Author Topic: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak  (Read 9027 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 »

Online 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

Online 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.

Online 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 ?

Online 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.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
everything that we are able to see do exist, but not everything that exist we are able to see.
sorry my english :palm:

Online 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.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
everything that we are able to see do exist, but not everything that exist we are able to see.
sorry my english :palm:

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.


Online 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 »
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
everything that we are able to see do exist, but not everything that exist we are able to see.
sorry my english :palm:

Online 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 ?
c4757p : This isn't a matter of opinion. Electricity won't consult you before it kills you.

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.

Online amyk

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2014, 09:08:16 PM »
This is an EE forum so I might as well post some more possibly interesting bits about this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Reverse-Engineering-to-Emulate-Ink-Cartridges-for-/
http://www.eddiem.com/photo/CIS/inkchip/chip.html

Not much info (if at all) on the 'net about hacking the firmware, however - that's something I'd like to see, and I do have a printer or two I could play with, but I just don't have the time...

Online BravoV

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 09:28:05 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.

If thats the case, just visit aliexpress, search for "epson chip resetter" or "reseter" , you will get tons of choices a small gadget that can reset the ink chip counter, and for sure they're cheaper than $60.

Just make sure your printer model is in the supported printer list.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 09:31:17 PM by BravoV »
c4757p : This isn't a matter of opinion. Electricity won't consult you before it kills you.

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2014, 05:19:11 AM »
from the link i provided indicated that the 4530's tank is sensor based detection hence do not need chip reset. just refill the tank, and the counter is back full again.
ah my bad... its indeed an internal chip counting mechanism thing...

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
yes also with your points. what i didnt mention is previous post is i'm talking specifically at $50 low grade canon. higher grade canon may last longer. indeed 7 years is very good, you are the first person i heard saying it. top i heard is 3-4 years, and in my case, changing cartridges (with the built in head) is equivalent of buying a new $50 printer each year. canon must have had matured all this while so they know the right amount of copper or whatever material to be used for such duration of operation. as people said, the good old days, today is not that good anymore. ymmv.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 05:22:09 AM by Mechatrommer »
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
everything that we are able to see do exist, but not everything that exist we are able to see.
sorry my english :palm:

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2014, 05:42:52 AM »
This is an EE forum so I might as well post some more possibly interesting bits about this:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Reverse-Engineering-to-Emulate-Ink-Cartridges-for-/
http://www.eddiem.com/photo/CIS/inkchip/chip.html
Not much info (if at all) on the 'net about hacking the firmware, however - that's something I'd like to see, and I do have a printer or two I could play with, but I just don't have the time...
thank you very much for the link. its also in my to-do or to-find thing, but similarly to you... I just don't have the time...
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
everything that we are able to see do exist, but not everything that exist we are able to see.
sorry my english :palm:

Offline Macbeth

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 06:09:18 AM »
I also mostly print B&W - and so have a dirt cheap Laser I've had for years (Samsung MLP-2010). It is very easy to crack open the cart and refill with cheap toner.

With the Epson Stylus print engines, my BX-300F is the very common 2880 dpi 4 colour design, but has useless sheetfeed and scanner, and (obsolete faxmodem) too.

My brother who has the same print engine but in a straight printer only design installled a constant inking system with bottles on the side of the printer, and a defeat chip. Great for mass colour printing, but at some point the print head itself becomes clogged.

I just bought a stash of really cheap sealed colour carts with hacked chips from ebay as didn't fancy all the messing. Serves me well.

Offline ciccio

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2014, 06:13:55 AM »
I was using Canon printers and suggesting them to my customers and friends because of bad experiences with both HP and Epson.
Now I see many EXPENSIVE Canon printers fail with many different symptoms, and the spare parts (when availble) are too expensive.
If your printer fails and you have a stock of spare ink cartridges you can be sure that they will not fit the new printer, so you must throw away both the printer and the ink cartridges (if you supplier will not take them back).
That's foolish!
Now I bought an Epson Workforce Pro, and I'm happy with it (cartridges are expensive but last for a really high number of pages), and I understand that it will have a limited lifespan, but at least there is a service center not far from  my office.

Best regards
Ciccio

Strenua Nos Exercet Inertia

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2014, 09:58:41 PM »
Since I virtually never need to print anything, for me inkjet printers are most useful as a source of nice straight polished steel rods. Every printer has at least one, usually several. Same with laser printers. Often they are stainless steel too.
I've accumulated quite a big box of printer rails, so anytime I need a steel rod I usually have something just right.
Stepper motors and even the big felt pads used as waste ink nappies can be useful too.

I should almost thank Canon and all the rest, for perfecting planned obsolescence so well that the streets are often lined with tossed-out printers, slightly useful for tinkerers. But no... damn them and their corporate greed.

Collecting old scopes and logic analyzers, and eevblog newly deleted posts. http://everist.org/eevblog

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2014, 12:03:54 PM »
I've accumulated quite a big box of printer rails, so anytime I need a steel rod I usually have something just right.
my father burned some of them while in his storage >:( luckily he is my father.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
everything that we are able to see do exist, but not everything that exist we are able to see.
sorry my english :palm:

Offline GK

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2014, 06:27:23 PM »
In the end to "fix" the problem I had to pull the printer apart. I'm gobsmacked at just how crappy the design of some parts of this thing are. Each color ink is made to pass through a pressure reservoir (the largest one is black, the other three are cyan, magenta and yellow).

When fully assembled, a spring loaded piston permanently presses against the flexible membrane of each reservoir. The design flaw, obviously, is the stupid lolly wrapper-like membrane glued in place over each reservoir that seals in the ink.

In order to get the printer going gain without dribbling yellow ink over every page, I peeled the leaking yellow membrane away, let the ink drain and cleaned the reservoir out (metho + tissues). I then filled it with 5 minute Araldite.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 06:29:06 PM by GK »

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Epson WP-4530 yellow ink leak
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2014, 07:39:58 PM »
The other two small bubble films look like they are just about to give up too.
You should have kept going with the disassembly. Like this Pixma MP500 I recently recycled.
The most disgusting thing about ink jet printers is the huge blotting pad in the bowels, that in any slightly old printer is always sodden with wasted ink. I think the majority of the so-expensive ink ends up here.
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