Epson 11880 & 3850 blocked heads problem


#1

Hi Inkjetmall,

We are a fine art printer and was recommended to your site by a good friend of ours. We purchased some Piezoflush recently with the intent to use it to clean one of our printers.

We have been having some nozzle problems with our Stylus Pro 11880 & 3850 units. We’ve had both units for a few years now, all running OEM Epson ink. We purchased the 11880 6 years ago and the 3850 we have is at least 3 years old.

Our problem is this – we have some severely blocked heads on both units. The 11880 is our main concern as this is our production unit and is used pretty much daily for our work. About 2 years ago the 11880 had a full head replacement and was working fine up until about 2 months ago where the Matte black nozzles started playing up after an ink change from Photo Black. It first started with two nozzles out of the Matte Black not working, then gradually built up to about 4 – all affected nozzles next to each other missing on the first row of lines on the Nozzle Check pattern. We tried various power cleaning methods including pairs cleanings to clear them but to no avail – they just won’t budge. The same has happened with the 3850, except the nozzles on this machine are far more severely clogged than the 11880. The Magenta and Light coloured inks in particular has been affected quite badly, to the point only about half the nozzles are firing, and none at all are working with the Magenta.

This was the main reason we purchased the Piezoflush. We had hoped to try out the Piezoflush first with the 3850, and once that was cleared to order a larger set for the 11880 including refillable carts for the 11880 as flushcarts. I understand that the dampers may need replacing on both machines – but was wondering should I replace the dampers also before using the Piezoflush or after the flush?

As for other issues, we noticed that after doing a power clean on the 11880, the Magenta ink seems to turn into cyan! And the only way this clears is through using a normal or paired cleanings. We understand this is termed as an ‘ink bleed’. Would this problem have anything to do with the pump and/or pipes being clogged? And if so should our pump be replaced you think?

We’ve contacted Epson and they have said our 11880 printhead needs replacing. Considering it is only just 2 years old and should be reliable (we have owned many Epson LFPs over the years since the Pro 9000), we feel it is crazy that we have to do yet another head replacement in such a short amount of time. What would you recommend that we do? Hope you can help!


#2

[B]To answer your questions for the 11880-[/B]

“I understand that the dampers may need replacing on both machines – but was wondering should I replace the dampers also before using the Piezoflush or after the flush?”[B] Yes, it’s a good idea to replace the dampers before flushing

“[/B]As for other issues, we noticed that after doing a power clean on the 11880, the Magenta ink seems to turn into cyan! And the only way this clears is through using a normal or paired cleanings. We understand this is termed as an ‘ink bleed’. Would this problem have anything to do with the pump and/or pipes being clogged? And if so should our pump be replaced you think?[B]” It’s possible the Capping Station is gummed up with Pigments, do you know if this was replaced when Epson did the head?

1st I would replace the dampers, Clean the Capping Station (replace on the 11880 if hasn’t been done previously), Clean the Flushing box (11880), Wiper Blade (both) and bottom of print head (both). Then[B] install flush carts (if you can find refillable carts for either of these printers) and run the Initial Fill or the Adjustment program to charge the system with Flush and clear the lines of ink.
[/B]
We recommend replacing the Capping Station, Flushing Box & Wiper Blade on the LFP’s every 1-3 years depending on use, you can find replacement parts here https://www.compassmicro.com/

Also, it’s wise to purchase the replacement Dampers through compass micro and not from an after market source, you certainly get what you pay for when it comes to replacement parts for these printers.
[/B]


#3

Hi KellyC,

Thanks for the advice!

Regarding the Epson, yes I believe most parts of our 11880 was replaced when we had our heads changed over 2 years ago by Epson. However not much work has been done since on it, which leads us to assume that there is indeed some sort of serious internal clogging with the machine. We have cleaned the capping station and wiper blades so far but not yet replaced the dampers. So far the results have been marginal. We were considering using third-party parts but thinking the potential problems it could cause we have decided to stick with proper Epson parts instead. Thanks for the advice, we will probably get it looked at properly first by another service agent before we decide what to do…