3800 blocked Magenta print head



I have a persistent blockage in the magenta print head in my stylus pro 3800.
I have been using your inks for some years now and they have worked great. Some time ago I noticed that when I did a nozzle check I had lost several points in the magenta pattern. I did several clean cycles and a power cycle but nothing changed so since it uses so much ink and the prints I was doing still looked perfect I just let it go. Recently I lost more nozzles in the magenta pattern and the prints where no longer as good so I knew I had to do something.

I got some of your piezo printhead flush and filled a refillable cartridge with it and put in the magenta chip and put it in the printer. I did several cleanings to get the flush going through the lines to the head and I also made a 6x9 page in photoshop and made it magenta color and printed several sheets that way to be sure I was getting flush through the lines. I left it for several days and tried another test and the same missed nozzles where present. I have cleaned the capping station and wiper and cleaned the bottom of the print head with the paper towel trick several times but no change.
I have not tried to replace or clean the dampers but since the pattern on the print test is always the same I felt the problem must still be the print head. ANY SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHAT TO DO NEXT?

Is it possible that the head is so blocked that it can not be cleared?
Is there a way of putting pressure on the magenta cartridge or line to force flush through the head?

I am a professional photographer now retired so I do not do a lot of printing with this printer and I realize low volume is part of the problem but I still do some printing and we have several web sites which we have had to make inactive until we get our printer working or get a new one like the 3000 perhaps. Need one that will print with pigmented inks.

I am most impressed with this forum and appreciate any help I can get.

Bill at DownEast


Hi Bill~

After using pigment inks for a few years, and not printing often, I suspect you’re dealing with particle build up in your dampers, which is restricting ink flow in your magenta channel. Dampers are in-line ink filters, which have fine screens to catch particles to protect the print head and keep it in good working condition. Dampers should be replaced every few years, depending on use. Magenta and yellow pigment inks are always the thickest colors (this is true even with Epson ink), so those positions often experience restricted flow due to blocked dampers before other positions. The standard replacement part from Epson is a whole new ink unit, including the cartridge bay, ink lines, and ink selector unit (dampers), which I believe costs about $175 for the part. What I discovered (and several of our customers have successfully done), is that the individual dampers can be replaced much cheaper. All dampers should be replaced at the same time. There is a thread about this, which contains links to other threads where people have shared photos and information from the process they used, here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/showthread.php?442-I-just-fixed-our-clogged-3800-by-replacing-dampers-and-flushing-the-head!

I hope this helps, best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


Thank you Dana
I wondered if I should replace the dampers. I have never got that far into the printer and don’t know where to start. Can you suggest a manual or service guide so I know how to take it apart. At this point I am not afraid to get in to the printer as I don’t have much to lose.?

I found the link you refereed me to and the pics in that link are excellent, I just need some help to get into the beast.

I found dampers on e-bay for $9.99, [Ink Damper for Epson Stylus PRO 3800 3850 3880 3890 DP10], and I understand I will need 5 is that right?

Thanks for your quick response to my problem.
Bill at DownEast


For instructions on how to disassemble the printer, you will want the Epson Service Manual, which you can get from www.2manuals.com
Yes, you will need a total of 5 dampers for the 3800/3880 printer.

All the best~ Dana :slight_smile:


[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;4247]For instructions on how to disassemble the printer, you will want the Epson Service Manual, which you can get from www.2manuals.com
Yes, you will need a total of 5 dampers for the 3800/3880 printer.

All the best~ Dana :)[/QUOTE]
Thanks Dana but I guess I am a real newbie at this. Went to 2manuals.com and searched for stylus pro 3800 but didn’t find a service manual specific for the stylus 3800. Found a ‘epson service manual’ but it shows a epson 5500 image.
Sorry to be a bother but I can’t proceed until I get that service manual.
Bill at Down East


Found the Service Manual and down loaded it.
Will proceed with getting in to it.
Thanks for your help
Bill at DownEast