Blocked color on Epson 3880

Hi Dana,

We have an Epson 3880 (about 2 years old), it unfortunately sat unused for a two months during the summer break. I brought it back up with few cleaning cycle with all nozzles firing well. After few days of use M color and few others would need cleaning cycle to clear missing patterns (nozzle check pattern). This would happen more often, and now M color is completely blocked (all other color is fine). When I print a nozzle check pattern, I would see few faint (crooked) lines of Cyan? (not sure it is C or LC). I have done the steps 1-4 below to resolve the problem without success. When I was doing the step 4, Install a cart filled with PiezoFlush into the M channel and printing thru QTR calibration Mode to purge ink and fill the line with PiezoFlush, there was a page of banding lines of Cyan? and trailed off to blank page (I suspect because of the blockage the PiezoFlush is not getting to the nozzle).

I’m willing and interested in doing the step 5. You stated that IJM does not support or provide instructions, is there any other resource that out there that I can reference?

There’s a few things you can do (I will list all possible solutions, including things you may have already done): 1. Clean the capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head with PiezoFlush by following our instructions, 2. Do a few regular cleaning cycles, or a Power Clean cycle, 3. Print pure black ink using the QTR Calibration Mode (instructions for doing this can be found in the Articles> Product Manuals and Instructions section of this forum), 4. Install a cart filled with PiezoFlush into the black channel and printing thru QTR calibration Mode to purge ink and fill the line with PiezoFlush, until the black position prints pink on the nozzle check, then let PiezoFlush sit in the printer for like 24 hours) to have time to work it’s magic, do another cleaning cycle or two, and print a nozzle check to see if the nozzle is printing. 5. Not something we support or provide instructions for doing, but I would personally do to our own printer, and some technically skilled customers could do: disconnect the dampers from the print head and use our print head cleaning kit to flush out the print head channel.

Hi Young~

From your explanation, it sounds to me that you are dealing with particle build up in your dampers, and should install new dampers. With the 3800 and 3880 printers, the repair manual and replacement parts available direct you to replace the entire ink supply system an a whole unit (including cartridge bays, ink lines, and damper assembly). I have not had to do this with our printers, but have experience doing other things with these printers. Regarding my suggestions you quoted above, we don’t have step by step instructions for doing #5, nor do we support people taking apart and working on their own printers, but offer this is an option for those who have tried everything else, their printers are out of warranty, they have technical abilities and/or nothing to lose by trying to work on their printers by themselves, and want to avoid calling Epson support- which can be very costly. We direct people to the repair manuals for instructions for dismantling printers to access the areas to clean or replace. To manually flush the print head of a 3800/3880 printer, you will need to disconnect the damper assembly in order to access the print head to clean. I have attached a few photos I took while investigating our 3800 a while back, to show the ink supply assembly, and disconnecting dampers from the head. At this point, I would direct you to our small format print head cleaning kit, and suggest you follow the instructions provided, then replace or reconnect the dampers to check how the printer works after cleaning. The print head cleaning kit can be found here:, replacement parts purchased from, and repair manual can be downloaded from

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have questions or if there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

On the CompassMicro site, when looking at the exploded parts diagram for the 3800/3880 printer model, I see the ink system assembly is part# 511- you can call to get pricing and shipping info from CompassMicro.


Hi Young~ I just posted a new thread:! and think it may be helpful to you, depending on your technical ability/comfort level. Many printer repairs consist of several steps, but each step is fairly easy and no special tools are required (just a few magnetized screwdrivers)- so if you have some time and patience to read/follow instructions, you may very well be able to fix your own printer with little time or cost (but much self confidence and printer knowledge to gain!).

Keep me posted, all the best~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hi Dana, thank you and Wells for all the help and following up. I did contact CompassMicro about the dampers, but would like to try to flush the print/ink head and replace the single blocked damper (although I’m not sure where to get a single damper, as CompassMicro only sells the full dampers system). I would very much like to see the step-by-step direction in how to accomplish this. Thanks for your generous offer to help.

All the best,

I will get working on writing instructions for replacing dampers in the selector unit, and let you know when they’re complete.
We can get the individual dampers for the 3800/3880 printer model (I also see them listed online, from various Chinese companies).

Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hi Dana, any new update? Thank you for willing to put the instructions together.


Hi Young~ I have been super swamped lately, so I apologize for not having a chance to get this together for you yet. This week is busy with workshops, but hopefully next week I’ll have a few hours to put into putting these instructions together.

All the best~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hi Young~

After some more thought, we decided we don’t necessarily want to instruct or support people fixing their own printers, and for the same reason don’t believe we’ll supply replacement parts such as dampers. We’re not Epson techs, and have learned from experience, not formal training- so don’t feel comfortable considering the possible issues that could arise from people working on their own machines.

What’s happening is users are sharing what they learn, and have added several helpful posts including info and photos for replacing dampers in the 3800/3880 model.
Here are some treads you can check out that have info I hope will be helpful to you:!

I hope this helps!
All the best~ Dana :slight_smile: