4880 Vivid Magenta clog


I’ve searched the forum for answers to my problem, found a few things that I tried but still having problems.

I’ve had a cartridge on the Vivid Magenta quit working, it would no longer flow and I believe that caused a clog in that channel.
Replaced the cart with another I had for matte black ( It was a brand new cart never been filled ) and for the last several weeks I’ve tried all the basic things like power clean and soaking with Windex and such. Occasionally I would get a partial pattern on a nozzle check test print.
After the last time I tried a power cleaning it plugged up completely. I ordered a 220ml bottle of flush and a new cart, just tried running the flush through the single channel using the QTRrip and “QTR-M” file (Which I assume is the magenta) and I get nothing on the printed page (did this 3 times) Then I printed the “QTR-8 Channel flush tiff” and everything printed except magenta.
So i’m assuming that the magenta is very plugged at this point. What is a "Paired Flush " and how do I do that, also what should be my next move ?
Thanks for any help
Scott Noakes


Hi Scott~

After reviewing your order history, I see you purchased the 4880 refill carts and 8oz ConeColor ink in July 2011, and bought some additional refill bottles last month, so have gone thru about one cartridge worth of ink over the past three years. Based on your ink use, I can tell you don’t print a lot, so I suspect the printer has sat unused for periods of time.

How often have you been using the printer vs. how long does it sit unused?
How often have you been agitating the ink cartridges?
Have you closed the cartridge air vent holes when the printer is not in use, or have they stayed open?
Have any parts in this printer been replaced over the past three years, such as wiper blade, capping statin, flushing box, and/or print head? If so, what part(s) and how long ago?
Why do you think the cartridge was restricting ink flow? Based on your information, I suspect you’re likely dealing with pigment build up in your VM damper, which happens over time (especially if the printer sits unused for periods of time, and carts aren’t regularly agitated). Dampers should be replaced every 1-3 years, depending on use, plus magenta and yellow are always the thickest pigment inks (this is true even with Epson ink), so those position dampers often show signs of particle build up first.

The “paired” cleaning cycle is only available on the x900 and x890 printers, and is not a supported feature of the 4880 printer model.

Please let e know so I can help you get past this and back to happily printing.
Best~ Dana


Hi Dana
Thanks for responding back.
You are right on about my usage of my printer, It will go several months without using then I will end up printing a bunch. Because of this I had been using the "Harvey Head Cleaner " program. It had been doing a nozzle check print daily for the last year.
I agitate the carts maybe every couple months. The vent holes are open ( The small filters are in place in the vent holes)
No parts other than the waste tank have been replaced. I did remove the flushing box and flushed it with simple green and also the tube that goes to the waste tank. I also cleaned the wiper blade and flushed the capping station. I did all this about 3 weeks ago when I first noticed the clog.
When I originally got all the refill carts I had a problem with several of them not bleeding the air out when I filled them and using a paper clip to depress the spring at the outlet. When I began having problems last month I pulled the magenta cart out and was not able to flush any ink out using the paper clip in the outlet.
I’m not sure what the dampers are but I have no problem digging in and cleaning or replacing what ever I need to do ! Should I purchase a service manual for the printer ?
Thanks again for all your help, this has been frustrating, I’ve always read about people heaving trouble with clogs and considered myself lucky !


Hi Scott~

Thanks for the additional information.

The straightened paperclip priming method is very old, and we now use a small syringe with plastic priming tip attached to prime the exit channel with ink. The syringe method is cleaner and easier to do, and is better for the cartridge (some people have damaged their carts by piercing the outer rubber exit valve seal with the paperclip).

If ink doesn’t flow out of some carts, it may be due to infrequent use of the printer, and agitation of the carts, causing pigment to settle to the bottom of the carts, collecting in the exit channel and restricting ink flow over time. This would also cause thicker pigment from the bottom of settled carts to be drawn into the printer’s ink lines, which can lead to particle build up in the dampers faster than normal (though, dampers should normally be replaced every 1-3 years, depending on use). Blocked damper screens will restrict ink flow until dampers are replaced. If your air vent filters have ink in/on them, this could also restrict ink flow from the cartridge, but based on your use history, I suspect you’re dealing with clogged dampers and possibly clogged exit channels in carts from thick pigment due to not agitating carts and using the printer as we recommend. In this case, I suggest replacing your dampers, and cleaning the print head while it’s exposed (when dampers are disconnected). Do you still have ink bottles? If so, it may be good to shake your carts and pour ink back into the corresponding ink bottle, then try to flush out the carts using distilled water to open the exit channels, and if successful, get the carts as dry as possible, then refill with ink (preferably fresh/new ink).

You may also need to replace your dampers, which are easy to do with the 4800/4880 printer model. You can get the repair manual online, one place I know is www2manuals.com, which gives clear step by step instructions with detailed photos that are very easy to follow. We have replacement dampers for your printer model here: http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/it.A/id.5442/.f

I hope this helps, please keep me posted.
Best~ Dana


Hi Dana,
I ended up downloading the manual the other day and read up on the dampers. I went ahead and removed the magenta damper and flushed it out because I was needing to print and didn’t have a replacement. Put it back together and with a little luck managed to get it printing again ! I think I will get a set of dampers and replace them all sometime in the near future
I had to run an initial fill cycle to get the other channels primed but then it worked great !!
I will be sure and agitate the carts way more frequently now. Are you familiar with “Harvey Head Cleaner” program ? If so what is your opinion of it, It seems to help because I don’t print as much.

Thanks for all your help with this, it’s really appreciated !!


One other quick question, do you recommend leaving the vents open or closed when not printing ?


Hi Scott~

I’m glad to hear you’ve got everything working well again, and hope you have good results after replacing the dampers and agitating carts more frequently.

Yes, I’m familiar with the Harvey Head Cleaner, though haven’t used it myself. It’s good to exercise a printer and avoid leaving it sit unused with ink installed, so there are some programs people use to do a test print, nozzle check or cleaning cycle on a regular basis to keep the head from drying out. These are good for short term non-use (like a month or two), but the best thing is to flush ink and charge the printer with PiezoFlush to avoid settled pigment in the lines and dampers for safe long term storage. Store the cartridges with air vent plugs sealed closed to prevent evaporation or stuff from getting inside.

Best regards~ Dana