Home repair of Hewlett Packard color printer print heads (HP #14)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Susan Sharm, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Susan Sharm

    Susan Sharm Guest

    What is the procedure for home repair of Hewlett Packard #14 print

    My CYAN stopped printing (even though the refilled cartridge is full)
    and a diagnostic report from the HP OfficeJet D145 all in one printer
    says the CYAN print head needs to be replaced.

    Since the print head has to be replaced, I may as well attempt a home
    repair. But how?

    A friend suggested I remove the bad cyan printhead drip a solvent such
    as alcohol or acetone or hydrogen peroxide on the top steel grid until
    it runs clear - which might unblock the screen in case it's blocked by
    teeny tiny honey-I-shrunk-the-kids debris.

    He said then to gently swipe the bottom of the print head with the
    solvent so as to free up goldish metallic strips on the bottom.

    Is there a published procedure for home cleaning & repair of print
    heads as a last ditch effort before replacing them altogether?

    Susan Sharm, Nov 13, 2005
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  2. Susan Sharm

    Susan Sharm Guest

    I'm confused.

    The HP web site says to wipe the contact heads with a dry cloth:

    But my googling found many home remedies which said to soak the
    HPC4921a #14 print heads in witch hazel, alcohol, and Windex (i.e.,
    diluted amonia).

    Since the soft cloth cleaning recommended by HP didn't work, my print
    heads are currently soaking in witch hazel in my kitchen (I didn't
    realize print heads float so I had to hold them down with a large
    kitchen magnet).

    If anyone has had success cleaning clogged print heads, please let us
    in on the secret.

    Susan Sharm, Nov 13, 2005
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  3. Susan Sharm

    Susan Sharm Guest

    Susan Sharm, Nov 13, 2005
  4. Susan Sharm

    CWatters Guest

    This cart has the head built in right?

    I found the heads in the HP carts would fail after several refills for no
    obvious reason. They wern't blocked (you could see the ink when blotted) and
    there wasn't an air lock (usually cured by twirling it around in a plastic
    bag) they just wouldn't print. No solution - just suck the ink out and put
    it into another cart.
    CWatters, Nov 13, 2005
  5. Pretty much all HP cartridges respond really well when the heads are placed
    in about 3/4" of boiling water for 5-minute. I have restored countless HP
    plotter and printer cartridges that have been open and sitting for several
    years with this method. Solvents don't reach deep in the capillaries and
    other areas farther back like heated water.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Nov 13, 2005
  6. No, they're separate cartridges and heads. In my experience (I've got a
    d155xi) the heads clog up when you don't print regularly, and while the
    head cleaning cycle mostly manages to get them going again, a prolonged
    period of inactivity will kill the heads, leaving no other option but
    to replace the dead head.

    Also make sure to replace the cartridges promptly after they run out of
    ink. If you're like me and don't like to change them when they're 10%
    full (as the printer suggests), replace the cartridge the moment it gets
    empty. Leaving the empty cartridge for only a few hours will reliably
    kill the head.

    Bottom line: this MFD is OK in an office setup where at least a couple
    of sheets are printed every day, and replacing cartridges is not an
    issue. In a home setting, it needs a quite bit of TLC to ensure the
    heads don't dry out.

    Take care,
    Stefaan A Eeckels, Nov 13, 2005
  7. Susan Sharm

    Susan Sharm Guest

    The HP OfficeJet d145 has four separate printheads (black, cyan,
    majenta, and yellow). It has two ink tanks (black, and a tri-color
    tank). The tanks sit above the print heads but either can be removed
    separately. There is a photo of the two at:

    The ink tanks are all full. I'm don't understand at all how a print
    head works but I see spinning it around and around in a plastic bag
    whirling over my head as interesting. The print head is pretty large,
    about an inch and a half long (see photo above) but still much smaller
    than the ink tanks. Where does the air bubble form? The interior of the
    printhead appears to be empty (it floats, for example, in a dish of
    alcohol). Should my printheads have ink inside of them? There is a
    screen at the top, about the diameter of a blouse button. And there is
    ink oozing from the bottom metallic strip in two rows.

    Where does the printhead print from?
    Does electricity somehow cause the ink to shoot out the bottom?
    Is the tiny tank that is part of the printhead supposed to be filled
    with ink?

    So much to learn. Is there a printhead FAQ out there somewhere?

    Thank you, in advance, for your help,
    Susan Sharm, Nov 13, 2005
  8. Susan Sharm

    Susan Sharm Guest

    This sounds like an interesting idea. Am I guessing correctly that the
    main evil is that the printhead is "clogged" internally and the boiling
    water dissolves the clog?

