Epson 2880 - major problem - Streaking after major cleaning

Background. I have an Epson 2880 that I,recently, put in Cone (Inkjetmall) pigment inks. I was pretty sure I had all the color management issues done correctly so I felt I could print properly from Lightroom. I had made a few random prints and everything seemed to be OK. In preparation for printing, I decided to do a major cleaning. I used the Inkjetmall Piezoflush to clean out the capping station and then cleaned out each nozzle with the dummy cartridge (Inkjetmall). From Inkjetmall’s videos, I thought I had done everything properly (moving the printhead and putting the paper towels underneath, etc.). I then refilled and reset all the cartridges and put them back in and turned everything back on and made a test print. What I got was a lot of black, messy, streaks on the paper. I did a bunch of nozzle checks and cleanings and, as I have been using a trial version of Qimage Ultimate, I tried their nozzle unclog feature. I had also used the Qimage shortly before all this but I doubt that Q would be the cause of any of this. Now, when I do a nozzle check, I get a controlled streak of colors across the top (bottom?) of the page. Slightly better but still a problem. From the vidoes, the one thing I did not do was clean off the wiper blade because the access seemed confusing I did not want to poke around and damage something.

Any suggestions as to what I did wrong or how I can fix this problem?

No suggestions, but I will be following this thread as I also am having problems with this printer and Cone Inkjet cartidges.

I’ll reply, since there seem to be several of us in the same boat.

In my experience (I’ve done quite a few cleans recently), the wiper blade is the easiest of all to clean. It’s not that hard to raise with your fingernail once you’ve pulled the plug and moved the head out the way. Without cleaning it it’s hard to rule it out as a possible cause.

Can you post scans of your streaks and also a nozzle check? It’s a bit hard to guess what’s going on without seeing the problem. You may also want to look at my comments in Dan’s thread.

Hi alandb~

I’m sorry to hear of your experience, and will try my best to help resolve this issue to get you back to happily printing.

Maintenance is important to keep the printer clean and in good working condition (this is true with any machine), but if everything was working well after you first installed the carts and did a few test prints, then I don’t see the need for flushing the print head, and believe you may have caused the problem during the cleaning process somehow… We recommend cleaning the printer’s capping station and wiper blade on a regular basis (every few weeks) to keep the head clean and in good working condition, and if you experience stubborn clogged nozzles, dripping or smears on the paper, then gently clean the bottom of the print head, and carefully flush the print head using our print head cleaning kit. If your printer is working well and all channels are fully printing on the nozzle check, there’s no need to flush the print head.

It would be helpful to see a photo of your nozzle check. Please read instructions on how to attach files to this forum, here:

Was there excess fluid in the bottom of the cartridge chamber, and/or did the paper towel get overly saturated when you flushed the print head?
How much PiezoFlush did you inject thru each channel of the print head?
Did you inspect paper towels after removing from under the print head, to make sure they were fully intact, and a piece of paper towel didn’t rip off?
Did you overflow the capping station, or did any fluid drip into the printer body while cleaning the capping station?
Did you clean the bottom of the print head after using the print head cleaning kit, as per our instructions?

If you flooded the head or electrical areas of the printer while cleaning your printer, it could cause strange things to happen, like what you’re experiencing. If this is what’s going on, it may work fine after drying out for a few days, though in extreme head flooding situations where nothing was printing due to wet electrical, gently removing the head, and disconnecting the ribbon cable, then carefully drying the cable and connection areas with Q-tips, and reconnecting, has resolved the issue for the few customers who have done this.

If you have paper towel stuck to the bottom of the head, then I recommend carefully cleaning the bottom of the print head and wiper blade, following our instructions, here:

Another thought is the encoder strip, which is a thin clear plastic strip that extends the length of the printer, and has tiny lines on it, which is how the print head knows where it is. If the encoder strip became disconnected, or is dirty with ink, then the printer will act strangely. Check to make sure the encoder strip is correctly attached, and isn’t dirty. If it is dirty, use an alcohol pad to clean it by opening the pad and gently pinching the strip between the opened pad (so it’s folded over the strip, to clean both sides), and carefully wipe the strip from one side to the other (try to use a smooth motion, not scrubbing it back and forth).

I hope this helps.
Please keep me posted, and let me know if you have questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.

Warmly~ Dana :slight_smile:

Dana, thanks for your response. Let me try and answer your questions. My main concern is that the two red lights are still blinking. I flushed the heads over a week ago so I don’t remember the specifics. I believe I injected about a half inch of solution. I don’t know if it was correct but I also pulled the solution back up into the syringe and then pushed down. I am sure there was some excess solution below but that has all probably dried by now. I don’t know how to remove the head, disconnect the ribbon, etc. If it is necessary, I will try it. The encoder strip looks clean. One thing I have noticed is that at the bottom, where the long foam strip is, 3/4 of the way to the end going to the left, it appears that ink deposits there. I don’t know if that is normal or not. At this moment, all I can do is turn the printer on and off because it always ends up with the two blinking lights

Thanks for the update.

