"Epson Workforce 520 - Smudges on Paper"
14 April 2013
Summary: foam strip running length of printer, under print head, has become un-tucked on rear-side of printer.
Epson Workforce 520 All-in-One Printer.
Heavily used since bought 2-3 or 4 years ago.
Started showing black smudges at top and bottom of each printed page.
The Problem and fix:
With unit powered on, moved print head so cartridges could be removed.
Printer turned off and unplugged from wall outlet.
With top up so could see into printer, noticed small, perhaps 1.5 inches wide, foam strip running length of printer.
Foam strip had a black band at the back, a red band in the middle and a green band at the front of the printer.
Noticed that in the middle of the printer, the foam strip was not tucked underneath back plastic like it was for rest of strip length.
Apparently when a paper jam was cleared, the paper pulled the foam out of place.
With foam strip up, paper was being pulled across black part of strip.
Using a small flat blade screw driver, tucked foam back under plastic along strip.
It does appear that foam strip could be taken out of printer and washed or otherwise cleaned.
With strip back in place, no more smudges.
With top open and looking over inside of printer, noticed a mass of black ink on the left side of printer where foam strip ends.
Took a q-tip and began to remove ink.
Turns out that there is a 1 inch long by 1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inch deep "well" to hold head cleaned ink.
There is nothing in the manual about this well or cleaning it out periodically.
On this printer, this well was completely full.
Took a lot of q-tips to clean it out.
Without a clean out, sooner or later, ink going to get onto print head and be smeared across paper as printing occurs.
So check out the ink well. If you can see walls of well, perhaps you do not need to clean but I suggest you do.