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Old Feb 19, 2003, 6:54 AM   #1
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Default Epson Photo 820

I read somewhere how to clean the clogged printheads on the Photo 820 but cannot find it. The author claimed that the heads could be unclogged using window cleaner and paper. I am willing to try this as this is the only printer I have at the moment.

I plan on buying another printer but have not as yet made up my mind exactly which one I want. This is the first Epson printer I have ever purchased and will never buy another one of their products, especially after reading the postings on this site, constant clogged printheads are impossible for me to deal with.

Thanks to each and all that can offer a solution.
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Old Feb 19, 2003, 4:21 PM   #2
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Well for your clogging future. Here are some ways to prevent it.

1. Use only epson ink.

2. Use your printer at least once a month. Any time you go long periods of time without using the printer its like having a ball point pen and leaving it in your desk for a year sometimes you can get it going again sometimes you can't.

Also if you are looking to clean your printheads. Go to any search engine much like dogpile.com and type in epson printhead cleaning. You will find many methods of doing this proccess.

Also printers like the 820 that use dye inks tend to have a higher tendency of clogging.

Printers like say the Epson c82 that use pigment based ink tend to be very resistent to clogging.

Canon lets you change the printhead at a cost of about 100 bucks.

HP circumvents this by changing the printhead with the cartridge. But thier color inks still clog.

The black on most consumer based printers dont clog because often times it is a pigment based black.

Thats why my HP after two years of sitting there was still able to print black and not color.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 5:03 AM   #3
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Thank you for taking the time to help and the advice.

This printer is less than a year old and I have gone through tons of ink, both Epson and generics, have spoken with Epson many times times (of course the only advice they offer is to have the printheads replaced at a cost of approximately $75 even though I paid less than $100 for the printer).

The only reason I replaced my Canon BJC3000 (and am sorry I did not keep it for text printing) was it did not do a good job of printing pictures and being a new grandmother you can surely understand how important it was for me to be able to do that. Since I am honest, trusting and naive I believed the Epson salesman and bought this printer.

I am waiting for my neighborhood computer store to stock the Canon I950 and will probably buy that. I might also buy a very very low priced Canon (they had one for $49) just to do some text. I really like Canon because I do leave my printer sitting idle for 6 months of the year and I know that I will never have the clogging problems the way I do with this after not using for 1 day.

Again, thank you.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 11:02 AM   #4
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Well if you bought the printer a year ago. It was probably the best photo printer for your money. I'm suprised the epson rep didn't tell you to keep your old printer around for text. They usually are smart enough to ask you what you want to use it for text or photos and they usually tell you the reason why.

The 820 is not cheap for text printing. At a cost of .08cents a sheet for black printing.

The canon i950 will probably be around the same price for text printing. It might be a little lower in the range of about 7 cents a sheet. it will still clog if you dont use it. The canon you used to have used two things different. Large drop sizes and pigment based inks.

Personally for your needs I think I would probably opt for the HP 5550. It should take the clogging issues better than most photo printers. It also does and equal or better picture than the epson 820 you got now. Because of the fact you can pull the ink tanks out with the printheads for storage purposes you can prevent clogging by storing your inks in a ziplock.


Also if photos is your real purpose and only every six months there is a hi touch dye sub printer out there that would most likely serve your needs very well. at a price of 149 off of ebay it can't be beat. The only downside is you have to buy the ink and paper online. But at .40cents a sheet its well worth it.

Also if you have a costco or sams club near you. You might want to check out and see if you can't get your digital pictures made there. At a cost of .20 cents a sheet my costco store does really good prints. All I do is put them on a card or burn them to a CD and they print the pictures. Thats less than the cost of paper for the canon or the epson.


For text needs you may consider getting a laser printer. Since you can often times keep them lying around for ten years and they still work.

That or you may want to consider getting an HP printer.
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Old Feb 21, 2003, 12:13 PM   #5
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Thanks again - have always noticed how helpful you try to be as I keep on reading questions and answers.

Since I live in New York City we do not have stores such as Costco, Sam's Club or the like - no room for their parking lots.

The reason for my printer sitting idle for six months is due to the fact that I am the proverbial "snowbird" and am only here part of the year. I know that I could take the cartridges out and clean the printheads of any ink that may have accumulated - or at least try to - but this Epson 820 clogs after 1 day of non-use and trying to clean it becomes quite costly as the cartidges must be disposed of and new ones used, you cannot reinstall a used cartridge.

95% of my printing is photos, usually several copies, and the other 5% consists of an occasional letter, copy of a document or maybe something from the Internet.

I spoke with Canon and they advise that the i950 is not meant for text printing as it is way too slow and costly. The cost per page is not the issue, clogging causing an unusable printer is. The other thing that I find Canon has going for it is the fact that the ink tanks can be installed, used, removed and then reinstalled again with no problem.

I can purchase a Canon i320 for $44 after the rebate and can use it for both text and "proof" photos and then print finals photos using the i950. I am sure that once the i950 is more readily available the price will come down and the 2 printers together will cost me about the same as purchasing one expensive printer now.

If you believe I am wrong in my thinking please let me know and I will give your suggestions great consideration.
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Old Feb 21, 2003, 2:37 PM   #6
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You can reinstall your epson 820 cartridges as long as they still register ink in them. Trust me I've done it many times. The 820 is part of the new series of epson printers that uses a valve system on the ink tanks to prevent problems from occuring on the cartridge when you take the ink tank out.


Also the i320 would probably be about the same cost per page or more than the i950. I would'nt waste my time getting it. It really sounds like you should probably look at getting the HP portable printer. This printer has the ability to swap out the black for a photo color cartrdige when doing photo printing. Plus the printer is very portable for your needs of moving back and forth between places. The cost per page is lower when printing black and white text than the canon one is. The color photo printing costs when using HP paper run about 10 cents more per page than the canon one does. You can correct this by using kodak paper then your cost will be about the same as the canon.

Here is a link to the printer. http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en...438-81913.html

Yes it does cost more than the canon i950 but like I said its portable and does great photos. So no longer do you have to worry about your printer clogging while you are gone. You can now take it with you.
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