Author Topic: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak  (Read 3164 times)

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Offline GK

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Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« on: January 24, 2014, 08:56:28 PM »
I have an Epson Wp-4530 inkjet printer, out of warranty. This evening it has just begun dribbling yellow ink over every page that I print, even B&W text documents.
Googling "WP-4530 yellow ink leak" brings up dozens of complaints of the exact same problem - it's a design flaw with this (and other related) model(s).

99.99% of my printing is B&W, but this rubbish printer is deliberately programmed in firmware to lock out operation of all printing functions if it detects that any of the ink cartridges (black, yellow, magenta and cyan) are empty. It doesn't matter if you only want to print in black - if there is no magenta left, you're dead out of luck. Epson's printer software does helpfully detect this problem, however, automatically bringing up a webpage so that you can get out you credit card and order a new ink cartridge directly from Epsom straight away  ::)

Each cartridge has a set of electrical contacts on the top. I figure the ink level is detected by an in-cartridge sensor. Does anyone know how these cartridges work internally and if it would be possible to bust open the yellow cartridge, drain it of ink (about $60 worth  >:( ) and fudge it so that the sensor indicates a full cartridge?

I realize that this isn't a fix for the problem, but  just want to get back to printing in B&W without yellow ink dribbling everywhere. 
 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 09:14:29 PM by GK »

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 09:10:10 PM »
one of my customer had this problem, to compare to all the others that uses these micropiezo ink that have NO problem.
BUT
here in france these printers have a 3 years warranty included ... so this change was at 2 years old cost zero...
I'm not sure you will find these informations, they are classified for a printer manufacturer as top secret...

Offline GK

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 09:48:54 PM »
I guess alternatively I could try pulling the print head apart and possibly block off the yellow ink prior to wherever it is leaking from. If I tamper with and screw up the cartridge, I'll then be left with a printer that won't print at all.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 09:50:49 PM by GK »

Offline ConKbot

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 02:00:46 AM »


Each cartridge has a set of electrical contacts on the top. I figure the ink level is detected by an in-cartridge sensor.
 

HA thats good. I think they are more likely to assume it started off full, track how much its used, mark that up by 50%, and when it thinks its empty, insist the cartridge is empty and that you need to replace it.  If the printer wont print with an 'empty' cartridge, then you dont see fading ink (or lack of it) and dont know that its actually not empty  :P

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 02:44:31 AM »
in their laser printers, epson uses a small chip that counts each page that occurs : it is a rfid chip inserted inside the cartridge
if you transfert the chip to another cartridge, you transfert the page count...
it is the same for the consumables likes photoconductors or fuser units.

Offline Neverther

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 02:59:18 AM »
Looked some aftermarket and refillable cartridges for it and as they are as cheap as other similar kind it probably is just a counter.
Actual sensor would cost money.

I got a set of refillables in my epson, that thing counts every cardridge down when powering up or cleaning the heads.
£12 for set of 4x100ml "epson inks" and color recalibration and still after couple years it keeps my wallet happy.

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 04:30:49 AM »
this epson printer uses special "micropiezo ink"
I'm not sure if there are aftermarket for the cartridges ?

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 05:50:31 AM »
it seems that you are lucky with the "sensor based" ink level detection, instead of "internal chip counter" based detection that need special circuit for reset...
this kind of thing will invalidate warranty but at least saved me hundreds or thousands of OEM ink $$$...
http://www.ebay.com.my/itm/CISS-PIGMENT-Continuous-Ink-System-for-Epson-Workforce-Pro-WP-4520-4530-4533-/310732822639?pt=US_Ink_Cartridges&hash=item48591e986f#ht_3424wt_1363
http://www.ebay.com.my/itm/250ml-Pigment-Black-refill-ink-for-Epson-676XL-WorkForce-Pro-WP-4533-WP-4530-S-/330977754091?pt=US_Ink_Refills_Kits&hash=item4d0fcfbbeb#ht_1540wt_1125
$16/250ml is really really not bad at all. YMMV. otoh, in each and every "tank based" cartridge, there must be one air relieve or recovery hole, when ink is out air need to get in, if air cant get in, ink cant get out, go find that hole and seal it for good. if you think you want to dismantle the tank, you can but dont expect to get it back in one piece since mostly they used glue or something, i dont know for your printer.

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 06:01:42 AM »
this epson printer uses special "micropiezo ink"
corection... "micropiezo printing head", not ink. ink there are 2 types, dye and pigment. for epson usually there are interchangeable. dye good for head's health and glossier but not durable in light fastness, pigment is vice versa. fwiw.

