Black ink comes out gray

Time to be 100% honest.

I am a high school teacher and will be referencing our Epson R3000 printers, of which we have four, two that are 3-4 years old and 2 that are about 8 months old. I purchased the two most recent ones to replace the older ones that were just having so many issues that I didn’t have time to figure them out and had to get my students printing again. The history of my printers is not great, and will probably make your heart sink… Not knowing much about printers, I would let them sit over the summer and then come back the next school year and run a couple of cleanings and they would be good to go. Well my lack of knowledge has caught up with me (hence the purchasing of the two new ones). The two new ones are working fine and hopefully won’t be referencing them but to be 100% honest they are using Marrutt CIS ink systems with ConeColor Pro inks, this was the only solution I could think of to prevent any further “air” issues. I love your inks but had to solve this issue. The old ones are still on your Cartridges, and your inks.

I am pretty sure this thread will continue on so I will name all of the printers so they don’t get confusing. (and since I am on summer break watching Mickey Mouse with my kids right now we will go with those names.
Mickey-Old Printer #1
Minnie-Old Printer #2
Donald-New Printer #3
Daisy-New Printer #4

Come to find out I had a number of issues: the students sitting in the chairs, wouldn’t let me know when the inks were low and I would constantly be getting air in the lines, letting them sit for long periods of time (weeks-months), and did I mention working with TEENAGERS!

After getting the new ones and letting Mickey and Minnie sit for a couple of months, I started researching fixes for them (Mickey & Minnie) and purchased the flush fluid and started flushing them out. I flushed all of the colors successfully and when running a Head check with the flush fluid, all of the heads are firing. I switched back to the color cartridges and ran an ink charge. All of the colors show up on the head check and every line is there. I choose to start with Mickey, I printed a test picture or purge page and the black came out gray. I switched over to the Matte black to see if that was the issue, but it too prints out gray. I can send photos if needed. So to start I would like to try and get Mickey up and running first then I will move on to Minnie.

I know that printers have most likely seen more abuse than any printer should ever see but I would really like to get them up and running again, and I feel like I am so close. They don’t have to be perfect, these are just high school kids, but I would like to have more printing stations available for them to use.


I think I won’t be alone in asking: Do you have pictures of the print-outs? Using QTR in Calibration mode, the black comes out grey or is it fine there? To turn over all rocks, you did fill K with K and not LK or something silly, right? :wink:

Since the printers are the same, try swapping Micky with Donald and doing exactly the same computer print commands. Does that come out ok?

When you preformed the Initial Charge after you installed the pigment inks, how many Init. Fills did you run? If you only ran 1, then you may have some residual Piezoflush left over in the lines and the pigment ink just hasn’t made it to the head yet. I have experiences this before and had to run 2x Initial Fills (or charges) to rid the system of left over fluids, also have seen this happen with air (but that’s an entirely different story all together).

A print out of your calibration through the QTR calibration mode would be useful for you to compare to after you run another initial fill to see if there’s improvement. You can find that information here

2 initial fills? Yikes! Hope you have an external waste tank. I would cry at the ink dumped :frowning: I’ll use my 2880 for playing with inks. If only Piezography didn’t have such a high cost of entry. You should consider selling a small “trial” kit with ~25-50mL of each color!

Well, we do actually sell 60ml bottles of CCPRO inks, you could consider that a Trial size.

You can also use the QTR calibration mode to print purge images using the MK channel in question. This is extremely time consuming and not to mention the paper wasted in the process. It is a work around, but to me the time saved running the 2nd initial fill is much greater a value then the ink lost (which by the way is approximately 10-15ml of each color per initial fill) for the R3000.

Upon further inspection, it looks like I can’t count, on the print head test I only had 7 lines, so it looks as if the Black is still clogged. I will see if I can search for an answer on how to clean just one head.

I really only noticed because I ran a second ink charge and notice 3 small dashes, so it looks as if ink is moving, but it may need some help.

I can’t seem to up load the image, I will keep trying.

[QUOTE=KellyC;7866]Well, we do actually sell 60ml bottles of CCPRO inks, you could consider that a Trial size.[/QUOTE]Hmm. All I see in the store is 110mL. 60mL would be a better starter size! Where can I find those sets?

Ok I can’t seem to find anything specific to the R3000, can you recommend how to clean just one ink channel?

Our webstore is here:

On the front menu you can SHOP BY INK

You can select ConeColor PRO K3 or K3V

It is sold in 5 different sizes: 60ml, 110ml, 220ml, 350ml and 700ml

Thanks, but actually it was a miscommunication. I thought Kelly implied you sold Piezography in 60mL bottles, but she referenced ConeColor. I’ve been very satisfied with CC, and was looking to give Piezography a try. However, investing in 110mL for $$$ is rather much for something I don’t expect to use more than occasionally. Oh well.

Well, things have taken a turn for the worst. Since I couldn’t get anything to change and I have already replaced the printer I thought I might tear into the printer. After getting to the print head and ink lines, I pulled the print head out and flushed each color, black was clogged but is now unclogged. I then pulled the ink lines off and flushed them out with cleaning fluid. Every color was fine until I hit black, it seems that a pump or something in line has developed a leak. The line would not hold any pressure, not sure if it’s worth it to get it fixed, I was going to call our service center to see if I could get a price. But just thought I would update you on my status.

I will be moving on to Minnie, over the next couple days.

Hmmm, thanks for the update. A loss of pressure in the black line will certainly cause printing problems!!

Just to update this old thread:

It took us awhile but we finally came out with a new design (our own idea!). We’ve updated the R3000 carts to be 60mL. This gives you two chances (two chip resets) before the ink is critically low.

All the best,