Troubleshooting a Wet Capping Station: My L1800 DTF Capping Station Regurgitates Foamy Ink

If you're into printer maintenance or perhaps run a repair shop, encountering a clogged capping station can be a common headache. Today, we'll delve into the intricacies of troubleshooting and fixing a wet capping station, a problem that often plagues printer users. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process step by step, ensuring you understand each aspect thoroughly.

Check if Capping Station is Clogged

The first step in resolving a wet capping station issue is to confirm whether it's indeed clogged. Kevin at BCH Technologies demonstrates this process by assessing the waste tube at the back of the printhead. Drawing a vacuum from the waste tube can provide insight into the capping station's condition. If there's resistance, it indicates a clog, necessitating further action.

Things to Check Before Installing a New Printhead

Before jumping to conclusions about a faulty printhead, it's crucial to perform a series of checks. Kevin highlights the importance of ensuring the capping station's functionality before installing a new printhead. This includes examining the F10 or F1 fuse on the mainboard, inspecting the driver chip, and verifying the integrity of the FFC cable. These preliminary checks can save time and prevent unnecessary component replacements.

Uninstall the Capping Station

Should you find that the capping station is indeed clogged, the next step is to uninstall it for thorough cleaning. Kevin provides a detailed walkthrough, from removing support bars to disconnecting wires and loosening the duplexer. Attention to detail during this process ensures a smooth disassembly, readying the capping station for cleaning.

Anatomy of a Capping Station

Understanding the components of a capping station is essential for effective troubleshooting. Kevin emphasizes the significance of marking key points, such as the wiper position, to facilitate reassembly later. This section offers insights into the inner workings of the capping station, setting the stage for subsequent cleaning procedures.

Check the Wiper

A crucial component of the capping station is the wiper, responsible for cleaning the printhead bottom. Kevin demonstrates how ink buildup on the wiper can impede its function, leading to print quality issues. By identifying and addressing wiper malfunctions, users can ensure optimal printer performance.

Check the Ink Intake Tube

Examining the ink intake tube provides further clarity on the clogging issue. Kevin demonstrates how to disconnect and assess the ink tube for blockages, highlighting the importance of a clear ink flow for efficient printing. This step offers valuable insights into potential obstructions within the ink delivery system.

Clean the Center Platform

Thorough cleaning of the center platform is essential for restoring proper ink flow. Kevin illustrates the process of removing dried ink and debris from the platform, emphasizing the role of rubber seals in maintaining a vacuum for printhead operation. Attention to detail during platform cleaning ensures optimal printer functionality.

Check the Air Tube for Clogging

While focusing on the ink intake tube, it's also crucial to assess the air tube for any obstructions. Kevin demonstrates how to verify air tube integrity, ensuring unimpeded airflow for printhead maintenance operations. This step completes the comprehensive assessment of the capping station's key components.

Anatomy of the Manifold

Delving deeper into the printer's ink delivery system, Kevin examines the manifold's role in channeling waste ink. By understanding the manifold's configuration, users can identify potential clogging points and plan appropriate cleaning strategies. This section sets the stage for targeted maintenance efforts.

Clean the Manifold

Cleaning the manifold is a critical step in resolving clogging issues within the ink delivery system. Kevin demonstrates the disassembly process and highlights common clog locations within the manifold. Thorough cleaning of these components is essential for restoring optimal ink flow and printer functionality.

Install BCH Capping Station Manifold

After cleaning and assessing the manifold, reinstalling it with BCH's replacement offers a reliable solution. Kevin guides users through the installation process, ensuring proper alignment and connection of tubing. This step concludes the maintenance process, preparing the printer for resumed operation.

Reassemble the Capping Station

With the manifold in place, reassembling the capping station is the final step in the maintenance process. Kevin provides detailed instructions for reattaching components and securing connections. Attention to detail during reassembly ensures proper functionality and prevents future issues.


Troubleshooting a wet capping station requires a systematic approach and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, users can effectively diagnose and resolve clogging issues, restoring their printers to optimal performance. Remember, thorough maintenance is key to ensuring reliable operation and longevity of your printing equipment.

Feb 29th 2024 Kevin Day

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