Another R2880 - can't maintain a good nozzle check

Well, this is my first post to this forum. Like Brian_S, I am having problems with my R2880 maintaining a good nozzle check, and my problems are virtually identical to his. I have two sets of cartridges, one that is about 2 years old filled with the Cone Color Inks, and another new set that is filled with Piezoflush. The nozzle check is fine for at least two to three weeks with the piezoflush, but I have problems within a day or two when using the cartridges filled with ink. I have attached a scan of the nozzle checks for the last couple of days.

I have cleaned the printer as suggested in the videos by Dana, and I have tried everything in suggested in the threads with Brian_S’s problems. So, I am open to suggestions.


My R2880 sits with cleaning carts at the moment, waiting for the time when I need to print in colour and have the time to do another clean and try again. My assumption is that once you’ve had cross-channel bleeding like this then at the very least you’re going to need to clean under the head (again).

If you read that R2880 thread of mine then you will have read that I also had virtually identical issues with my piezo R1900. Widespread gaps and cross-channel bleeds. I hesitate to say this, but I think I have that one licked. I’m fairly sure that it was a faulty (previously unused) MK cart, as a clean, a refill and a fresh MK cart seems to have worked. Fingers crossed.

Given that, I am inclined to suspect that my R2880 problem is either more faulty carts from new (I’ve had two definites recently) or a fussy printer combined with less than prefect filling technique. So I will try the same carts again, taking extra care in the technique. If the problem persists then I’m going to replace the carts that seem to be leaking. If that doesn’t work then I’ll just buy OEM and put it down to experience. No, I may try one more thing before that, which is to buy some carts from the HK-based supplier that I used to get them from previously. But I’ve been through a lot of ink and carts (AND FLUSH!) so far and don’t have a lot of prints to show for it.

Dan - I’m having a little trouble seeing your nozzle check scan clearly. Is it the case that your first two checks are ok? There’s no cross-channel bleed in the first two? I think that’s the case, but it’s hard to be sure at this resolution.

Assuming so, and based on my experience so far, my view is that you’ve got a leak from the PK cart, and that’s because either the PK cart is faulty, or you’ve not followed correct filling technique. You really do have to fill but not over-fill the carts, tap them gently, let them sit for a while, put them in the printer and let them just sit there for 15-30 minutes with the head still in the ink exchange position. Only press the ink exchange button once they’ve sat there for the requisite time or longer.

If you really have done all this and all the cleaning, my suggestion is to clean again, replace the PK cart with a fresh one, and try that.

Let’s see what Dana suggests. There’s always the humidity issue, but unless you’re in the tropics I still find it hard to see that leaking is caused by humidity, and the evidence to date is that that wasn’t the issue with my piezo R1900.

p.s. It’s interesting that you’re getting issues with the same cart (PK )as me. I really think that there’s a chance of a bad batch out there. Alandb hasn’t provided enough info in his thread, but I have a hunch …

p.p.s. If your carts with ink have been in use for two years, rather than just purchased two years ago, then they may need replacing. They don’t last forever in my experience.

Brian, thanks for the feedback. I have rescanned the nozzle checks, hopefully better than what I posted yesterday. But to answer your question, the first two were okay (the second was missing one nozzle in the cyan). I believe I did follow the correct technique with the exception that I did not wait for 15-30 minutes before I pressed the ink exchange button. That may be a problem, however 6 of the 8 cartridges were okay with it. Only the PK and Cyan cartridges seem to have a problem. I also suspect there may be a bad batch of cartridges out there, but I am willing to try a new set if Dana thinks that would solve my problems.

Your problem is uncannily similar to mine. Given this, perhaps I should make another attempt with it now, so that we can work on this together, even though we’re in rather different time zones.

Based on reading Dana’s exchanges with other users, I do think that leaving the carts in the ink exchange position for 15-30 minutes before you press the ink exchange button again is important, although how important seems to vary between printers.

Based on my recent experience, one thing you want to watch out for is these two carts draining. The only way to check for this is to pull them out. If you remove the cover from the cartridge bay then you can do this for these two carts and four of the others without triggering a head clean, by removing and reinserting them when the printer is off. The instructions for the CIS for the R1900 (same printer physically) has instructions for removing the lid.

I don’t want to make another long post, but there is another possibility that concerns me. I had an R2400 that I could never get to work with refillables. (Actually, I still have it, waiting to make one last attempt before it goes to e-waste.) The story is long, and is partly documented on this forum (here), but the short version is that I have good reasons to believe that this printer is sufficiently out of spec that it won’t work with refillables. I think that the ink nipples in the cartridge bay aren’t giving a good enough fit with refillables and air gets in at some point. OEM carts have a better vacuum or fit or something and don’t do this. Or perhaps it’s something deeper in the print head. So my concern is that this R2880 (bought s/h recently) has the same problem. If so then OEM really is the only solution, but I’m not at that point yet.