    What is inside the printhead? I found a description of the printhead at

    But the HP article didn't describe how a printhead works. If I knew how
    it works (and what is inside that little tank) then I could better
    figure out how to repair it.

    Once we pull the printhead out of the boiling water, should I soak it
    with ink from the top screen or leave it filled with the hot water
    before putting the printhead back into the HP d145 officejet? Or do we
    empty it out and put the printhead back into the all-in-one
    printer/fax/scanner filled with air?

    Thank you, in advance, for your kind help,
    Susan Sharm, Nov 13, 2005
  9. Susan Sharm

    Susan Sharm Guest

    I don't know what a MFD is but I have only printed about 300 or 400
    pages in the couple of years that I've had this printer so it mostly
    sits there, shut off. I maybe print once every few weeks a few photos
    of the kid who is still at home and the grandchildren when they find
    the time to send me email.

    What is it that happens to a printhead when it sits idle?
    How does just sitting there kill a printhead?
    What does killing mean anyway? Does an electrical contact dry out or

    There must be something that happens (is it simply a clog forms?)

    Thank you, in advance, for your help,
    Susan Sharm, Nov 13, 2005
  10. Susan Sharm

    Woody Guest

    Ink jet printers use fast drying ink to prevent smearing on the paper. They
    also dry fast in the print head. As time passes they gradually thicken in
    the small ports of the print head and dry out. Once dry they block fresh ink
    from flowing. If you can't use the printer regularly use an online print
    service as you will always have clogged heads no matter what inkjet printer
    you use.......
    Woody, Nov 13, 2005
  11. Susan Sharm

    Woody Guest

    Most HP cartridges have the head built in and those are the ones he is
    referring to as running it dry and refilling can leave an air bubble in the
    jets which the printer can't purge. You have to dissolve the dry ink in the
    extremely small jets before anything will work. In your case swinging the
    printer in a plastic bag won't work and could be dangerous. You may need to
    replace the head with a new one or at today's prices replace the printer.
    Your real problem is not using the printer often enough....
    Woody, Nov 13, 2005
  12. Susan Sharm

    measekite Guest

    measekite, Nov 13, 2005
  13. Susan Sharm

    measekite Guest

    measekite, Nov 13, 2005
  14. Susan Sharm

    measekite Guest


    measekite, Nov 13, 2005
  15. Susan Sharm

    measekite Guest

    ASK HP
    measekite, Nov 13, 2005
  16. Susan Sharm

    Bill 2 Guest

    Do you only print uppercase text? Maybe the OP's problem is they are
    printing lowercase text, which requires smaller nozzles, so they clog
    Bill 2, Nov 13, 2005
  17. Susan

    Regardless of what others say, use re-fillable cartridges is NOT a good
    idea.. it is undeniably cheaper, but is not reliable, working for some but
    not all.. if you want your printer to be usable at all times, buy HP
    manufactured non-refillable cartridges..
    Mike Hall \(MS-MVP\), Nov 13, 2005
  18. Yes. I buy used plotters that usually have been sitting in storage for a
    few years unused. I use this technique all the time to recondition the
    printheads for testing and reconditioning before resale. The boiling hot
    water dissolves the crap in the head and brings it back to new condition.
    I don't know since I never had one apart.
    It's really not of any benefit to even worry about it.
    After removal from the hot water just place it on some paper towels several
    layers thick to wick out as much water as possible. The drier the better.
    Once dry, just reinstall the printhead in the printer/plotter and let the
    device do the rest. It will be just like new.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Nov 13, 2005
  19. Susan Sharm

    zakezuke Guest

    Regardless of what others say, use re-fillable cartridges is NOT a good
    Most people I know who refill their HPs buy OEM cartridges and fit them
    for refilling after they are empty... and keep a spair set of
    cartridges when the printhead finally dies. To be honest I never got
    into refilling HP tanks... though I did buy refilled ones and they
    worked pretty well. I'm sure there is a higher failure rate among
    refills but this risk is in the sub 1% range and can be minimized by
    buying more than one set at a time. Those fill as you wait places that
    take the time to test the cartridges also help to keep the risk down.

    But you are right, one needs to set their priorites
    1. Downtime - OEM or serviced refilling
    2. economics - refill or prefills
    3. ecocology - refill, prefills, serviced refilling

    But I disagree with it being "NOT a good idea" It's a fine idea. There
    are those of use who value the economics of printing or doing our
    *small* part to actually reduce waste. After all we share a planet,
    and every dollar we spend is a vote tward what our posterity will
    inherit... blue skies or magenta rivers.
    zakezuke, Nov 13, 2005
  20. Susan Sharm

    JR Guest

    ha! you funne.
    JR, Nov 13, 2005
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