I have a nearly new Epson C86 that has been giving me great results and no problems. A couple days ago, my black ink cartridge ran out, so I installed a new one per Epson's on-screen instructions (this is the first time I have had to switch cartridges). The little cover wasn't snapping down over the cartridges, so my husband pulled the new cartridge out and put it back in (apparently, it hadn't seated properly when I installed it), then the cover went down.
I had just printed a document before changing the cartridge, and it printed out perfectly. However, after switching black cartridges, the next page I printed looked awful. The black ink wasn't printing at all, save for a few little marks across the page. When I tried printing a couple more pages, a little more black printed, but I also wound up with a couple of big runny blobs of black ink on each page. My husband tried running the nozzle check and head cleaning check, but these attempts didn't correct the problem. He ran the head cleaning about four times that evening, then another five or six times the next day. The black ink was coming out better, but the printing was still awful. Today I tried printing out a couple of documents to see how it was doing. The black-only document shows horizontal banding where there is no ink. The color document shows banding where there is apparently no black ink, but other colors are in the bands. But the colors themselves are all wrong (as though some colors are printing, but the right colors aren't mixing in the right amounts).
I can't find this problem addressed in the printer's manual or on Epson's web site. I have sent them an e-mail but haven't yet received a response. I've done a Google search, and the information I've found seems to indicate this may be a print head problem but that, if normal head cleaning doesn't fix it, the whole printer may be destined for the land fill.
I am wondering if the replacement black cartridge (which is Epson brand) could be defective, since the printer worked perfectly until I installed the new one. But then, why would the color output be affected?
I am at my wits' end and getting very discouraged! Does anyone know what my problem is and if/how it can be fixed? TIA for any help!