Inkjet printer maintenance

Inkjet printerEvery printer needs an occasional tune-up. Neglecting to do so can cause clogged nozzles that may require replacement or professional repair.

Some maintenance, such as minor cleaning nozzles and print head alignment, can be done via the printer printer.

The signs of clogging are when lines or poor colors appears in prints. To bring the nozzles back to normal, do a nozzle check or clean the printheads.  Both maintenance processes consumes ink, so don’t use them unless necessary.

Maintenance tools are accessed through the printer driver or via you computer systems printer control panel. Once a maintenance procedure begins, let it run full cycle before shutting the printer off.

Nozzle check

nozzle checkWhen printouts become faint or certain colors fail to print, test whether the print heads are working properly.

First use the utility that performs a nozzle check pattern. It prints out a test pattern to show if there are gaps, which may indicate a specific ink cartridge is clogged. Faint lines usually indicate that some of the nozzles are clogged.

Cleaning print heads

If the nozzle check indicates that a cleaning is needed, or if the printer is completely clogged, clean the print heads. The process removes blockages in the nozzles. Run additional nozzle checks since sometimes cleaning must be performed more than once to be successful.

Some printers have more than one mode to clean the heads.  If so, use the deep cleaning mode if the standard cleaning mode isn’t sufficient. Don’t do unnecessary cleanings, as the use up ink.

Print head alignment

If the nozzle test indicates that lines and colors are out of kilter, or there is banding, align the print heads. The process aligns the heads correctly. It is usually run after new print heads have been installed.

If cleaning and alignment do not solve a problem, contact the manufacturer for the cost of repair. If your printer is no longer covered under warranty, assess whether repair costs are worth it. Sometimes buying a new printer, particularly those that come with a full set of ink cartridges, is the best option.

Some manufactures will exchange your non-working printer for a refurbished one at a significant savings. They may also give you the option of buying a new printer at a discount.

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