Printer problems.

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Printer problems.

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We've had a couple of colour inkjet printers over the years both of which have died because we don't use them enough and they gum up the jets so don't print colours properly. About 18 months ago we bought another - Canon Pixma - and it's just starting to play up like the others. I've done all the cleaning options with a slight improvement but it's still not right. There's a wee asian computer shop near us who has offered to clean it out for us (don't know what he'll charge for this or even if it's worth trying to do this?) So I'm wondering, if he succeeds, friends are saying I should run a colour image through it once a week to keep it in good order (often we don't print anything for months). Anyone care to comment? should I do this? if so what image should I use, I imagine it needs to run all the colours so the image will be important? Also, when not in use I switch it off at the wall but another friend tells me I should leave it on all the time and this may be why I'm getting problems. He also said that switching it on a and off like this is very wasteful of ink? So, any advice, hints and tips regarding this will be most gratefully received.
 
Hello,

With all inkjet printers you need to print something on a regular basis, once a week or two just to let the ink flow through the small channels. So, inkjets should be used only by frequent users. If you don't use it on a regular basis, buy a laser printer instead. I'm having one since 12 or 13 years already, there are moments when I'm printing 100 or 200 pages a month and then the printer stays unused for months.

You can use a simple CMYK test image, it doesn't need to be huge, 10 x 10 cm would be enough. Ie like this one:

 
Hello,

With all inkjet printers you need to print something on a regular basis, once a week or two just to let the ink flow through the small channels. So, inkjets should be used only by frequent users. If you don't use it on a regular basis, buy a laser printer instead. I'm having one since 12 or 13 years already, there are moments when I'm printing 100 or 200 pages a month and then the printer stays unused for months.

You can use a simple CMYK test image, it doesn't need to be huge, 10 x 10 cm would be enough. Ie like this one:

Wonderful advice. Thank you very much. Should I get our local "wee man" to clean the machine - it's only about 2 years old - or just buy a laser printer and have done with it?
 
It's up to you. Ask the wee man how much he shall charge you. Color laser printers are not cheap to buy, but if you calculate the long term costs including ink / toner cost + eventual maintenance, they get cheaper the longer you use them.
 
It's up to you. Ask the wee man how much he shall charge you. Color laser printers are not cheap to buy, but if you calculate the long term costs including ink / toner cost + eventual maintenance, they get cheaper the longer you use them.
Thanks again for your valued advice. As it's quite new and not actually printed many pages yet I think I'll get it cleaned and see how it goes with printing a test sheet maybe twice a week. Next one will be a Laser, If I'm still here when this one croakes. Thanks again.
 
You can buy isopropyl alcohol from your local pharmacy and then with a cotton bud use that to clean the dried ink off the print head.

I tend to buy HP printers as the print head is part of the cartridge so you change the ink and get a new clean print head (and the cost of replacement ink isn’t really anymore expensive)

What I would say is if you are not using it very often then don’t get a laser printer, aside from the expense to buy one the replacement toner cartridges for a colour laser printer can cost more than the price of the printer. Home laser jets also have a photo developer unit which has a service life and when that dies it basically writes the printer off.

For the price of cheap ink jet printers and rare use, unfortunately it is both cheaper and massively more wasteful to just throw it away when it stops working and buy another or stick to printers that have the print head in the cartridge
 
You can buy isopropyl alcohol from your local pharmacy and then with a cotton bud use that to clean the dried ink off the print head.

I tend to buy HP printers as the print head is part of the cartridge so you change the ink and get a new clean print head (and the cost of replacement ink isn’t really anymore expensive)

What I would say is if you are not using it very often then don’t get a laser printer, aside from the expense to buy one the replacement toner cartridges for a colour laser printer can cost more than the price of the printer. Home laser jets also have a photo developer unit which has a service life and when that dies it basically writes the printer off.

For the price of cheap ink jet printers and rare use, unfortunately it is both cheaper and massively more wasteful to just throw it away when it stops working and buy another or stick to printers that have the print head in the cartridge
That sounds like very sound advice Andy. How does one know if the print head is in the cartridge?
 
