I started with getting help from HP Virtual Assistant on why my blue & green ink was streaky after many attempts to align and clean print heads on my 4 year old HP printer. I Installed new cartridges, still low amounts of blue getting to the paper. Followed the HP Virtual Assistant and was advised to install updated driver for my computer. After doing so, it was still streaky with low amounts of Blue getting to where it needs to go. But, now have a new problem; the updated driver got rid of the printer assistant icon that allowed me to align and clean the print heads and also to check ink levels. Same poor quality, but having to use the virtual assistant was of no help and just gave me the additional problem of losing the printer maintenance option.
Update #1: I can access the maintenance tools through the printer touch screen. I am going to flush the Cyan print head with cleaning solution and see if that fixes the problem.
Update #2: I flushed the CYAN port after viewing several youtube videos on varying processes. Then did a "clean print-head" operation twice and the CYAN cartridge is now working as intended; no streaking.
Lesson learned: Use your printer weekly to prevent a print-head clog from dried ink. Print a test page using color and black ink. Looking back, I had a 3 week period that I did not print anything and likely a longer period that I did not print color.
Flush kits can be bought for around $10, but I had the basics needed at home; a syringe and clear aquarium tubing. I used distilled water for the flush; a few cc's was all that was needed. Using the syringe and a 3 inch piece of the tubing, I was able to gingerly pump the water back and forth through the CYAN port. I did this for about 30 seconds and then cleaned up the print carriage by drying the water spots with a paper towel. I reinstalled the ink cartridges, getting them back into the printer well within the recommended 30 minutes to prevent them from drying out. I let it sit over night and the next morning I printed a couple of test pages. There was more blue than before, but not good quality due to the CYAN ink in the print-head being diluted. I then performed a programmed print-head cleaning through the printer touch screen and got very good results, almost perfect. After one more programmed cleaning, the printer was able to print a perfect test pattern.
The CYAN ink port was 3/16" and the tubing interior diameter was less than that, so I took the shank end of a 3/16" drill bit and heated it and the tube end slightly over a flame and pushed the shank of the bit into the tube (about 1/8") and let it cool to get a nice 3/16" inside diameter tube end. I only worked on the CYAN port and not the others; but I did remove all the cartridges for better access to the port. I did a brief flushing, because the printer wasn't off line for months, so I assumed the clog was slight. I also felt good about the flushing process while doing it and didn’t push my luck. If it had failed, I was prepared to repeat the flush a second time. Make sure to check out a few of the youtube videos to get a feel of what to expect. I searched for “HP OfficeJet Pro 6968 print head clog” but your model number should be used as port sizes and cleaning techniques may vary. My cartridges are all marked 902, 903, 904 and 905.
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