a bit frustrated (5 months old printhead...... W4 doens't look very good either.... :D
Brother will get back on monday.
 

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If you perform white tube cleaning on that line only, does it actually flush out?

I would figure there would be a clog in the waste line, or something else going on at the capping station, and even though the white ink retrieves, you shouldn't be left with a clear line after the maintenance fluid attempts to go through it (when you retrieve there is usually a residue left on the tube membranes leaving a hazing of sorts, as the cleaning solution and air is pushed through the line, it should turn clear).

You may also want to check your waste hose. When my printer was installed the tube/hose went all the way to the bottom of the waste jug, the problem with this is it may not be able to pump out the waste ink and could clog causing all sorts of issues. I received a call from a Brother rep asking me to check that as I guess they were having issues with it. I had a fairly large buildup at one point in my tube as well as having that tube go all the way to the bottom, cleaned out the clog and trimmed it a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The lines flush and the waste hose is ok. The dealer let me do powerful head cleaning and 10 minutes later normal head cleaning. After this the problem isn't solved. So they say the head needs to be replaced.

There is no explanation as to why this happens..... Can't afford to buy 2 new heads every 5 months! (W3 and W4 are new since late december)
 

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I don't know if it'd affect it, but when you're printing, you're printing in 381 mode and not 361 mode, correct? The fact that 3 and 4 have gone out on you and sounds like they're going out on you again is a little bit suspicious. It might be that those heads aren't getting used correctly because the print driver isn't telling it to use them, although I would suspect regular maintenance should keep them in fine condition even if this were the case.
 

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I got new print heads from Brother.... Everything is working fine now. Free of charge actually! So I'm a happy camper now :)
Glad you got your heads issue resolved. Hopefully you'll be set for a long time. Although I am not printing with white ink all the time, I do at least every other day a normal head cleaning, agitate the white tubes and a nozzle check. That will normally keep all the nozzles trouble free. If I get a few nozzles that won't print and more than a week has gone by without printing white and my normal routine won't clear those up I do a white tube cleaning. Sometimes I go longer without printing white. My shop is a small commercial print shop and T-shirts is not my main source or income. The 381 to me is just another printer, a little more costlier but manageable.

CD
 
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