Stay Away from Epson C82 - C5400
For everyone who tells you that the problem is because you are using generic inks, there are eight people who have used nothing but Genuine Epson Ink who are having difficulties. The DuraBrite ink used in these printers has been a problem since everyone owning them has run the second ink cartridge set through them.
DuraBrite ink is thicker and more prone to drying up than the earlier dye based inks Epson used. It grows mushrooms in the discharge tray and clogs the waste ink discharge tube. This causes the head charging system to not be able to vacuum the ink out of the print head, causing a lot of people to try cleaning the heads to only come to the wrong conclusion that the printhead has clogged. In extreme instances, the pressure build-up caused by the clog will blow the tube off the bottom of the charging mechanism, making people falsely beleive that it merely fell off.
The only cure is to run a wire down the discharge tube to knock the chunks out and then run Windex or Citrus Clean through the charging cup every time you change the printheads and possibly even every time you are forced to clean the print heads because they start skipping (missing fine lines in print).
I personally have never used aftermarket Ink in any of the Epsons here because from the first one I owned, (an ancient and venerable Stylus Color 800 I wish I still had) I knew these things had a bascially non-replaceable piezo print head system that I DID NOT WANT TO CLOG. I also have a Stylus Color 1520 at work that I have just about worn out doing proofing for our print publications. I have a little experience here.
I decided to upgrade my home stuff. The first purchase was a C82 that functioned beatifully until the third set of cartridges. It started skipping. Two sets of cartridges ($100) and numerous print head cleanings later it still had problems. I found that the tube had fallen off the bottom of the charging mechanism (or so I thought). After spending a miserable 20 minutes trying to get the thing back on, I started the cleaning process to only have it seemingly fall off again. This time, I left the thing disassembled, stuck the tube on and had it pop off. This time I figured out the pressure thing, the tube was literally being blown off. That is when I figured out that the discharge tube clogged. I cleared it and the printer was able to charge its heads and went back into service. A year later, the tube reclogged. Every since that time, I have resorted to running Citrus Clean through it, cannot damage the printer any worse than it is already.
I also have a CX-5400. After the second set of cartridges, it clogged. Genuine Crapson cartridges, same results. Fortunately I can get to the discharge tube without disassembling the printer. I immediately attacked the thing by running a #22 copper wire down it. Sure enough, it needed angioplasty. Printer restored to function. I now Citrus Clean this thing as well.
Anyone who tells you that this problem is caused because you are using Generic Aftermarket Ink is straight and simple, LYING. It is a result of the formulation of Genuine Epson Durabrite Ink. There is nothing you can do about it but from the start, run an eyedropper full of Windex through the charging cup every time you clean the print heads. It voids the warranty, but everyone I know who does this before the tube clogs, amazingly does not have the problems I have had.
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