I have a Canon MG5650 colour printer I got s/h for a £10 , I often leave it switched off for months but if it doesn't print right I run the full cleaning program a few times. I know it wastes ink, but I buy a box of about 10 sets of inks cheap off eBay at a time so nothing lost. Like @the green vanper I use a black and white laser for most printing as cheap as chips. As Andy say Isopropyl Alcohol is good for cleaning. Most of my laser printers over the years came from Government auctions including some colour ones which were great until any thing major goes wrong. Last two I had were Canon IRC 2880s I think, about the size of a fridge, the daughters used them for everything, when I went to use them they had died (imaging belt damaged so not worth repairing), they were so big I weighed them in and got what I bought them for at auction, the rupture came free.;)
 
That sounds like very sound advice Andy. How does one know if the print head is in the cartridge?
General rule is HP printers have the print head in the cartridge, Epsom and Canon tend to have the print head in the printer then ink that you slot into it.
I have a Canon MG5650 colour printer I got s/h for a £10 , I often leave it switched off for months but if it doesn't print right I run the full cleaning program a few times. I know it wastes ink, but I buy a box of about 10 sets of inks cheap off eBay at a time so nothing lost.
Generally ink jet printers have a suction pump and brushes to clean the print head, they suck some ink thought and the wipe the printhead a few times, all the ink they use on the cleaning cycle tends to get dumped into a cotton wadding in the bottom of the printer so if you clean them too much you can over flow the wadding and end up with ink coming out the bottom, they are literally designed to go to land fill after a few years
 
I became so frustrated with one inkjet printer i literally threw it out the window.

Assuming you can afford it then a small laser jet business machine will set you back around £250-300 and you'll find it so much more reliable.
I executed a whole computer with an axe for wasting my life. It was an expensive portable many years ago. Looking back now, Im glad I did it I felt free from control!
 
Isopropyl alcohol applied on the sufrace of the contacts / cartridge nozzles won't clean everything, sometimes (and of course depending on the printer type) it is impossible to dilute the dried ink. A friend of mine was working in a computer shop / service and clients often came to ask for the printer cleaning. For some models it took ages. Laser printers don't require this kind of 'service', so everything depends of the time (or eventually money) we want / can invest in getting the printer back to service. The problem is when we want to use the printer after 2 - 3 - 5 weeks we don't have that time...

That's why in the very beginning I wrote that laser printers are better - they are ready all the time, whenever we need them.

And yes, of course, every equipment needs some service from time to time.
 
I executed a whole computer with an axe for wasting my life. It was an expensive portable many years ago. Looking back now, Im glad I did it I felt free from control!
Has to be done at least once a life time! LOL

I was very annoyed with a laptop around 5 years ago, it was expensive and decided to stop working just after it went out of warranty. So i took it apart piece by piece and smashed the pieces up individually. I kept the data of course but smashing it up did bring a smile to my face :) Its even pleasing me now as I recount the story LOL.
 
Has to be done at least once a life time! LOL

I was very annoyed with a laptop around 5 years ago, it was expensive and decided to stop working just after it went out of warranty. So i took it apart piece by piece and smashed the pieces up individually. I kept the data of course but smashing it up did bring a smile to my face :) Its even pleasing me now as I recount the story LOL.
Don't get annoyed with your car then;)
 
One of my first jobs out of school was computer repair, it’s what set me on my down the path of doing electronics and electrical engineering. Back in 1998/99 people were still using windows 3.1 quite a lot so getting printers to work on them was a massive PITA. Then trying to daisy chain a scanner in between the computer and the printer 😅😂😅😂🤣 just not going to work 90% of the time.

No USB on those old computers let alone wifi or Bluetooth.
The only solidly reliable printers were dot matrix we used to sell tons of them to business laser printers while designed for doing high volumes of prints in a busy office do not like being left for long periods unused. Fuser units burn out, photo developers degrade and then of course there is the toner cartridges which can be £80 or £90 a time then when you need 4 for a colour printer you might as well chuck it and buy another one.

Printers are just one massive scam
 
Printers are just one massive scam
Trouble is "officialdom" seems to think we've all got one. Ran into this recently when trying to comply with DVLC when registering the death of my brother with them - upon which they record that his vehicle no longer has a registered keeper. I don't want to register it in my name, which seemed to be what they were encouraging me to do. One of the forms they wanted me to fill in is not available from the Post Office and can only be downloaded on line. My printer is only doing black and white just now and even then it's missing out little bits of the image. They couldn't tell me if the form would be accepted if printed off in B&W anyway. I eenjoy stumbling around in the digital world, like here on our forum. But, for an old dinosaur like me who never has had to use computers and has no training in their use, it all gets very "nasty" and worrisome when officialdom requires me to do something I don't know how to do and then threatens me with a fine or other penalty if I fail to comply.