Yes, I am willing to work on this together across time zones. For my next steps, I have ordered a new set of cartridges since mine were about two years old. In the mean time, I have put the Piezoflush cartridges back in my printer and cleaned the capping station, wiper blade and printer head as per Dana’s video. The nozzle check with the Piezoflush cartridges looks just fine (these are new cartridges), so hopefully the old cartridges are the problem.

Draining is a concern, and I have seen evidence of black and cyan ink leaking over the gears in my capping station in the past. I will keep an eye on the fluid level in the cartridges as well.

One thing that I did, which I do not recommend anyone else doing, is to trim the plastic seal over the o-rings that fit over the ink nipples. I did this so I could clean the inside of the o-ring to improve the fit over the ink nipples. Unfortunately, when I removed one of my cartidges, the o-ring stayed on the ink nipple, and the plunger and spring fell out. Left a bit of a mess, but not too bad to clean up. These ink cartridges are not all that complex, so I can’t understand why it is so difficult to make them work.

Like you, OEM inks are my last choice. I do like the Cone Ink colors, but if the cartridges are not working then I will be forced to go back to OEM. Actually, it may not be that much more expensive than all of this experimentation.

If your carts are two years old, then I doubt that they’re from the same batch, unless IJM buys huge batches, which is possible.

This is something that despite years of using these things I don’t really understand. When the wiper blade wipes, that ink must go somewhere. Surely not all of it sticks to the blade. So you’d expect some ink to gradually build up there over time. But if it’s coming from all channels then you’d expect it to be blackish, not coloured. If there have been leaks then perhaps there’s going to be more of it and with more colour. So I assume that colour in this region is some indication of at least slow and gradual leaks. Or of ink draining when you insert the carts after incorrect filling. As noted in that R2400 thread, I’ve had some very poor carts from HK suppliers some years ago that did this.

I did have a cart once (not from IJM) where the exit valve wasn’t in straight at new. I guess it’s possible that that was part of your problem, although I’ve never tried to trim the seal. I’ve made most of the possible mistakes and errors, but haven’t tried that one, if it is an error.

My view is that the problem with refillable carts is that they have to make them simple to avoid infringing on the Epson patent. The OEM carts have quite a complex flow, as I understand it.

+1. I’m torn between optimism, after solving my R1900, and pessimism, given the history and not being able to solve my R2400.

Dan - I’ve just been told by a higher authority that we’re likely to go away soon for a few days. Given this, I don’t want to start awakening the R2880, only to leave it unwatched while I’m away. I won’t get the chance to work on this for a couple of weeks, unless the higher authority changes her mind. Sorry.

Hello folks. Thought I’d chime in here. I’ve just purchased a refurb R2880 from Epson, along with IJM carts and will be doing a full setup and test once that all arrives. I hope I don’t encounter your issues, but in my experimentation, I might notice something that can help. We’ll see.

That’s okay Brian, my next steps are to try new cartridges that I should get in the next few days. I will post my results.

TJNCOOKE, I hope you don’t have any problems, but I do appreciate your interest.

Hi Dan~

I’m sorry to hear of your recent difficulties with your 2yr old R2880 carts, and have some questions/suggestions below.

After searching thru my emails, I don’t see you’ve previously contacted us for support, and based on your order history, I assume you’ve been having good results with these carts, until recently- is that a correct assumption?
If you were having good results, and started experiencing issues recently, then the first thing I suggest is try a new set of carts, which I know you’ve already ordered, so please keep me posted with your results after installing the new carts. Based on your nozzle checks, it looks like the trouble positions are black and cyan, so you may want to start by just replacing those two carts first and see how things work.

As you’ve learned, you should never remove the plastic film over the bottom of the exit valve, as that holds the valve parts in place. You can gently clean the exit valve with Q-tips in a circular motion, but never insert anything inside or remove parts, or it could easily damage the cart and cause a problem/mess.

Since you have already ordered the new carts, your printer is resting with PiezoFlush carts installed, and you have already cleaned your printer by following our instructions, I will wait for your update after replacing the two trouble carts with fresh carts, and we’ll go from there.

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


Thanks for the reply. I started having problems about six months ago, but with some family obligations, I didn’t have a chance to work on it till recently. I did receive the new cartridges yesterday, and installed all of them (I had trimmed the old cartridges, so I didn’t want to keep using those). I am able to get some good nozzle checks and make some prints. I am evaluating the best practices and will post more after a few days.

Enjoy your weekend,

Ok, sounds good. I hope everything goes smoothly, and will look for an update from you in a few days.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy your weekend too~ Dana :slight_smile:

Thanks, I will let you know how things work out.



I was able to maintain a good nozzle check for about 4-5 hours after turning on my printer after I installed the new carts. After about 4-5 hours, a few of the nozzles would clog, usually the PK but not always the same nozzles. Turning the printer off and then back on later would clear the nozzles, presumably by a mini-nozzle clean that occurs on startup (at least I think that is what the R2880 is doing, please correct me if otherwise). This seemed to work for up to about a day, but leaving the printer off for two days caused major nozzle check problems (gaps and bleeds to other colors) that could not be cleared with the auto-nozzle clean. So, I have cleaned my printer capping station, wiper blade and head once again, and I have replaced the color carts with the Piezoflush carts. I now have a good nozzle check with the Piezoflush carts.

