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Honor Student
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HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

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I have a HP Photosmart Model #309a All-in-One and today my black ink stopped printing. I have run all the tests; ie, Aligned Print Heads, cleaned print heads, printed a Diagnostic page and printed a test page to no avail. My color will print, but, when I try to print something from the internet or whatever, the colors will print and the background is so faint in black, that is it unreadable. Sure would like to have the problem solved. My black ink shows it to be half full. My printer is 14 months old. Help.

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Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print


Bowenmw wrote:

I've purchased all new ink cartridges within the last six months.... The print head on my C309a series printer continually cloggs and stops printing. I have cleaned the head as described by the several articles that have been posted, and I have been able to get it to print. However, when it sits for 1 or two days without printing than its back to the same problem. This would be such a cool printer if I could only depend on it. I have and HP lab top and his is my second HP printer. However, I am extremely disappointed in this product to date. Ink is still way to expensive and with the unreliability issues I am dealing with. I will be probable be looking in a different direction then HP for my next printer which in  now on my Christmas list...

Mike


The symptoms you describe are not normal for this (or any) printer, it is an indication of something amiss.  One possibility is that the printheads are not being properly parked.  This could be caused by turning off the printer from an external switch (like an outlet switch or a power conditioner switch.  Are you using an external switch to turn off the printer?  Another possibility is that the capping station (used to keep the printheads from drying out) has become damaged or misaligned.  In this case the printer would require service.

 

Soaking the printhead as described in this post may help resolve the immediate issue, but if the capping station is not working the problem will recur.  You should also make sure the vents are clear as described in the link above.


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Provost
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Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 2 of 28 (12,029 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

The are are two different black cartridges in the c309a, one is the photo cartridge, the other is the black cartridge.  Depending on the driver you have the photo cartridge may show on the left side or the right side of the ink gauge - one is a mirror image.  When you say the black cartridge is half full make sure you are looking at the ink gauge bar that is next to the yellow cartridge, the photo cartridge is the one next to the magenta bar.  In the two screeen shots below the blue arrow is pointing at the black cartridge (the one used for text) and the yellow arrows indicate the photo cartridge (not used on plain paper).  

 

The issue you describe is most likely due to a low ink condition on the black supply.

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

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Tutor
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Member Since: ‎10-13-2009
Message 3 of 28 (11,890 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

I have the same problem, but under different circumstances.  My in-laws have a c309a printer in Florida that has sat idle (powered off with no ink cartridges installed in it) since June.  They are now back in Florida for the winter and I installed 5 brand new, HP ink cartridges on Monday (today is Wednesday).  I didn't bother to print anything because I didn't expect a problem.  Today, my in-laws tried to print and all that printed were the colors - no black (text).  It was working fine when I powered it off in June when they headed north.

 

I tried printing a Word document from the PC (all black text) and nothing came out on the paper.

 

I've tried both levels to clean the print cartridges with no luck.  All I've managed to do in the past 2 days is to almost run empty the 4 other cartridges installed 2 days ago.

 

I think the nozzle(s) for the black text ink cartridge (564XL on the far right) are dried up and clogged.  How do I clean them or check them to verify if this is the problem?  If this isn't the problem, then what else can I check?

 

Thanks for any help,

Gary A

Provost
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Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 4 of 28 (11,882 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

 


Gary_W_A wrote:

I have the same problem, but under different circumstances.  My in-laws have a c309a printer in Florida that has sat idle (powered off with no ink cartridges installed in it) since June. 

 

I tried printing a Word document from the PC (all black text) and nothing came out on the paper. [snip]


 

The black cartridige uses pigment ink and is more likely to clog if left unused for five months.  Most likely you will need a new printhead assembly, you would need to Contact HP.  

The following is not recommended, but might be a last resort before buying a new printhead:  remove all the ink supplies.  Remove the printhead assembly and put it just submerged by 0.5" or so in very hot water for five minutes or so.  Remove the printhead from the water and blot (very gently) on a damp paper towel.  The printhead is very fragile, do not press on or scratch the printhead.

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"--V

Tutor
Posts: 13
Member Since: ‎10-13-2009
Message 5 of 28 (11,873 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

Bob,

 

Thanks for the reply.  After some Googling, I realized the same thing.  I didn't know how easy it is to remove the printhead, but once I found that out, I removed the printhead and soaked it in a solution of Windex (ammonia) for an hour or so.  I then used a small air compressor to blow it out and dry it off.

 

IT WORKED!!  After a couple more cleaning cycles, it is now printing black text again.  Unfortunately, all the test printing/cleaning just about used up all the 2-day old color cartridges.:smileymad:

 

They have a second c309a back in Indiana that will be sitting idle until May!!  At least now I know how to clean the printhead if that one ends up clogged.:smileysad:

Provost
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Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 6 of 28 (11,867 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

All is well that ends well, but I cringe at the thought of Windex and/or pressurizing the nozzles.  Either could damage the printhead, you probably got lucky with that one.  If you have to do it again I would suggest using only water.

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"--V

Tutor
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Member Since: ‎10-13-2009
Message 7 of 28 (11,854 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

I found several website articles that described using a 50/50 ammonia/water mixture to desolve the dried ink, so I tried it.  That sounded better than alcohol which could probably dry out some parts like the rubber seals around the ink tank opening.  If it proves to be a problem later on, I found where I can order a replacement printhead from the HP parts store (if they have them in stock).

 

Time will tell.:smileyhappy:

Provost
Posts: 16,623
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 8 of 28 (11,833 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

The ammonia may react with some inks and permanently clog the printheads.  As you mention alcohol could damage the rubber seals of the printhead.  Air pressure could cause the printhead layers to delaminate.  I would not use anything but pure water to minimize printhead damage.

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"--V

Student
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎12-02-2010
Message 9 of 28 (11,632 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

I had to make an account just to reply back.  Bob, You saved my life, and I thank you.  I had an important research paper to print, and I guess I left the black ink cartridge out too long and it clogged up.  Submerging it in hot water for about 5 minutes definitely fixed problem.  Thank You :smileyhappy:

Student
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎04-14-2010
Message 10 of 28 (10,980 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart c309a Black Ink won't print

I also have a Photosmart c309a and my problem is that it keeps running through all of the photoblack despite the fact that I am not printing photos.  I was told there might be a way to change the quality settings so that this doesn't continue, but I don't know how. Please help!  All this ink is costing a fortune!

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