Epson 3800 Magenta Clog not Yielding to PiezoFlush

I have an Epson 3800 that I just bought used that I’m trying to set up to make Piezography prints but I’m finding that it has a magenta ink clog that I can’t clear up. I’ve installed a set of your cartridges with PiezoFlush inks and I’ve run enough power cleans and Initial Ink Charges so that all the “colors” are showing just the pale pink of the PiezoFlush. In fact I’ve run more power cleans than I can count and I’ve also repeatedly used PiezoFlush on a strip of folded paper towel under the print head. The PiezoFlush has been in the printer for a number of days now so in theory it’s had a good block of time to work. And I’ve tried leaving the paper towel with PiezoFlush on it under the print head overnight. This all has cleared up the minor clogs with the other colors (which might well have gone away with just power cleans without the PiezoFlush) but done essentially nothing for the magenta, which still shows about half the nozzles clogged when I run a nozzle check. And it’s largely the same nozzles that are clogged.

Any suggestions as to how to proceed from here? I checked the service manual and according to the troubleshooting guide therein the next step is to replace the printhead but of course the printhead is not available except through Epson service centers and the cost to have it replaced that way does not make sense.


I’ve been reading various references to “re-mapping” to get around clogged nozzles. Is my situation a candidate for such a solution or are too many of the magenta nozzles clogged? Thanks.

You can order a re-map at our new website or you can do it yourself in the .quad. (I’ll be publishing a more direct how-too soon.)

Basically what a .quad file is is a series of channel descriptors starting with a name (eg: # C curve) followed by 256 numbers that create the ink values (curve) for that channel of ink.

To re-map, copy the 256 numbers under the (#M Curve) descriptor and paste them over the descriptor numbers that you are wanting to map to (eg all the numbers under # LLK curve) Then replace the 256 numbers under #M Curve with zeros. This will make the LLK channel do what the M channel was doing and will make the M channel not do anything.

(don’t change the top line of the .quad, only copy and paste numbers)

Then take the OEM chip and Control CHIP out of the M and LLK carts, and swap them and place the “M” cart in the “LLK” position and LLK cart into the M position and run a some purge sheets through to flush the new ink into the new LLK channel.


Because half of the M nozzles came back after multiple cleanings this tells me it’s probably not the head that is bad but the damper that is connecting the print-lines to the head. These dampers have very small filters and air-lock control mechanisms and they die after a few years . . .


Thanks Walker. Let’s start with the last part of what you said. I want to clarify something. Half of the M channels did not “come back” after multiple cleanings. From the start about half the M channels were working and half were not and the multiple cleanings resulted in little change. Does that still suggest an issue with the damper?

And then a question about remapping. Let’s say I remap the M channel to some other channel. Presumably this means I have one less ink channel to work with. What I ordered when I placed the order with you to set this all up was the “Selenium K7 set of eight 110ml bottles for glossy printing.” What do I do about the fact that I have eight inks and only seven working channels? Of course there’s also the matte black channel but presumably that can’t be used simultaneously with the photo black channel, right? Is there a seven ink version of the Selenium ink set?


Ok. So you really need what we call a P2 set. These are K6 sets (K1,2,3,4,5,6 (drop the 7shade)) and there are various curves for these as well. (I’m working on getting a full download section set for this on our new website. Sorry for the delay.)

Please let me know what paper you want to print K6 on.


Thank you Walter.

The first paper I plan to try printing on is Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta Paper. I was also thinking of paying you to make me a profile for Red River San Gabriel, but that can wait.

Can I return the K7 set of inks I bought? I have not opened the bottles. Is the Selenium series available as K6? When I look on your site for K6 Piezography I just see carbon, neutral and special edition.


I don’t wish to cut cross any official IJM advice from Walker, but I have posted a couple of remapping spreadsheets, should you want to try it yourself in the meantime. Neither of these will be what you want as they stand, and you’ll need to edit them. This one was for mapping x880 P2 curves to the R1900/R2000 and this one was for a user like you but who needed to map the K channels elsewhere. Hopefully you’ll get the idea, and the second post contains some detailed instructions. There are a number of remapping options depending on whether you wish to print on gloss or matte or both. If you’re looking to retain both gloss and matte printing then for the MK P2 curves, you’d want to map M to Y, and for the P2 PK curves, you’d want to remap PK shade 1 from Y back to K and then M to Y.

Thanks Brian. Not crossing at all. I have my hands so full at the moment, it’s great to see a community solution.


Thank you, Brian. That looks likely to be very helpful. Now I just need to figure out if I can get the Selenium series in the p2 set.

I’m not sure I understand this comment. You can download P2 curves from the link at the end of this blog post:
And there’s a P2 Selenium curve. In this respect P2 is different to K7. There was one K7 curve for all the five inksets for a given paper / printer combo. Many years ago we were told that shade x from one inkset was interchangeable with shade x from another inkset, hence the one curve. In more recent times the story has changed somewhat - the shades in each of the five inksets, although close, are not quite as interchangeable as we had initially been told. Hence the separate inkset curves for P2.

