4880 - Getting Horizontal Lines

Hi There,

I recently was getting horizontal lines (in direction of head going back and forth) on my prints. Would clean and then they would come back after 1-2 prints. I had never changed out my original dampers and decided it was time.

1: Changed out all dampers

2: Installed new cleaning unit, wiper and flushing station.

Got back to printing and all went well. Continuously printed about (100) 13"x 25" spreads with out issues. Horizontal lines came back after continuous print #100 or so. Stopped printing. Did a nozzle check and indeed had some drop outs. Did a cleaning and seemed to fix it and now I see hints of horizontal lines coming back.

No leaks that I can see inside the head area…

At a loss here…any advice would be much appreciated.

On another Random note…Love the 4880’s - serious workhorse. With all this epson lock out silliness I went looking for some old 4880s - One has come up. Very low usage only 3000 prints and it all parts listed with 5 stars. Thing is, it has been sitting about 12-18 months no usage and will not print anything at the moment with a nozzle check. Hard to say I know, but is it possible to bring it back from the dead with flushing, soaking the head over paper towel etc? Are these heads resilient better than the 4900? What in your best guess are my chances percentage wise of getting this thing back up and printing?

Or just wait until you guys come up with carts on the 4900?



Sorry meant wait until you come up with carts for the P5000?

Which channel are you seeing the drop-outs on?

This may be a head that is needing replacement or that has gunk in it’s intake manifold (the spikes that the dampers go over).

The 4900s last no-where near as long as the 48s, a few years at most (with OEM, equal with ConeColor, much longer with Piezography).

It will be a while yet before P5000 carts.


Looks like Matte Black, Light Black, Magenta & Light Magenta. Literally one notch only out of each of those. Very minor miss but nonethe less there.
I cleaned those black pips as best I could when I replaced the dampers. I did not push anything through them though. Just cleaned all around them. Is there a way to clean them?

We don’t sell this item but basically it’s a micro drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN6kp_jcjS0

You can probably find it on a dentist supply website.

The manifold itself can be taken off and cleaned as well (very carefully!)


One more thing. So it looks like the drop outs are in the exact same spot each time. All of them one tiny notch is missing from the line but the dropout is in the same exact spot for each. Seeing repeated in MK, C, VM, LKM VLM - Do a cleaning and then it is fine for a while…thoughts?

ahh, deeper than the manifold. The nozzles are old (those specific ones).


Sorry for the bad news man,

Yikes…are you saying new head kinda thing?

yeah. Most likely.

If you know of anyone with an old R2880 kicking around with a good head, that head will work in the 4880. Also the 7880 and 9880 heads.

They are also sold new by compassmicro.com for about $450. If you had one of these heads, it would basically be like a new printer with new dampers and cleaning assembly.

one question though, how old is the ink in it?


The ink is getting up there - even though we print alot the carts are huge so it takes time to go through for sure. I see that the new heads are relatively cheap. Not sure why the after market heads even original OEM heads are 2-3 times the price of buying directly from Epson or Compass Micro. When I install a new genuine epson head to my 4880 do I have to input a serial to make it work via the adjustment program? Or do I install it and away we go? Are those after market heads pricey because they are unlocked and able to use with any printer?

You will need to add the HeadRank ID to equalize the electricity to gain perfect nozzle sizes, but if you didn’t you wouldn’t notice much of a difference. It would work.

CompassMicro just wants your printer serial # before selling a head. This way they can ensure you are genuine epson customer.

PM me if you go down this route and I can help you out.


HI Walker,

One more if I may. So could these drops out be due to a bad “new” damper? To recap what is happening. I do a nozzle check and all is good. Print a bunch of stuff totally fine and then like several prints in start seeing very subtle horizontal lines. Stop printing and do a nozzle check and it seems to be matte black lately that is literally out 1 tick and usually in the same general area but not necessarily the exact same spot. Or is this more like what you have mentioned which is the nozzles are old and nearing the end? Machine only has about 10000 prints on it. Or is that alot? Or even relevant? Either way I ordered a new head for my 4880 should be here next week. I have the adjustment program and as mentioned replaced the dampers, flushing box and entire pump unit. So once the new head goes in it will hopefully be a new lease on life for this 4880. I will PM you once the head is in but just curious on your thoughts of the possiblity of a bad “new” damper. I got the dampers from: http://www.sdott-parts.com/epson-pro-4880-4800-4450-4400-7880-9880-damper-valve-1419222.html

Sorry for the late reply on this. I’m finally getting my read-notices.

That machine has a lot of prints. Regardless of if the dampers are bad or not, they do need to be replaced. More likely though it’s a problem with the head control voltage that’s making the nozzles fire or “slosh” during the sway of the print-head as it slows to a stop.