3880 channel clog



Hi. I have a 3880 (467 pages) fitted with K7 ink set. I can only get approx. 6 to 10 prints between power cleans as the Cyan channel starts to lose shade intensity. This is happening no matter how often I use the printer. Any help gratefully received.


When this happens, print a nozzle check before cleaning. Is it blocked?
How often has the printer been used and did it sit for a long time at any point? How old is the machine?
Did it have color ink before moving to K7?

My 3880 had a similar seeming problem with VM and/or K dropping out and requiring several cleanings to get it back. Replacing the dampers seemed to have done the trick for me. I mention timing, because even with only a few prints, if the time between each was long, particles could easily have built up.


Hi. Thanks for the response. The printer is less than 2 years old and the print count reads 467. Having had nothing but trouble with previous printers, I have made a point of firing up the 3880 every Sunday and producing a calibration print (Quad). I find that this is much better than the results from a nozzle check. The printer has only had K7 inks since new. At the moment, I am spending more money on ruined prints and waste tanks than I am prepared to put up with. Living in Ireland, it is impossible to get Epson printers repaired without signing up to Epson’s Service contract and even then, it is unlikely that they will touch the printer as it is using non OEM inks.


Hi irishwoodpecker~

After reviewing your order history, I see the last time you bought Piezography (Warm-Neutral) ink was in Sept 2013. What are the lot#s and expiration dates on your ink bottles? Based on your last order date, I assume they are expired, or due to expire soon (pigment inks have about a 2 yr shelf life).

Along with printing an Ink Separation sheet every week, cartridges should be regularly agitated (every week or two) to maintain in-suspension ink in both carts and the printer’s internal ink system.

I recommend emptying your cyan/shade 2 cart and refilling with fresh/new ink, though if all inks are old, it would best to refill all carts with fresh ink for the best/consistent results.

Warmly~ Dana


Hi Dana.

Thanks for the reply. Expiration dates on the K7 set are 20th September 2015. Based on previous advise, I give either the printer or carts a good shake approx. every two weeks. I can’t afford to throw away these inks as most of the 700mm bottles are still half full. If you think that changing out the ink in the cyan cart would do the trick, I could get a small bottle of shade 2 and give it a go (bound to be cheaper than tossing the printer out of the window).




I certainly understand not wanting to discard 350ml of inks, so recommend buying ink in volumes that you will be able to use within two years.

Please let me know your results after filling your Cyan cart with fresh shade #2 ink.
You can purge old ink in the line, and fill with fresh ink from the cart by printing purge sheets thru QTR Calibration Mode, following instructions here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?144-Print-Ink-Separation-Image-thru-QTR-Calibration-Mode

Warmly~ Dana :slight_smile:


Hi Dana.

Ordered replacement ink from your eu. distrib. to speed things up. Arrived today. Expiration date Jan 2016. Over to you.




Hi Dana.

Where are you in my hour of need?





What can I assist you with?




If you haven’t already, you will want to empty your cartridges and discard old ink, then shake the new ink bottles and refill carts with fresh ink (make sure to refill carts with the correct ink shade), then prime the exit channels, reset the chips and install into your printer. After installing carts with fresh ink, you will want to preform an Initial Fill cycle to purge old ink and get new ink flowing thru the printer’s internal ink system. Instructions for doing an Initial Fill Cycle can be found here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?151-Initial-Fill-Procedures-for-Epson-Pro-Model-Printers

Best~ Dana


Hi Dana.

Thanks for the response. I have done all of the above but the problem remains. If the cause is the use of old ink then my recent purchase of a new bottle of shade 2 is not going to rectify anything as the expiry date on this is Jan 2016 (only 3 months better then my existing stock).

As all the other channels seem to be printing ok with similar dated ink, I can only assume that the problem must be with the printer.




what is the batch/lot # of your current shade #2 ink vs the new bottle you received?


Hi Dana.

Batch number is 980417.




Hi Dana.

Batch number is 980417 for new ink (expiration date 01/2016). Batch number for old ink is the same with an expiration date of 09/2015.



Thanks for the additional information Michael. After reviewing your order history, I see you last bought 700ml WN ink in Sept 2013 (following a set of 220ml earlier in 2013). If you haven’t opened the 700ml ink bottle you bought over two years ago, then I recommend only buying what you will use within the life of the ink (aprox. two years after manufacture).

Based on the age of your ink, the solution to your problem is to get a new bottle of WN shade #2 ink, empty your cartridge and refill it with fresh ink (after shaking the bottle of new ink), then print some Cyan channel purge sheets using QTR Calibration Mode to purge the old ink and get fresh ink flowing thru the ink system to the print head. Instructions for printing single channel flush images thru QTR Cal mode can be found here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?166-Flush-individual-channel-using-QTR-Calibration-Mode

Note: our Black Friday sale starts this Thurs, so that’s a great time to buy what you need!!

Please let me know if you have questions, or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Warmly~ Dana


Hi Dana.

Thanks for the reply.

To make matters clear, I have already purchased a new bottle of shade 2 (as mentioned before in the thread). This is the bottle purchased from your EU supplier some weeks ago with the batch num. 980417 and expiration date 01/2016.

I have carried out the cart refill procedure with new ink and still the problem persists.

My current workaround is to print an A4 sheet of plain paper using the QTR C flush. This enables me to print a number of prints before the cyan channel starts to drop out. The problem becomes obvious in the print and although nozzle checks are perfect, a calibration mode QTR print shows the cyan channel has lost density and looks a steely blue colour.




Hi Michael~

I am sending you a fresh bottle of WN#2 ink.
Please discard any WN#2 ink you have that is lot# 980417, including emptying your cyan position cartridge.
Refill your cyan cartridge with fresh ink, draw about 5ml of ink out the exit valve using the priming syringe, then reinstall the cartridge into your printer and print cyan flush images thru QTR calibration mode to get the fresh ink to your print head.

Please let me know your results, if you have further questions, or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Warmly~ Dana :slight_smile:


Hi Dana.

Seasons greetings to you all.

I have been running the printer with the fresh WN#2 ink for a couple of weeks and so far all seems well. It is obvious that the problem was not nozzle clog but ink flow restriction to the nozzle due to clogging in the ink line As has been pointed out before, a seemingly good nozzle check is not always a guarantee.