One point I glossed over (pardon the expression) in my previous post was whether you wish to print on both gloss and matte. The big reservation I have with Piezo in these printers is the maintenance burden associated with the MK/PK switch. Given that you’ve got one stuck channel, if you do want to print on both then you’re stuck with the switch (with all channels working you could run P2 and totally avoid the switch). However if you want to print only on either gloss or matte, then there is a way to set the printer up to avoid the switch. I can elaborate further if needed. The remapping would be different to what I described in my previous post.

Thanks again, Brian. This is my first venture into Piezography so I’m still trying to figure this all out. My comment was in reference not to the curves but to the actual inks (I have not been able to find the P2 Selenium ink set listed on the website). I do just want to print on glossy paper so that’s one place I’m keeping things simpler for now. But if I’m reading you correctly I still need to get the P2 Selenium ink set since I do have the clogged nozzle. I have a call in to InkjetMall to see about ordering the P2 Selenium ink set (and returning the K7 set I got before I discovered that I was not going to be able to clear the magenta nozzles).

For any of the five inksets, P2 is just K7 without the shade 7. Shades 1-6 are identical to K7. The selenium page lists P2 kits, but perhaps not in your preferred bottle size.

Also, there’s no gloss-only package, since normally the whole point of P2 is to enable both gloss and matte simultaneously. If you contact Wells in sales, he may be able to put together a package for you. A set is normally a bit cheaper than buying each bottle of (in this case) shades 1-6 + GO separately.

My comments in post # 7 still apply about the mapping. I.e. for the P2 PK glossy curves, you’d want to remap PK shade 1 from Y back to K and then M to Y. The only thing I’d add is that I’d put a cart with Piezoflush in the MK slot, rather than just leaving ink in there, for a range of reasons. This printer has been known to have issues with the MK/PL selector switch jamming and malfuntioning, and the sedimentation from leaving one K channel unused for an extended period is suspected to be one possible cause. Putting flush in there would keep the channel clear, give you the option of putting MK shade 1 in there at some future point should you decide that you also want to print on matte. Just be sure that the flush has made it all the way though to the print head. Normally, what you’d do when you make the switch to Piezography is to perform an “initial fill”. Although it consumes a lot of ink, it does the trick.

One big advantage with what you’d be doing is that you’d be putting shade 4 in the Y slot rather than shade 7, so there shouldn’t be much if any issue with any getting rid of any residual yellow staining.

Thank you Brian! Another piece fits into place. I thought the P2 series was the same range of ink tones as the K7 but with one fewer intervals (but it had also crossed my mind that it might be what it is: K7 without shade 7). So, I have the inks I need sitting here on my work table, I just have a bottle of shade 7 that I don’t need. Thank you for clarifying that. And I’m not sure why I didn’t see the P2 series on the Selenium page before, but I see it now.

And thank you for the tips on mapping. That is the next step.

Thanks as well for the tip on leaving Piezoflush in the MK slot. I presume I should do the same on the magenta slot, although it’s probably moot there.

Yes, I guess so. Can’t do any harm, and there’s always a chance that it may come back. I agree with Walker - it’s more likely to be the dampers than the print head. Unlike the print head, these are not that expensive to replace and people who are handy can do that. But if you’re content with a glossy P2 printer, then there’s no need and you can always watch what happens to M over time.

If you go this route, don’t be surprised if the printer does a silent switch to MK and back once every three to six months, to exercise the selector switch. There was a (highly debated) claim on the luminous landscape forum recently that the 3880 printer does this. I’ve never seen it, and this was the only report I’ve seen, and if its true it might not apply to the 3800, but it’s another good reason to have flush in the MK cart and lines.

A final observation for the same of completeness. If you were to print on matte only, then I’d swap MK to Y and put flush in both the K carts. There are quite a few 3800/3880 out there that have had a faulty black selector switch, either due to sedimentation or a plain old faulty part, and these cause a world of pain. Black carts mysteriously drain, or one or both black channels won’t print etc. On an older printer, the repair cost is probably not economic. (People who are really handy can replace these themselves as well - the spare part is not the expensive part, it’s the labour.) You only need six channels for matte P2, and so in this case I would put flush in both black channels, as it’s the best chance of keeping the printer going. But this is not an option for gloss - you need all seven working channels, six for ink and one for GO. For matte-only K6, the 1430 is a cheaper option.

p.s. hence my comment about the usefulness or otherwise of shade 7. The P2 QTR curves do what you were thinking the inks did - stretch the six shades out to cover the full range.

The other thing worth noting is that the MK and PK shades 1 are the same across all the inksets (I think this is correct) and Neutral Spec Edition also share shades 6 & 7. I think the other three inksets have their own shades 6 & 7.

Thanks Brian. My shade 1 bottle is labelled “Warm Neutral Shade 1” while the others are all labelled “Selenium Shade…” suggested that shade 1 is indeed the same across multiple ink sets, as you said, while the rest are unique, at least to selenium. I saw reference to this in one of the instruction sheets.

There used to be three shades 1, but now I think there’s only two - one for matte and one for gloss.

Where do you find the .quad file to remap.

Dear Greg. Please elaborate on exactly what you are trying to do. I researched this thread and your previous posts but could not find a linear progression of questions, maybe because this is a long wondering thread.

P2 curves can be found at