Just saw on the news yesterday that "they" have now installed a chip into someone's brain! wonder how long it'll be before they link it to a mobile phone and people - won't be me - can talk to each other just by thinking it? What a releif that would be when we don't all have to sit on the bus listening to other people's conversations - what that girl behind me was telling her friend about what she and her boyfriend had been up to the other day almost made me blush!
 
One of my first jobs out of school was computer repair, it’s what set me on my down the path of doing electronics and electrical engineering. Back in 1998/99 people were still using windows 3.1 quite a lot so getting printers to work on them was a massive PITA.

I too had a computer repair and electronics trajectory. I remember fondly the old days of computers requiring you to be an IT technician, the giant 15 inch monitors and 56 kb dial up! :)

I built the PC i'm writing this on, there's a lot of value to be had building your own, and with Amazon having such easy returns i got a stonking computer for a budget price.

I also have a Thinkcentre PC running the TV with wireless keyboard, another Thinkcentre running a projector for films, and two spare PCs. The Thinkcentres are a tiny box of around 30cmx30cm. I got all of them off eBay for £60-80.

Printers are just one massive scam

I bought my first laserjet printer only a few years ago. Previouly i'd always had Inkjet printers. I was always looking for the cheap option and then wanting to throw them out the window.

I bought the laserjet printer below for about £260. Its never given me a moments trouble, its only taken me 20 years to get a good one :D

 
56k dial-up? Luxury. (US Robotics? Hated them!)
2400 baud was a "good upgrade" when I started.

As for printers, many years of HP Deskjets, printing serious volumes, usually worn out after about 3 years (plastic parts wearing out).

Followed by a decade or so of Canon multi function inkjets, with gradually reducing volumes of printing. Rarely gave trouble, only ever replaced 2 print heads, and they were on A3 printers that got used much less often.
(Still got one of them, at least 12 years old, which is on loan to aging mother, probably gets used twice a month. That will probably kill it eventually.)

Replaced them all with a Xerox Workcentre colour laser/scanner/copier just before Covid turned up.
So far hasn't given any problems.
It does wake itself up regularly and stirs the toner etc.

My experience of injets suggests that the cheap ones with disproportionately expensive ink cartridges fail much sooner than ones that cost more initially, but have cheaper ink costs. They also seem to leech more ink when sitting unused. Especially with only intermittent use, which seems to be the usual cause of failure.
Haven't seen an electronics or physical failure on one in a long time.

Mine always printed out at least one multi-page jobsheet every week, (except the A3 printer), so maybe that was enough to stop them gumming up during periods of low use?
 
Trouble is "officialdom" seems to think we've all got one. Ran into this recently when trying to comply with DVLC when registering the death of my brother with them - upon which they record that his vehicle no longer has a registered keeper. I don't want to register it in my name, which seemed to be what they were encouraging me to do. One of the forms they wanted me to fill in is not available from the Post Office and can only be downloaded on line. My printer is only doing black and white just now and even then it's missing out little bits of the image. They couldn't tell me if the form would be accepted if printed off in B&W anyway. I eenjoy stumbling around in the digital world, like here on our forum. But, for an old dinosaur like me who never has had to use computers and has no training in their use, it all gets very "nasty" and worrisome when officialdom requires me to do something I don't know how to do and then threatens me with a fine or other penalty if I fail to comply.

Just saw on the news yesterday that "they" have now installed a chip into someone's brain! wonder how long it'll be before they link it to a mobile phone and people - won't be me - can talk to each other just by thinking it? What a releif that would be when we don't all have to sit on the bus listening to other people's conversations - what that girl behind me was telling her friend about what she and her boyfriend had been up to the other day almost made me blush!
If in doubt, stick it on a USB memory stick and take it to a printers, they will print it out for not a lot of money, certainly cheaper than you'd pay for new ink cartridges or a new printer each time you need it.
 
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