Blocked Print Head on Initial Setup

I am reposting this as a separate support request which I posted earlier with “Jack in the Box capping station”. This post is long but I wanted to include all possibly pertinent info.

Something suddenly blocked virtually all the nozzles of my printer in less than a day.

I first attempted to install the k7 set about two weeks ago. I was not able to insert the PK cartridge because the reset chip could not sit flat. I ordered a new reset chip and in the two-week period before the new chip arrived I removed the k7 set, stored them in zip lock bags and reinstalled the original Epson cartridges.

It might be important to mention that while attempting to remove the K7 set I realized that though I was able to install all but one of the cartridges four other cartridges could not be removed from the printer without sliding an exacto blade over the reset chip.

I printed every day during those two weeks with no incident until just after receiving a maintenance cartridge 90% full warning I experienced an unexplained leak. It is the first time in ten years I have had problems with this printer. Prints emerged with puddles of black ink mostly along one side of the paper. Shortly after this I began printing maximum black as white (no ink). The Epson PK cartridge was completely empty without having received any warnings from the printer. I replaced the Pk cartridge and ran an auto nozzle check after which everything seemed normal. Now I am wondering if the leak wasn’t caused by faulty communication to the maintenance tank due to installing and uninstalling the k7 ink set.

I continued printing with no issues for another day or two before receiving the new PK chip in the mail.

I wanted to make sure that the printer was in perfect running order before reinstalling the k7 set so after watching the cleaning tutorial I attempted to manually clean the capping station and wiper. After the manual clean, I attempted to execute the 3 power cleans recommended after installation. During the power clean the capping station became dislodged. I think I managed to reposition it properly but I can’t be 100% sure (see post “Jack in the Box capping station”). I immediately sent a print through and it was completely blank. The print head moved across the paper without depositing ink. I attempted an Auto nozzle clean which ended in a cleaning error message.

I repeatedly cleaned the underside of the print head as instructed in the tutorial, thinking that maybe ink dried there since the head hadn’t been docked for more than 24 hours. For more than an hour I was getting jet black, vibrant crimson, cyan, and bright yellow ink on the towel.

I sent the QTR calibration target to see exactly which cartridges were blocked. After manual print head cleaning and partial power cleaning at present the yellow cartridge seems to be the only one fully operational, PK MK LK and cyan cartridges are getting though faintly but with severe vertical banding.

Any help would be greatly appreciated


Did you prime your 3880 refill cartridges as per the instructions? This seem like an air-lock is taking place and creating pressure problems.

Also, if the cartridges are sticky on pulling them out, simply push the cartridge in about 1mm, push the ink cartridge release lever down slightly and pull the cartridge out when the ink cartridge release lever is in this down position. It will slide out with no problem.



I primed all of cartridges initially ( two weeks ago) and verified they were all functioning properly , ( at this time I couldn’t insert the K7 PK so I had an Epson Pk in place ) I will try repriming them if you think that will help. I hadn’t considered that.

As for the reset chip, I think I tried every combination of gently wiggling, pressing, pushing and pulling. I’m not certain if this is normal but none of my reset chips sit perfectly flat with the Epson chip inside, they all do without it. All reset chips curve up to different degrees, when I press down on the chip with my finger they curve up when I let go as if there isn’t enough space to fit.

thanks for your advice


Here’s an update:

Going on the premise the problem was priming I reinstalled the Epson cartridges, power cleaned and sent through a test, no change. I re-primed the 9 K7 cartridges and reinstalled them, power cleaned and retested with no change. There are so many nozzles not firing that most of the test patterns dont appear as squares. Yellow has a few solid lines but they’re black, The auto clean cant get beyond the first row before aborting. Power cleaning seems to have no other effect then using 10% of the maintenance cart, (I’ve gone through 2 since Friday).