asked Apr 26, 2010 at 8:02pm
Hp HP OfficeJet OfficeJet

HP Officejet Pro L7680-problems w/black print head

Recent problem with my printer, when it prints black text some of the text will print normally and then the next line looks as though there's something wrong with the ink cartridge. A consistent gap (banding) through the whole line of text.

I tried a new black ink cartridge, but had the same effect. What's funny, though, is that the yellow prints just fine (combo black/yellow printhead).

Any ideas? I would like to try anything before having to buy a new black/yellow printhead.


Pop the printhead out and dunk the bottom in hot, nearly boiling water. We use the water from our instant hot dispenser in our shop. Swish it around for a few seconds and blot dry with a paper towel.
by moe on Apr 26, 2010 at 8:32pm Add comment
My wife's printer (..HP L7680) complained about a missing damaged black yellow print head - after complaining about paper jam. Used low pressure compressed air to blow dust bunnies, paper fragments from the "product". Didn't see any fragments but repeated the compressed air cleaning several times. "Product" then complained about a missing or damaged yellow/black print head (all components - print heads, ink cartridges - are genuine HP).
I've followed the advice in the thread above (removed B/Y print head, used reasonably hot water, carefully dried, reinstalled ...) No Joy!. Ordered and installed new original equipment HP replacement print head but got the same result "Missing or damaged..." Printer has been offline and powered down for as much as three weeks so I believe power reset is not an issue.
"Product" was purchased in August 2008 so (I believe) is long out of warrenty.

I'm happy to tackle on-site repairs if anyone can suggest a procedure. Lacking success with that, I'm about ready to pass the "Product" off to a printer repair guy if the repair quote dosen't approach the cost of replacement.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
BTW Several years ago I repaired a now departed HP printer with new rubber paper feed rollers, etc, based on advice from FixYourOwnPrinter - Many thanks for sound clear advice/instructions in the past, hoping for similar feedback now.

John Wilson
by pandioncc on Sep 26, 2010 at 11:11am Add comment
Our HP 7580 printer was printing black lines over prints that used yellow.

Tried the printer's head cleaning utility without success.

Then tried the boiling water trick suggested by moe.
We then ran the head cleaner again- still black all over the prints.

Then we tried the boiling water, followed by blasting into the print head holes with 60psi compressed air.
Ran the head cleaning one more time---success at last!

Who knows what actually fixed things?

Also, we suspect that our problem may have been caused by using non-HP ink cartridges, but not sure about that either.

Good Luck
by Foxsparrowsmate on Oct 29, 2010 at 11:29am Add comment
look at the carriage that is carrying the print head. on the bottom of the carriage, there might be some hair or garbage hanging onto the carriage. water only to clean
by unknown on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:29pm Add comment
Have 2 Officejets 7680 that both went out on me because of the printheads. I have done the dipping of the cartridge (black/yellow) and have air dried it after blotting with paper towel and I am still having the same problem.

Need help please...really do not want to buy new print heads and if I do, i know that the message will not go away.

by mjose on Jun 1, 2011 at 11:49am Add comment
Tried it today. Got a little better the first two times--then tried once more and swished the printhead around in the shallow just-boiled water until it flowed free for 10 seconds.


by unknown on Jun 7, 2011 at 7:29am Add comment
I have the same problem. Tried the boiling water several times but no luck. I installed a new black/yellow print head but no change. However, if I pick the BEST print mode, I get excellent print. In normal mode I get fading and streaking.
by rlgrot on Aug 10, 2011 at 1:00pm Add comment
Is any one out there as to where to get the carriage belt for HP OfficeJet L7680?
by copy.cart on Aug 10, 2011 at 6:06pm Add comment
Need help with my HP OFFICEJET PRO L7680 is not printing properly, What I should do. Thanks. I was reading about the printer head, where are they located, next to the cartridge or in the carrier??
by lesfraisses on Oct 4, 2011 at 5:29pm Add comment
I'd recomend getting a new cartridge/print head as that sounds like the issue.
There not expensive and HP actually sell them online at findmysupplies but at a cheaper rate than they sell them in the shop.

