My Epson Stylus Pro 3800 is old but relatively lightly used. I've been having trouble for the last year to 18 months. I live in a smaller city so will need to send the printer to a service depot 800 km away -- the nearest Epson Canada recognized service dealers are in Calgary or Vancouver. I've sent inquires to those service centres but thought I'd see what advice I can get here. The question is ... repair or replace. And what sort of repair to expect.
I'd like to keep the printer going. I've just bought a set of ConeColor carts and inks and a second set of carts for Piezoflush. (I probably wouldn't have done that had I understood better what was happening with the printer!)
I am unable to print using Photo Black. I first noticed a problem perhaps a year to 18 months ago when the printer ran out of Photo Black ink (PK) although the printer utility reported that the PK cartridge was nearly full. A check of the cartridge showed that it was indeed empty (I weighed it and compared the weight to cartridges that I knew were full and empty). I replaced the PK cartridge. The same thing occured roughly a month later. I replaced the cartridge again. The printer seemed to be going through PK much faster than it should given the amount of printing that that I did at that time. I also followed instructions to reset the internal software but this did not change anything — the printer was still going through PK rapidly yet showing the cartridge to be full. (This was true for only the PK cartridge, not the other cartridges). I ran through several Epson PK carts quite quickly. I also began to have print failures. A nozzle check showed that the PK nozzle was clogged and also showed contamination in some of the other colours, especially yellow. I’d get a couple prints after a cleaning but the problem would return quickly. I bought Piezoflush (from Inkjet Mall) and did a thorough flush using the power clean cycle times three. I let the Piezoflush sit in the printer for several days before putting ink back in. This gave me a few good 8 x 10s but the problem returned within a week. I’ve concluded that this is not an issue that can be addressed with head cleaning. The printer still produces acceptable prints using Mat Black but, of course, I can’t use photo papers that require photo black.
Some of you know these printers a lot better than do I. Any suggestions or advice?