The LX3000 Print Head is printing with Poor Quality, Banding, Streaks, or Missing Colors. Print Hub says I need to change my Print Head. What can I do?

The LX3000 Print Head is printing with Poor Quality, Banding, Streaks, or Missing Colors.

You may need to replace your print head.  The nozzles can wear out over time. 

1. Clean / Test Print.  Print the Clean/Test Print described in this article. 

Send us a picture of the clean/test print!

2. Ink may not be flowing to the print head from the tanks.  View this article for information on how the ink system works. It is possible that the nozzles under the print head lid are not sealed completely with the gaskets on the top of the print head.  Typically, you would notice this shortly after installing a new print head.  You would be able to print normally until all of the ink in the print head is gone (100 - 200 prints).  If you don't have a good seal on one or more colors, the ink will not flow from the tank on the side.  The result would be that color is missing in your print.  Once a print head loses all of its ink, it is impossible to recover it.  You will need to purchase a new print head or request one from tech support under warranty.   To determine if this is the case, examine the following

1.  The tubes leading to the top of the printhead should be full of Ink.  If they are clear, that means the ink is not flowing.
2.  The nozzles under the print head lid should be present and intact.  If you close the lid with too much force or with the print head in the wrong position, it is possible to crack or break the lid nozzles. 
3.  The gaskets on the print head should be installed.  See the picture below.
4.  The tanks should be losing ink over time.  Put a mark on the tank when you install a new print head to make sure it is being depleted.
5. Watch the path of the clear tubes your should start to see ink moving along this path.

3. Troubleshooting Pictures: Tech support may ask you for pictures of the clean print and for pictures of the areas below. 1. Print Head Lid Closed.  2. Print Head Lid Open.  (Nozzles and Gaskets Visible) 3. Side View of Ink Tanks along with currently reported percentages in PrintHub/Config Utility.

Note:  It is also possible for the print head to lose its seal after it has been working for part of a tank or several tanks.  If this is the case, you will still see ink residue in the tubes.  If you see ink in all of the tubes, try the cleaning procedure below first before installing a new print head.

4. Make sure the print head gaskets are installed in the nozzles holes on top of the print head. 

5. Print Head Manual Cleaning Procedure:

Important Note: This cleaning procedure can be performed a maximum of 8 times before the print head must be replaced.  See this KB article for an explanation. 

1.  Fold a paper towel several times and completely saturate it with warm water or isopropyl alcohol if available.  Do not squeeze out excess water from the paper towel.
2.  Press the cartridge nozzles to the wet paper towel for 1-5 seconds. 

3.  Tap the top of the cartridge firmly with your fingers.

4.  Repeat until all three colors are visible on the paper towel.

Warranty Information

Your Print Head is warranted for a minimum of 4 changes of any one color of the three colors.  If your printhead has been used less than this amount and you are unable to resolve the issue with the troubleshooting and cleaning procedures below, contact support to receive a replacement.

To determine your warranty status hover your mouse over the ink levels and note the number of changes for each color.

When the software sees that four tanks of any color have been used, it displays a message that informs you that your print head is now past its warranty and suggests that you replace the print head.  You can keep using it until print quality becomes noticeably inferior and the cleaning procedure below does not fix it.  

Article ID: 072221