Tips and Tricks 6 – How to Cure Blocked Heads

OK – so you already have blocked printer heads. What now?! Here is how to cure them:

1. First, check it isn’t something else! It is easy to forget to remove a ‘pull’ label and this has the same effect as putting your finger over a straw full of liquid. The vacuum stops the liquid escaping. And since the printer does not know if the label has been removed, it tries to draw ink against the vacuum and nothing happens! This looks exactly the same as a blocked head so check for this first. I did this myself not so long ago and I should know better!

2. Try cleaning the heads. Inkjet printers will get a blocked head at some point no matter what you do. This is why they have the built-in cleaning routines. So clean the heads and print a nozzle-check pattern. If it isn’t perfect, repeat and see if it improves. If not, repeat once more and then stop.

3. If repeated cleans don’t work, leave it overnight. Allow ink to flow into the blocked head. Sometimes this will loosen the blockage and the next time you clean the heads there can be an improvement. Also, if the blockage is an air bubble, sometimes leaving it a while allows the bubble to work its way out.

4. Most of the time, the above will solve the problem but occasionally even this won’t work. It is worth replacing the cartridge at this point. On very rare occasions you can get a faulty cartridge where the air-release hole isn’t properly formed. The air can’t escape so neither can the ink. Before you go any further it is worth checking for this. With the £10 originals this is an expensive gamble but with ours it is less painful and worth a go.

5. If none of the above work, then you may need some head-cleaning solution. If the ink has really dried solid (should not happen if you follow our guidelines) then it will need some help to break down. Beware of kits that force cleaning solution through the head usually with some kind of syringe. These can cause more damage than good. Our friends at octoink are experts at this so give them a call

And of course, if you ever need any advice please feel free to call us on +44 1253 403020

The Ink Squid

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