Epson 7900/9900 considerations

An Opinion

Ouch! The Epson 7900 and 9900 printers are taking a beating in the User Forums. There is a lot of talk about quickly expiring print heads that do not last the life of the warranty or expire just after the warranty.

Further, a lot of users of these printers are reporting that they need a lot of Epson service tech visits to get the printers running after they’ve just been installed. Our experience mirrors that in which our brand new Epson 7900 required two Epson technician visits to replaced circuit boards and print heads. One print head replacement for the print head replaced the previous week. Our PK channel would simply not stay clear on our brand new printer. YES! we were running Epson inks! But, that’s not the point.

Two long threads about this recently have been both amusing and frustrating for those involved.

Epson Wide Format Users Group: 9900 Woes

Luminous Landscape Forum: Epson 7900 from the inside – out

The short of these is that a lot of people are reporting similar problems and they often point to the Light Black, Photo Black, and Yellow channels.  No one seems to know the exact cause nor remedy. The Epson techs often give tips…  I liked this one:

“I had my printer serviced four times before = my 7900 actually worked.   One of the points the service man made was that the wiper needed to be cleaned every 6 to 9 months.   The wiper is a single piece of rubber (small piece)  that is used to clean the print head.    The wiper ends up with dried ink on it after prolonged use and there is nothing that cleans the wiper.   It is a rubber squeegee for cleaning the print head.  The Service Man let me rotate the gears that controlled both the capping station and the wiper assembly.”

The 7900 from the inside out thread is an excellent read in both words, pics and videos on how to maintain your printer. Definitely check that out. This new generation of printer may end up being the mother of all clogging printers – and it appears that much of the maintenance routine on earlier printers is going to be difficult because simple reset counter routines for easily replaced parts are not being made available to end-users.

So, we’re going to get an extended warranty our new 9900 which has just been bought. The 7900 is now  a year  and one half old and has been happily running on ConeColor inks since it’s parts replacements during the startup. But, I wish I had bought extended warranties for both! We could easily maintain our printers – but it appears that these have been designed only for Epson to maintain.

We’ve bought perhaps as many as 150 Epson printers since 1998. Nearly 1/3 of these have been large format printers. We’ve intimately known them in each and every model line from the 7000/9000 forward. While I believe the 7600/9600 may be the strongest and longest living models Epson ever produced…my humble opinion is that the 7890/9890/7900/9900 models need extended warranties. I base this opinion on the huge number of user reports as well as our own experience and the experiences of our customers who recently bought these printers.  My opinion is that an extended warranty is an excellent (if not necessary) investment. You need to purchase one before your printer is one year old – so pay attention!