You can also get loads of refilled cartridges elsewhere.
by chriss1s on Oct 6, 2011 at 12:54am Add comment
I tried the boiling water after pressing the printhead on a paper towel several times. I actually let the printhead sit in the water for a minute or so and then let it dry out. And it worked!!! My printing is perfect again. Thanks a million.
p.s. the way you get to the printheads is to open the printer (lift the front and it the top will tilt up and back) and hold the OK button down until the printheads move all the way left on the carriage. HP's website has a video that shows it.
by unknown on Nov 21, 2011 at 2:54pm Add comment
OfficeJet Pro L7680 Machine says problem w/black printer head. Tried cleaning, then the hot water thing but no luck, did all of this 5 times. Sometimes it says the other printer head has problem, take it out,reinsert and then it straightens itself out,but the black one is still no good......any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance
by unknown on Dec 4, 2011 at 6:33pm Add comment
I would guess you already went through the process of print head alignment, printhead cleaning, etc?
Try holding the black one in the very hot water for a couple of minutes, then dry it on a paper towel by blotting several times. You may not be holding the right part of it in the water. Try everything!! It really will work!!
by unknown on Dec 5, 2011 at 8:33pm Add comment
swished printhead in hot water twice. first time allowed the printing of four good copies, then Blaw. Second swishing, same result. Bottom of printhead carryer seems to have flakes of somethin glued on. will not clean with water and cotton swab.
Any suggestions?
by driftwood on Feb 20, 2012 at 9:19am Add comment
I have a similar problem but can anyone explain why the test and alignment printouts are perfect but when I am printing a page with just black writing or pictures on it starts to print ok and then about a 3rd of the way through the patchy lines and gaps appear. Its almost like it is being starved of ink. I have replace the cartridge and done the hot water thing and am now puzzled. Any help gratefully received.
by unknown on Mar 1, 2012 at 5:19am Add comment
Thanks Moe the dunking of the print head into the boiling water worked. I blotted dry a few times and swished around a little extra and the printer works great.
by unknown on May 15, 2012 at 12:02pm Add comment

THank you for the help. I did the almost boiling water thing 6 times, blotting with a very soft paper towel in between, and it worked perfectly!
I used distilled water, available at every grocery store, to insure there were no minerals that would be deposited on the print head.
Picked this printer up at the last day of a garage sale, and the folks gave it to me as no one wanted to buy it because it had no power cord, no instruction manual, no usb cord.

SO I went to our local Goodwill Electronics store, got the correct power cord, downloaded the manual and software from and now that the printhead is fixed, I am a very happy camper! Bouth all HP original ink in the XL size and even though it was pricey to start, I can now print over 2,000 pages in B&W.

Speaking of Goodwill stores, if you have a "Electronics" outlet in your city, make it a point to visit them. I am buying perfect condition Dell 17" flat screens for 20.00, desktop boxes w/2gb mem and 500gb HD for $49.00. They even sell the new ink cartridges folks include with the printer they donate for 3.00 a cartridge.
Oh, and regular dvd players for tv for 9.00, and in case you ever need one, dozens of top shelf vcr's for 3.00.
Just amazing stuff and all proceeds good to a great charity.
Stero rack components for 10.00 per unit, TVs, movie lights, speakers up the wazoo...... check them out, it's a blast.
All the ones I have been in use differnt colored price tags and everyday of the week they pick a color tag and make it half price. So get a gorgeous flat screen, thin monitor for 15.00!
by JohnZappulla on Jul 25, 2012 at 5:03pm Add comment
well soaking saved me spending $100 for repairs so thank you everyone
by unknown on Jun 23, 2013 at 4:01pm Add comment
Just bought this HP Officejet Pro L7680 All-in-One from Kijiji. The gentleman that I bought it from said that it sat for a while in the garage. Ink was empty so I bought a new cartridge. It was printing just the way rottie*lover described above. Anything printed looked like it was low on ink.

I selected the printhead cleaning option in *tools on the display. I preformed it multiple times. No use.

I first tried to dab the bottom of the printhead with a lightly damped q-tip. This seemed to make the problem worse. I then found this thread. After cleaning/swooshing (the bottom part where the ink comes out) lightly in hot water from the kettle it worked. I was only 92\% pleased with the outcome. I repeated the process again. I am now 99\% pleased.
Prints great!

Good post, keep it going!
by unknown on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:36pm Add comment
How do you get the printhead out? I have tried soaking and swabbing the heads of the cyan and yellow outlets of cartridges. It helped the yellow marginally. The cyan cartridge is full and not out of date, but in the test print there is no blue at all.
by unknown on Apr 19, 2014 at 4:57pm Add comment
Simply unlatch the front of the printhead holder and lift up. There's a little handle on the top of each of the 2 printheads. Just lift it out. - moe
I bought L7680 from garage sale, did the same thing. I swished both printer heads quite a few times in almost boiling water and it worked excellent. I spent $91 on ink for it and was worried I would have to buy printer heads as well. So far so good, just have to print more and see if it works well the whole time. Thank God I found this thread.
by unknown on Aug 15, 2014 at 11:59am Add comment
So, I don't get any credit? Thank you Moe for starting this forum. Thank you
Moe for coming up with the fix. Thank you
Moe for saving me money. - moe

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by vlcmprintmps on Mar 15, 2016 at 1:42am Add comment