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Swapped printhead adapter and clogged new head, repairable?

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Jumpshoutmedia, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Jumpshoutmedia

    Jumpshoutmedia Member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ugg. Like a dummy, I was moving the dampers around and I heard the sound you never want to hear (CRACK), and the damper on my BRAND NEW black DX4 printhead went loose.

    I quickly found out that I had snapped the plastic nipple off inside the damper!

    So in a panic, I grabbed one of the old printheads and removed the plastic adapter plate from it.

    I cleaned it up, and flushed some cleaner fluid through each of nipples, and the cleaner sprayed out nice and clear out of each side, so I assumed that it was fine, and I installed it onto the newly damaged head (which printed PERFECTLY up to that point).

    When I reinstalled the head and ran a test print, I immediately noticed that the entire pattern looked messed up, almost like the head was physically damaged really badly (but I know it was wasn't). All did was swap a broken adapter with a non-broken, used one.

    (Photo attached)

    I'm assuming that what happened was the old adapter was partially clogged, or had some coagulated ink inside of it, and that debris made its way into the head when I tried to put some ink through it.

    It's been an entire day, and I've run a dozen of medium cleanings and it's still not getting any better.

    Have I FUBAR'd a brand new head? Or is there something I can do to restore it? Or is this something that can be fixed by one of those cleaning/restoration services?

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!


    Attached Files:

  2. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

    Aug 2, 2011
    Denver, CO
    Normally you would want to start out with a new manifold rather than use an old one as there is a filter inside that degrades over time. Flushing it like you did does help a lot though. Unfortunately it seems to be what you are thinking and the nozzles are just getting clogged/partially clogged by some debris that may have been in the old manifold. I have seen worse test prints but for a new head that is pretty nasty. It's mostly deflection which means some nozzles are simply partially clogged and the ink is spraying out the side rather than straight down.

    If it was me, I would get a new manifold, install it, and then gently flush the head with cleaning solution. It's no guarantee it will flush those partial clogs out and it does include risk of permanently damaging the head if you push too hard, but it could be the only option other than living with it the way it is and hoping it gets better over time. In my experience those services offering head cleaning are usually just about as successful as manually flushing it yourself. Also, double check that your cap top and wipers are nice and clean and that the pump isn't clogged or anything.
  3. Jumpshoutmedia

    Jumpshoutmedia Member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Thank you for the good info!
  4. woolly

    woolly Active Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Cornwall uk
    didn't notice what machine but on my roland the advantage of pushing the fluid through is you can see the spray pattern and any improvements you make instantly but at the risk if you push to hard you blow the seals in the head don't ask how i know.....
    now i use a syringe with the plunger removed as a reservoir connected to the head and pull the fluid through the cap top safer but probably not as thorough.. connect it dry then add fluid then make sure you empty it dry before removing.saves spilling the fluid on important bits. as said a new adapter is favorite first.
  5. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    I usually put the bottom of the print head in some cleaning solution and suck up through the manifold rather than push down into the head. The ink channel opens up as you go up, it gets narrower as you go down, so if you push, any solids are more likely to get trapped rather than coming up and out. (I hope this makes sense to everyone else - it does to me) I don't bother with this on old heads, but a new would be worth trying.
    Good luck
    • Agree Agree x 1

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