Offline Zbig

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 07:29:14 AM »
HA thats good. I think they are more likely to assume it started off full, track how much its used, mark that up by 50%, and when it thinks its empty, insist the cartridge is empty and that you need to replace it.  If the printer wont print with an 'empty' cartridge, then you dont see fading ink (or lack of it) and dont know that its actually not empty  :P

In my Canon PiXMA it's a refraction-based optical sensor for reading the state of a liquid ink section of an ink tank plus a dot counter for figuring out when the sponged section should begin to dry out.

Fun fact:
My previous printer was an older Canon PiXMA model, now I have a newer one. The driver for older one just told you the tank was empty and you have to replace it. Later I learned there allegedly was some lawsuit where some user sued the manufacturer for its printer misleadingly telling him the tank was empty while there actually was still quite some ink left. Apparently, Canon's solution was to change the popup message to state that the ink tank is probably empty.

Fun fact #2:
The reason for me buying a new PiXMA (yeah, talk about learning a lesson, but I rally like them otherwise) was a print head "fault". I don't have any hard evidence but given no mechanical stress of any kind, no clogged nozzles and no signs of anything failing, I assume the head also tracked a "lifetime dot count" which just reached some arbitrary "suicide threshold" and the planned obsolescence mode kicked in. One day it just started blinking print head unit failure code with an LED and refused to print. And the service manual clearly stated approximate print head lifetime. Of course the cost of the print head alone was so high that it had much more sense for me to buy a new one, with a scanner included, cool LCD, card reader, you name it, paying just a tiny little extra over the replacement head for the old one. It's hard for me to convince myself it wasn't their point for the whole time. And it was a day after I got an active USB extender cable (repeater/one-port hub) for the printer after I relocated it  :palm: The new one has WiFi...  ;)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 07:40:50 AM by Zbig »

Offline GK

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 09:45:16 AM »
otoh, in each and every "tank based" cartridge, there must be one air relieve or recovery hole, when ink is out air need to get in, if air cant get in, ink cant get out, go find that hole and seal it for good.



Now why didn't I think of that? Must be these two little holes here:



I'll go mix up a dollop of epoxy then.


Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 02:26:25 PM »
err, i believe you want to make it reversible. in case your need yellow ink later, you can scratch the seal open again. and once you seal it dont expect it to not leak right away it will take time the tank to build negative pressure inside.

buying a new PiXMA (yeah, talk about learning a lesson, but I rally like them otherwise) was a print head "fault"
canon use heat or thermal agitated type print head, the heat element can burn up whenever they like to. talking about learning a hard lesson? what canon really good at is designing print head that will fail right at the moment the ink is depleted, most of the time you'll be lucky though so they are not good enough yet. i wont wait the time until they are perfected, i changed to brother (for documents printing) which i believe is using piezo as well (not sure) from experience in the office where many people using it and still ok for years. enough for canon, the driver is good, but bye bye just because heat element in the head, from this time on all remaining canon will be destined to the junkyard back in the lab for steppers and servos ressurection. piezo is 100 light years ahead of thermal in term of durability. anybody designing thermal print head today should be banned for life.

oh and btw, if anything happen to your printer, dont forget to visit www.fixyourownprinter.com they pretty much have everything. and google is your friend.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 02:31:17 PM by Mechatrommer »

Offline BravoV

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2014, 02:28:05 PM »
99.99% of my printing is B&W

Whats wrong with laser printer ?

Offline GK

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 03:13:03 PM »
99.99% of my printing is B&W

Whats wrong with laser printer ?


At the time I bought it, it did a better job at printing dark black to transparencies for PCB artwork than did comparably priced laser printers.

Offline Zbig

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 08:18:13 PM »
[..]
enough for canon, the driver is good, but bye bye just because heat element in the head, from this time on all remaining canon will be destined to the junkyard back in the lab for steppers and servos ressurection. piezo is 100 light years ahead of thermal in term of durability. anybody designing thermal print head today should be banned for life.
[..]

Well, in my use case it proved reliable enough for me not to really worry about the underlying "bubble jet" thermal technology and the mix of features (like auto-duplex), photo quality, etc. served me just right. What I didn't say in my previous post is, the old one failed after some 7 years of a good service which is to be considered a very good figure for a consumer product these days, I guess. So the bubble jet technology seems reliable enough as far as I'm concerned but I acknowledge you might have a valid point there regarding the office environment.

As for salvaging the steppers - I have dismantled my defunct iP4000 and it seems they have relied on brushed DC motors with optical encoders exclusively.


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