When you turn your printer on, does the print head move at all before the lights begin flashing, or do the flashing lights start immediately when the printer is turned on? Do you hear any unusual noises upon startup, such as grinding or a hit?

When I turn it on, it seems to go through all the normal motions, but, at the end, the lights go solid for about 10 seconds, and then they start blinking.

Hi Alandb. I’m looking at the service manual for the R2880 and blinking lights can mean different things depending on what they’re doing.
1- Power LED is OFF, Paper and Ink alternately flash every 1.25 seconds: Your waste pad is probably full. Hopefully it’s this, since the fix is “easy”. First, get the 2manuals WIC program and read the waste ink counters. If they read full, get a waste ink kit, and use the 2manuals programs to reset the counters. It probably is this, since you said you did a lot of cleaning cycles.
2- Power LED is OFF, Paper and Ink flash quickly every half second: This is a “fatal error” of unknown causes. The manual walks you through what it could be, depending on when the error shows up. Some more detail would be needed.

To clarify, the lights blink together and the power light is off. I can’t get the power light to stay on. I don’t think my waste pad is full as the reset program says one is at 91% and the other at 26%. The manual is not very helpful as to solutions.

Good news, for the moment. I was not able to use the reset program as I could not the printer to stay on. Then I tried the reset program while it was going through a cleaning cycle as this was the only operation the printer would do. That seemed to be successful. No more blinking lights. I now have to go back and see about the smearing/streaking. I have yet to run any prints yet so I will keep you posted. If this is successful, would it makes sense to get an external waste ink bottle?

Still good, but not great, news. I ran a nozzle check and all the colors, except cyan and photo black, are fine. Cyan showed no lines and the photo black only showed a few bits and pieces of lines. I am hesitating to run a cleaning cycle because it has run so many in the last few days, I am hoping someone has a better idea of what to do. Still, this is a lot better than where I was yesterday.

Since the reset program says they are nearly full, a waste bottle might be a good idea. I bought one for my new (refurbished) R2880 and installed it immediately. It was a very easy install job. One question on that for Dana: I ran the waste tube out the front through the right “decoration plate” 's mounting hole. Will the fact that the tube runs above the capping station in this configuration cause problems? Aka, does the capping station need to drain via gravity feed when the pump isn’t running?

You may want to try replacing PK with MK to make sure it isn’t a cartridge problem. As for Cyan, save for buying a new set of carts, I’m not sure how you could verify that the problem is or isn’t the cart. From reading the forum, some people have broken their heads by forcing cleaning fluid through with too much pressure. Hopefully that isn’t what’s happened here.

I will try switching the carts. Since I haven’t identified the problem, I am definitely concerned that I may have broken the nozzle. I don’t know how to test for that. This has been a busy week so I may not be able to work on anything until the weekend.

My own approach and advice to others is to print purge patterns and esp single channel purge patterns to clear gaps, and only use a head clean as a last resort. However in this case I think you may need a head clean. It’s rare that a purge pattern will start the ink flowing when it’s not. However before you do any more head cleans, check that these carts are not empty. They could have drained.

A waste bottle is a good idea, but I wouldn’t route the tubing above the capping station. I think if the printer had been flooded from too much flush it either wouldn’t print at, or nothing would come out of any channel.

How do I print a purge pattern?

Dana seems to have fallen off the edge of the earth. Was it something I said?

Dana works part time and does other things than just reply to the forum.

Thanks for the backup Brian!
Sorry for the delay- I am out of the office on Wednesdays, and was working with a print client in our studio all day yesterday (and have been working on developing the new Piezography Pro system over the past several weeks), so haven’t been on email as much as usual over the past few days.

I think it’s fine to have the waste ink bottle tube come out the front, but you need to make sure the tube is out of the way of moving parts, so it doesn’t interfere with the printer’s operation. With bottles at the back, it’s normal for the waste tube to go up higher than the level of the capping station before it enters the bottle, but is lower from the capping station till the tube exits the printer, and this has worked very well. If the tube goes above the CS inside the printer, I could imagine this may cause flow problems.

Keep me posted!
Best regards~ Dana

Thanks for your thoughts on my question. It seems to be working fine for now. This printer does so many automatic head cleans during occasional use that there is no chance for ink to back up. We’ll see later how it performs after continuous printing. As for your worry about moving parts, they are fairly well sequestered from the tube run by plastic walls :slight_smile:

Hopefully the OP has solved their problem…

Update. On another forum, someone suggested soaking the nozzle for a period of time (I did overnight) and this seemed to work. I soaked the two nozzles and then did a nozzle check. They now print fine. Two others were almost OK so I will be soaking them tonight an tomorrow. With any luck, I might be back to normal by Sunday. I will report back then.