Clogged Nozzle, Vivid Magenta



Good morning!

My company has two Epson 9890 printers, both using the ConeColor Pro inks with refillable cartridges. However our older 9890 printer, which is not under warranty anymore, seems to have a clogged nozzle that won’t unclog with the color Vivid Magenta. We have been using the printer once a week and last week was the first time we encountered this issue. Vivid Magenta is the only color that is clogging. We didn’t know if the weather changing has any effect on this, as well. I first tried normal cleaning, power cleaning, and cleaning the C/VM color pairs (both normal and powerful) with no results. I get an error at the end of the cleanings stating:

“[B]Cleaning Error Automatic Head Cleaning Failed,

I tried using “SS Cleaning” under maintenance mode and also tried the specific cleaning functions under “Self Testing” mode with no results as well.

I finally tried to flush out with Piezo Printhead Cleaning, Flush and Storage fluid and do the recommended cleaning as described in your youtube video linked below but still get the same results and a filled maintenance tank.

I have attached links to photos of our nozzle checks during various cleanings.

I was hoping to get some advice on how to fix this problem. Do we need to take apart the printhead and unclog the nozzle or do we need to bite the bullet and have a Epson technician replace the printhead? We are like many trying to avoid this costly procedure!

Any ideas to help us?


Zen Art & Design

Video of cleaning procedure:

Images of nozzle tests:


Another VM problem…
I had a similar problem with my 2/3880. Removing the dampers and injecting flush directly would revive it for a while, but the problem always returned.

What is the ink batch number?


Did you run the Initial Fill sequence to perform this flush with a flush cartridge installed into this position? OR did you just do cleaning cycles and the manual cleaning in reference to the video? Here is the video for performing the Initial Fill with the flush cart installed

With this printer model you may have to run 2-3 Initial fills to get the flush all the way to the head if you have installed the flush cart. Also, you will want to use the Manual Cleaning cycles, and not select the Auto cleaning cycle for this, it is detecting the clogged VM that is why it is giving you this error.

Sometimes these stubborn clogs will need to sit a couple of days with the flush worked all the way to the head for the best effective cleaning.


Hello again,

I ran the Intial Fill sequence with the cartridge installed in the VM slot which didn’t give me really any results. I just bought more PiezoFlush and I am planning to do the Initial Fill sequence two more times and let it sit over the weekend.

I’m confused on how not to select the Auto cleaning cycle. Is there a way to shut off the auto cycle? It sometimes will clean itself before the printer starts printing an image.

Tjncooke - To answer your question I really couldn’t tell you what batch the ink was from. We have two 9890 that constantly go through inks because of the amount of printing we do. Once the bottle is used up we put it in the recycling bin, which doesn’t help us right now. I was hoping not to remove the dampers but I guess I will if this flush doesn’t work!

Zen Art & Design


You can turn off the AUTO clean cycle through your control panel on the printer itself, under-
[B]Menu>Printer Setup>Auto Nozzle Check>OFF[/B]

When it’s time to run a Nozzle check you will use-
[B]Menu>Test Print>Nozzle Check[/B]


Hello again,

I turned off the auto clean cycle, thank you for the information!

I let the PiezoFlush sit through the weekend and ran the initial fill a couple of times today just to make sure the flush went through more. I added the vivid magenta back into the printer with 2-3 more initial fills to make sure the magenta would get to the print head. After, I tried to print a nozzle check but didn’t get the results I was looking for. The nozzle check isn’t printing out matte black, the version number, nor the maintenance cartridge status on that nozzle check print. Vivid magenta is showing up with little lines but mostly blank in the column.

I am wondering is it time to get a replacement printhead to fix this problem or should I continue pushing ink through the printer hoping the clog will disappear? Do you know any technicians in the New England area that can come and fix our printer or should we go with the epson technician?

Zen Art & Design


Did you verify a 100% Nozzle Check after the flush was worked into the VM channel thoroughly?

Are the missing nozzles in the MK channel a new discovery?


I did verify and there was no VM printing out when the flush was in the printer. Atleast now when I do a nozzle check print there are few lines showing.

MK is a new discovery as well. I double checked to see if the ink cartridge was empty but it wasn’t nearly done.

Zen Art & Design


In this case, if there was no improvement after flushing the system thoroughly and you couldn’t get a good NC with the flush installed, then I wouldn’t expect to be seeing any improvements with the pigment ink for the VM channel.

I would say you have a dead channel in this head and it will need replacing. This is unfortunately a very common issue with this printer platform.