FB550 Printhead Replacement

Jayefkay531

New Member
Assuming there's no printhead strikes or jams, how long will a printhead on the HP FB550 last? My number 4 head (cyan) is a piece of work and isn't firing a metric crap ton of jets. A tech saw a picture of the prime bars and jet health and thought the flex cable may not be plugged in all the way. I've never replaced a printhead on my own, so this would've been the fault of a tech. However, I did pop open the carriage, remove the flex cable, and re-insert it. There's minimal change. There's zero evidence in any other head of any head strikes.

I've done performance air purges, manually cleaned printheads, printed jet recovery pattern, but see virtually no change.
IMG_20200318_170058.jpg


What do you guys think? Is this just a bad printhead that I should get replaced, or is there another issue going on here? Are there other tests/procedures I should try before ordering a replacement?
 

parrott

New Member
looks like air in the line. Do empty printhead>fill print head x 3. This will push any air out of the line. Then try another nozzle test.
 

Jayefkay531

New Member
looks like air in the line. Do empty printhead>fill print head x 3. This will push any air out of the line. Then try another nozzle test.

I appreciate the response. I took your advice and tried that this morning, but the results were no better. Time to call HP I guess...
 

SignQuest Canada

Merchant Member
Could be a chance of bad ink, (although it hardly looks like it, especially since both cyan aren't doing the same thing). HP has had quite a bit in the past months. We tried many different things on one of our printers, only to find out that it was bad ink.
 

SignQuest Canada

Merchant Member
If you find out you need a printhead, we have an extra one here for sale. It's brand new, never installed, and we'd take $1200 for it. It is for a HP FB500/FB700, so you'd have to confirm if it's the same that the FB550 uses. Part number L1Q41-67065.
 

Jayefkay531

New Member
If you find out you need a printhead, we have an extra one here for sale. It's brand new, never installed, and we'd take $1200 for it. It is for a HP FB500/FB700, so you'd have to confirm if it's the same that the FB550 uses. Part number L1Q41-67065.

I had asked a service tech about it, but they said there's only a known black and magenta issue. I'll see if there's a new Cyan one, but one Cyan printhead is printing beautifully. I appreciate the offer, but I think the part number for FB550 heads is CQ114-67019.

thanks for the help!
 

Jayefkay531

New Member
Does anybody know how to soak a printhead on this machine? A tech suggested I try this as a last ditch effort being getting a new print-head. How can I leave a printhead flush-soaked rag against the printhead?
 
C

ColoPrinthead

Guest
When I worked with a 550 I had an HP supplied plastic sheet with fabric attached to one side that was to get soaked in cleaning fluid the wedged under the carriage - you can make your own version using link free cloth, you just need a piece of plastic to keep the fluid from escaping. I used to wedge a piece of coro between the belt and carriage, even when I had the HP plastic thing.
 

Jayefkay531

New Member
When I worked with a 550 I had an HP supplied plastic sheet with fabric attached to one side that was to get soaked in cleaning fluid the wedged under the carriage - you can make your own version using link free cloth, you just need a piece of plastic to keep the fluid from escaping. I used to wedge a piece of coro between the belt and carriage, even when I had the HP plastic thing.

That's a really good idea - thanks!
 

FrankW

New Member
The are thermistors who are checking the fill level of the ink reservoirs above the printhead. But there is one reservoir for two print heads, so the fill level of the reservoir should not be the problem if one head prints ok, the other not.

There is a slight modification of the print heads for the 550 in opposite to the 500. The print head of the 500 will work in a 550, but will be more difficult to mount, because the heads of the 550 are much closer together than at the 500. But at last, as far as I remember, since the release of the 550, HP only delivers the new version of the heads.

Ink Soaking with a lint-free tissue taped over the nozzle plate of the head is a good idea, but I think at least the head needs to be replaced. I had such issues often as a service technician for that machines in the past, and most of the time this symptoms can only solved reliable with a new print head.
 

Jayefkay531

New Member
The are thermistors who are checking the fill level of the ink reservoirs above the printhead. But there is one reservoir for two print heads, so the fill level of the reservoir should not be the problem if one head prints ok, the other not.

There is a slight modification of the print heads for the 550 in opposite to the 500. The print head of the 500 will work in a 550, but will be more difficult to mount, because the heads of the 550 are much closer together than at the 500. But at last, as far as I remember, since the release of the 550, HP only delivers the new version of the heads.

Ink Soaking with a lint-free tissue taped over the nozzle plate of the head is a good idea, but I think at least the head needs to be replaced. I had such issues often as a service technician for that machines in the past, and most of the time this symptoms can only solved reliable with a new print head.

While I can't speak to the technicality of it, this logically makes sense. If the thermistors were faulty, i'd see errors in both print heads. Unfortunately the HP tech and myself both think I'll need a new head, but it won't hurt to try soaking it for a while first and hope to get lucky. Sure beats paying 1600 for a new head. Thanks for the response!
 

greysquirrel

New Member
did this print look like this before you reseted data cable? Whenever to unplug and reseat any cable in an FB power off and unplug the 220 power source for at least 3-5 minutes to make sure all power is out of the boards.

this issue looks electrical to me. I would follow instructions above to power off and switch data cables with another head to see if the problem follows. I'd make sure this is not the board. while powered off and after 220 has been unplugged, I would unseat and reseat every reservoir cable as well. smaller white ones...
 

greysquirrel

New Member
also...if your tech messed with these cables while powered up...and the issue was not there...he should be buying you a new head. If this unit has an active warranty...the only way HP will typically replace is if you prove its an electrical issue...there is a length 20+ page document that your tech should go through to prove this for you....if your tech is a resseller...have them bring a head with them just incase its proven to be faulty...they can swap and have it replaced from HP....if you are fighting this and it looks to be drawn-out...have your tech pull a light cyan and swap....run your printer in 4/c mode....it will be fine until you replace the head.
 

Jayefkay531

New Member
did this print look like this before you reseted data cable? Whenever to unplug and reseat any cable in an FB power off and unplug the 220 power source for at least 3-5 minutes to make sure all power is out of the boards.

this issue looks electrical to me. I would follow instructions above to power off and switch data cables with another head to see if the problem follows. I'd make sure this is not the board. while powered off and after 220 has been unplugged, I would unseat and reseat every reservoir cable as well. smaller white ones...

It was like this even before i reseated the cables. I always let it power off for a while before doing anything electrical. I had actually swapped two of the flex cables to see if it was that electrical issue, but the same problem was present (just in a different spot). You can see in the attached photo that I swapped it with a magenta head. The error just moved locations with it.
 

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Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
I would seriously check the thermistor. We had a similar issue stemming for bad ink and it started with just one head and eventually grew to both. You can either open them up and clean them or just replace them.

The process is in the manual.
 

Jayefkay531

New Member
yay for round 2 of this! We ended up replacing head 4 on this late April of last year. Everything seemed great until September/October. I submitted a claim to HP and they sort of ignored it for a while before giving me a technical printhead recovery procedure. When I finally got a hold of a new tech in January, he is saying it won't be covered because the printhead looked good for 4 months after the fact. However, with zero signs of damage, it is continually getting worse. Christian @ 2CT Media ... I'm handy and can follow direction pretty well, do you think a regular joe-shmo can open up the thermistors to clean them?

See the attached images of nozzle checks from November to today. Today's images were after purges and printhead recovery patterns as well.
PXL_20210115_202752788 (1).jpg PXL_20210216_160930845.jpg
 
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