The temperature and relative humidity in our house are 72 degrees F and 32%, respectively, using a calibrated RadioShack 63-1013 hygrometer. Our home has an open floor plan, so I have never been able to significantly raise the indoor relative humidity with a humidifier (my wife has a piano, so we have tried).

So, unless there are other suggestions, my game plan will be to keep my printer stored with Piezoflush and turned off till I need to do a batch of prints. I will then switch out the carts, hopefully maintain good nozzle checks during my batch printing, and then switch back to Piezoflush for storage. At least this is easier than setting up a dark room in my bathroom, and I can do color with the printer. The R2880 is also takes up less space than an enlarger, trays, chemicals and dryer.


Your problems remain uncannily similar to mine on my 2880. Identical. The gaps you are seeing are not caused by clogs. They’re caused by ink leaking from the carts. Not all nozzle check gaps are clogs - there are other causes. Head’s don’t clog that fast, unless perhaps you’re in the middle of the Sahara.

One aspect of your uncanny similar experiences is that you switch to a new set of carts and it’s always the same cart leaking, and it’s always PK. So what is going on?

Either there are a lot of faulty PK carts coming through, or there’s something about the PK channel in our two printers that is not compatible with IJM carts. An Ink nipple just a little out of manufacturing tolerance or something like that.

I have a range of options:
. Try again with the current carts
. Try my last set of unused carts
. Replace the leaking carts with some 2010 model R1900 carts (different design, but compatible once the chips are swapped)
. Order some carts from HK
. OEM, which may be simpler than pulling out the flush carts and putting in the ink carts for as long as it takes to print and then putting the flush carts back in. There are head cleans after each swap, and so each time you do this you waste flush and ink. And it makes it hard to print spontaneously.

What puzzles me is why don’t the flush carts leak? I guess it’s harder to spot with flush in all positions, but I don’t see any signs of them draining.

I have looked at these carts, and they are made of two parts: the reservoir and the chip. The reservoir appears to be the same for all of the different colors. The chips are numbered and correspond to the different colors. So, I doubt there is a problem with the PK carts being a different batch. Also, the PK cart filled with Piezoflush works just fine. So, I am now thinking there is a problem with the Photo Black ink or it is just really finicky.

What I have not investigated is how well the nozzle checks hold up with Matte Black ink because I have been making prints that are on luster or glossy paper. Fortunately, the next set of prints that I need to make will be on matte papers, so I can see how the MK carts hold up. I will probably start this project in the next week, and I am hesitant to change out the Piezoflush carts before then.

I will update when I have more results.


I know. I’m grasping at straws, although I have had a few faulty carts recently. Two on the R1900, which leaked in the printer, and one so far on the R2880, which leaked when out of the printer. (These printers use the same cartridge body with different labels and chips.) So it happens. The best that I can hope for at the moment is that I’ve got one or two more. But if it keeps happening on the same channel then there has to be something systematic and not just random.

I agree. I don’t understand either. Why do the flush carts not drain and the ink ones do? It’s odd, given that flush is thinner.

Best of luck. My trip has been postponed, and so I may make another attempt with my R2880.

Hi everyone, Jon posted my testings/findings in #22 under the New User - Cart Drained w/out Printing - Epson r2880

, these threads are getting very lengthy with conversation and speculations about what could be the problem(s). I am going to work on putting together one main thread that will show all the users complaints, then post the testing results at the end. This way if a customer is looking for this issue through a search, they will be able to see all the users common concerns in one place, without having to look at several separate threads.

My conclusion and the common denominator here is older printers with worn out Capping Stations/Wiper blade and pumps. I am ordering a Pump assembly today to replace in our OLD R2880 to verify the repair (fingers crossed), this is an inexpensive solution to get another year or 2 out of your older 2880 printers. Compass Micro sells these pump assemblies for $48.78 and can be ordered here…0Photo%20R2880

I will post my progress and results after replacing the pump assembly, until then I would recommend cleaning your printer thoroughly every 100 prints or so, BEFORE you have leaking ink all over the inside of the printer.

Thank you all for being patient as we work this out and come to a resolve and offer our users a solution. Keeping your printers running, clean and trouble free is our goal, same holds true for our printers here in the studio and R&D, without that we wouldn’t have a product to stand behind.


Kelly, thanks for your update. I did see your post in the other thread last night. I have done another extensive cleaning (included the left-hand side pad on the platen) and can get an excellent nozzle check. I inspected it with a 7X loupe. However, I have done this in the past, and within a day or two the problems reappear. At least I don’t think the ink is leaking this time. I am also considering replacing the pump assembly, though my printer is only 20 months old and purchased new. I did connect external waste tanks to it late last year.


I posted my findings/testing conclusions on this thread, closed it and added a new thread in the discussions to keep the discussions off the COMMON thread