Diagnosis? Photo Black requires regular head cleaning, other colors OK

Greetings. I’m finding it necessary to do a nozzle check before printing to see if Photo Black is coming through. I can usually print several sheets in the same day without a problem, but if I wait a day PB will be blocked and I’ll need to clean the heads again. Usually it just takes one cleaning pass to get be up and running, although last week it took 3 passes. Any thoughts? Thanks.

Have you cleaned your capping station? If it was dirty, it could be wicking the black out. The damper will prevent too much ink loss, so a single clean would normally get it back in this case. Also, have you tried MK? Does the same issue happen with that?

  • If so, definitely clean the capping station (may want to regardless). If that doesn’t help, try the Bounty towel head cleaning method.
  • If not, it might be a damper issue although more testing would be needed.

Let us know!

After checking out the cleaning vids I think that’s the way to go. I’ve ordered a Piezographic cleaning kit and will try it out by the end of the week.

Hi bill723, I see you have an R3000 printer, the cleaning kit attachment is intended for cartridge directly over head style printers, such as the R2880, 1400/1430, R2000, 1800, 1900 & 2400. The R3000 actually has dampers and ink lines that run from the cartridge carriage assembly to the head internally.
With some mechanical abilities you can do this yourself, see recommendations below:

R3000 Ink Supply Unit Replacement Recommendation
You can gain access to the print head by removing the Ink Supply Unit, you will need the R3000 repair manual for this procedure, found here http://www.2manuals.com/product_info.php?products_id=1376
Epson recommends you replace the Ink Supply Unit once every 12-24 months depending on usage of the printer. This unit actually comes as an entire assembly and is MUCH easier to replace all at once then to replace each individual damper from this unit. It is also more cost effective over purchasing Flush and Cartridges, thus saving you valuable time and money in the long run, in addition you have access to flush the print head and effectively you end up with a fresh starting point. So long as your print head is in good working order still, you will basically have a brand new printer.

You can see an exploded parts diagram on the Compass Micro web-site, it nicely breaks down each part and shows you how they are assembled together. By using the Epson repair manual and these parts diagrams, this job is fairly straight forward if you are mechanically inclined. A word of advise, make sure you read the repair manual thoroughly, step by step to make sure you don’t miss any vital steps along the way.

The Ink Supply Unit is assembled of all the dampers, the cartridge housing & chip read sensors & the ink tubes and only costs $172.39. You can purchase this item at Compass Micro by following this link https://www.compassmicro.com/parts_detail.cfm?ID=7461&form.mfg=Epson&form.printerstyle=Inkjet&form.printername=Stylus%20Photo%20R3000

Hmm. Short of that purchase, don’t you think it would be worth trying to follow the clips Dana made, using the Piezographic fluid to clean the damper, wiper, and then dragging the heads along a soaked Bounty towel? I am fairly handy, but I haven’t really used the R3000 that much. There’ve been long stretches of doing a nozzle check weekly, nothing more.

You would not clean the dampers, instead, that would be a replacement of the entire Ink Assembly unit, which includes the dampers as a set. There is no way to clean the individual dampers themselves.

You can however clean the Capping Station, the bottom of the print head and the wiper blade using the Piezoflush that comes in the cleaning kit. Here is the link to that cleaning video How to Professionally Clean Epson R3000 printers - YouTube

I had mild success using the head cleaning kit to inject flush into the head as if it was a desktop model. But that’s more of a last resort before replacing dampers (which I ended up doing on my printer). Best to try a full cleaning without dismantle and see if that helps.

This is not a recommended procedure, it can damage the internal structure of the ink selector unit.

Are you saying you took the cartridges out of the printer and installed the head attachment to the ink ports and injected flush? These are actually attached to internal ink lines that run to the Dampers, then into the head. If you inject the flush into this part of the printer, the dampers are CLOSED and this could easily blow out the very fragile internal ink passages.

This is were it gets confusing for many people, the head cleaning attachment can only be used on the head itself, that is it. If you are technically capable to remove the head itself from the Ink Selector unit (damper assembly) and remove it from the printer, then yes you would be able to use this Attachment directly on the head. This is the only time we recommend using the attachment for the R3000. This is a waste of time mostly, you can clear the head of clogs, but are still going to possibly have clogged/dirty dampers and after all that work you are going to be faced with the same outcome of clogged nozzles.

We recommend replacing the Ink Selector Unit as a whole and eliminating the possibility of any further clogging, as stated above on post #4

I followed Dana’s r3000 cleaning vid. Good vid, tedious work, but that seems to have done the trick (only printed one pic, however, so we’ll see).

I suggest that, before placing a Piezographic-soaked Bounty strip under that head track, it would be a good idea to 1. trim off about a third of an inch of the half sheet so that it folds to a narrower strip 2. put the folded strip in a book to crush in flat, or use a roller. Before doing that I couldn’t slide the heads over it without jamming.

Your issue could be a clogged damper. The “Photo Black” seems to be notorious for this. Right now, i am trying to fix it, by running a cart filled with Piezoflush in the Photo Black. I purged the ink using QTR, to print strips of only black. I no longer have a clogging issue.

Also, I believe that Jon or Dana suggested removing the ink carts once a week, and shaking them vigorously. This helps to keep the pigment from settling, and leading to damper-clogging issues. Only time will tell though, if that actually helps.