When To Replace Printhead – 3 Major Signs To Consider

When To Replace Printhead – 3 Major Signs To Consider


The printhead is the most complex and technically demanding part of an ink-jet printer. Printheads are tiny nozzles and they perform the most crucial job in printing. They fire tiny ink droplets that make up the overall image of the print. And with passage of time and use they do get worn off and dirty. Read on to find out more about when to clean or replace this one of the most important and most expensive printer component .There are many ways and reasons why printheads needs changing, which we will fully discuss in this article.

1. Print Appears With Bands/ Faded Or With Streaks

  1. If the print appears faded or parts of the prints are faded, then it’s time to invest in new printheads. Streaks in the texts that’s printed, is also a sign that nozzles are missing the prints
  2. If you are seeing light banding, which can be light lines going in the direction of the printhead, you should try a Head Cleaning, as one of your printheads may not be firing correctly.
  3. Missing dots or lines also indicate that many nozzles are missing to fire/ print.

2. Your Printer Shows Messages That Require You To Change The Printhead.

  1. Some if not many printers will display error messages stating that it’s time to change it.
  2. Printheads are designed to have a life expectancy. On average, every nozzle is expected to produce 20-50 billion ink drops during its lifetime (WOW) . This is considered to be the case for piezoelectric (piezo) heads; the type commonly used in most wide format printers like Mutoh, Mimaki, Epson, Roland Etc

3. If You Are Having To Clean Your Printhead Regularly In-between The Print Jobs

  1. Cleaning is needed if the prints have missing nozzles or banding
  2. Your printhead should need to be clean in between the printing job.

Why Do So Many People Complain About Head Failures ?

Printer heads can and will fail if:

The Printer is without Ink : Ink in reality is a lubricant for the head assembly and without it the print head overheats and burns itself out. Just like your car need water in the radiator, you print head needs ink to keep it cool and conduct the heat away.

The Printer is not printing for extended period of time : Ink, although specially formulated not to evaporate, is still prone to evaporate over time, and as a result the remaining (pigment, or dye) becomes concentrated and can eventually clog the heads. If you want to keep you printer running smoothly make sure you use your ink with 6 months of opening, and use the print head cleaning cycle on the printer at least once a week.

You printer needs ongoing maintenance just like your car, and that means the heads need to be flushed at regular intervals. Leaving your printer either out of ink, or with old ink in it is a formula for failure.

As you can imagine, with different types of print heads there are different ways to clean and repair them, and different answers to the question of when they should be replaced. Consult your printer’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guidelines or hire an experienced tech to carry out the maintenance and replacement.

Purchasing A New Printhead Replacement

When you have an industrial or wide-format printer, replacing your printheads can seem to be a daunting and expensive proposition. You’ll find that there are seemingly endless options, similar names and numbers, OEM options , Generic Options. Its easier to feel lost when you are looking to make one of the very expensive purchase for your Equipment. Its not always easy to find exactly what you need. Our Experienced Tech team is always there to answer any of the doubts or questions you might have. If you don’t find what you are looking for , feel free to call us and we can get it for you.


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