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Printhead Cartridge Conditioning

When a printhead cartridge is installed, it is normal for some residual ink accumulation to occur in certain areas within the print engine. There may also be some color contamination between ink channels and air bubbles trapped in the printhead. These contaminants should be manually cleaned from the components and purged from the printhead. Air bubbles in the printhead will present themselves as unevenly shaped bands of missing color. Color contamination will present itself as mottled, muddy or distorted colors. See “Print Quality Issues” for more details.

After installing a new printhead cartridge, or re-install a used printhead cartridge, please use the following routine to condition the cartridge and system.

  1. Power-down the printer. After all the control panel lights go out; carefully open the clamshell and inspect/clean any visible ink from following areas. Printhead surface. Head Guide (you may need to remove to clean behind guide). Rubber lip of capping station. NOTE: Residual ink will normally be deposited in these areas during the priming process; which occurs after a printhead is installed. Once you are finished cleaning, carefully close and latch the clamshell.
  2. Power-up the printer.
  3. Setup and load the printer with at least ten sheets of 8.5 x 11 inkjet suitable paper.
  4. Open the “Toolbox” utility.
  5. Locate the “Circulate Ink” button. Click on this button. While the ink is circulating, tap lightly on the ink tubes, located at the operator side of the printer, and on the printhead cartridge. This will help dislodge air bubbles; allowing them to pass through the printhead and out the non-operator side of the printhead.
    NOTE: It is normal to see air bubble accumulation in the ink tubes located at the non-operator side of the printer. This is OK.
    IMPORTANT! To avoid abnormal pressure buildup in the ink system; do NOT press the “Circulate Ink” button more than once every 15 minutes (not to exceed more than three times in one hour).
  6. Click on the “Diagnostics” selection (located at left side of screen). The “Diagnostics” screen will open.
  7. Click on “Print Ink Channels” button. A page representing each individual ink channel (CMYKK) will be printed.
  8. Once the “Print Ink Channels” page has finished printing; send it again. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the output. You should notice that each time you print another page, the image quality and color will improve. It may take up to ten pages before the output is satisfactory.
    NOTE: Make sure you allow the printer to completely print each page before you press the "Print Ink Channels” button again.
  9. Now you are ready to print your job.