Hey does anyone know where I can get a replacement head for an Epson 4800? I don't know what happened to my printer but suddenly my films look like shit. I use the filmdirect system, where the special film black ink is in the Black cartridge, and the other 5 cartridges are just have head cleaner. The films have alway printed perfectly until now. The only thing I can think of that I did differently is that I accidentally left the printer on and unused for about 10 days. Anyway, I have tried a nozzle cleaning and multiple power cleaning and it still sucks.
I saw a video about changing the print head and it seems fairly easy, but according to Epson you cannot buy a new head from them, you have to pay to have a tech come out and do it. For that price, I might as well just buy a 24" printer since I want one anyway.
First don't give up cleaning it. Open up the front and make sure it's nice and clean in there. Often the gelatin from the film get's all up in the print heads' business. Sometimes a shrapnel of plastic or gelatin is deflecting the ink and the head is actually fine. If you read the instruction book it recommends powering down the printer and letting it sit overnight if multiple cleanings don't work.
I tried cleaning the capping station with a simple green/ water solution. I've tried letting the print head sit overnight on a paper towel soaked in the same solution. All to no avail. I'm wondering if I should just remove the print head so I can actually see if there is any gunk on the nozzles.
garr... I just found out there is a little rubber wiper blade in my 9800. It was absolutely disgusting with inky-linty-paper fibers. Then I went to my 9600 and that wiper blade was so covered with old ink that I thought a piece of the printer fell out when I cleaned it.
I have also heard that pouring a little steaming water into the pad will work, but I don't know how easy that would be on a 4800. I'm lucky, I don't use my 10600 every day, but it is rarely clogged. If I haven't run it for a while, I just run a nozzle test and clean cycle as necessary. I also agree with squeegeethree, I have heard many problems from people who use non-oem inks. I have no idea why, ink seems like it would be such an easy thing to copy.
If you really want to replace the head, I am pretty sure that the 4800 uses the dx5 head. My 10600 uses the dx4 iirc and I have found it looking for 10600 stuff on ebay. The dx4 head is used on some other non epson printers, so they are pretty available and I think it's the same for the dx5. If you look hard enough, you may be able to find a repair manual for the 4800 as well. I would find the manual first. That video may make it look easy, but the manual would be a lot more definite in what to do.
Also, for the price of a head, you can probably find another 4800 on craigslist and you wouldn't have the headache of trying to fix it yourself.
Have you tried replacing the maintenance tank. One of our 4800s seamed hopelessly clogged until i realized the maintenance tank was practically overflowing. Guess it can't clean the heads if there's nowhere to discharge the ink.