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Russell H.
Russell H., Printer and Office Tech
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 9536
Experience:  11+ yrs experience, inkjets & lasers, from huge to portable
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Epson- XP 420, I cannot get my printer to print black. I put

Customer Question

Epson- XP 420
JA: Can you guesstimate how old your Epson is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?
Customer: I cannot get my printer to print black. I put all new color cartridges in, but there is no black printer, only colors. I had Geek Squad here and they said to just buy a new one. Is there aneasy way to clean the place from where the ink flows?
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: PC
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: I was gone for 6 months Maybe ink dried in the opening.
JA: Anything else you want the printer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 25 days ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Russell H. replied 25 days ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting JustAnswer.com. My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

I think you should try a certain cleaning procedure that I have found effective, first.

In outline:

1. Clean the (black) printhead. (Do this operation from the printer's Maintenance menu, under Setup menu... it may be called 'Clean Head' on your model, it may be called 'Printhead Cleaning', etc.)

2. Wait 1/2 hour to several hours or overnight, leaving the printer On but unused (no print jobs, etc.)

This allows waste ink to soak into the printhead and hopefully dissolve dried ink etc.

3. Clean the printhead a second time.

4. Wait again (as in step 2 above) for 1/2 hr. to several hrs., printer On but unused.

5. Clean the printhead a third time.

Then test whether black ink is showing up at all in prints at this point. If it is, even faintly, then repeating this procedure will (eventually, at the cost of a certain amount of ink wasted in the process) clear up the clogged printhead.

After that fails, if it does fail, what you need to do is to decide whether replacing the printhead (which will cost something considerable, more than you would think usually) is better, given the printer's age, or whether it would be more preferable for you to replace the printer altogether with a new one (and hopefully recycle the old printer, always a good idea.)

So try the triple-cleaning-with-wait-times that I recommended, and get back to me if it doesn't work for you (so I can advise you further...)... or if it does help (- I always like to hear that something I recommended has worked!)