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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 20515
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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WorkForce WF-3640: Printer prints all colors but will not

Customer Question

For Epson WorkForce WF-3640:
Printer prints all colors but will not print black. New cartridge was installed (Black 252), head cleaned several times with no success in black print. Can you suggest solution??
Thanks . . . D.J.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble, DJ.

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it).

You can try going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 5 times total, testing after each.

If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning as a next step.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. As this is a 2014 model printer, it is well into its designed maximum 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $150; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,

Nathan

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
While cleaning, were I to purchase a new Epson can I find one that would use the same ink cartridges or do these printing cos. change the cartridges a little also to require me to buy new ink again??
Expert:  Nathan replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry I missed you earlier, DJ.

No current model will use your same cartridges any longer, they purposely change them about every other year and they are no longer compatible.

If looking for a replacement, I’d still recommend any of the Epson workforce series printers. They tend to be very reliable, are easy to set up and use, have good print quality, and reasonably priced ink. Example: http://amzn.to/1F4fCYC or http://amzn.to/1NYUF1P

Note that these, like all consumer grade inkjet printers, are designed to be low cost and are essentially disposable after a few years, subsidized by the high cost of ink cartridges. If you wish to have a better quality and longer lasting printer, that comes with years worth of ink up front, consider the Epson ecotank models instead: http://amzn.to/1PpOj0C

Alternately, for a more business/commercial grade product that will be rated for a 5 year life, consider a laser printer. Lasers cost more up front also, but a toner cartridge can last for thousands of pages. A black only all in one laser is around $125: http://amzn.to/1JSHOlQ

while a color model is about twice that: http://amzn.to/1n4I7Q5

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please rate my service; hopefully I have earned 5 Stars. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at http://bit.ly/1QwLxGh and ask for Nathan.

Thank you, ***** ***** a good day,

Nathan

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Please note:

I am an independent technician and I've spent my personal time, unpaid, in an effort to assist with the question for which you solicited my services. This site works on the honor system, and to that end, I have prioritized working with you ahead of other paying customers.

Although you’ve already paid your fee to the site, I am only compensated for my efforts when customers such as yourself leave positive feedback for my work. Again I apologize there is not a better outcome here, though this is really beyond either of our control. I do hope you’ll consider leaving a 5 star rating for me, rather than “shoot the messenger”, so that I may get credit for my time spent in good faith to answer your question accurately. Rating 1 or 2, or not rating at all, does not produce a refund, it only penalizes me for trying to help.

Expert:  Nathan replied 9 months ago.

Did you need more help with this, DJ?

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