Epson 3880, #1 ink position stubborn clog


#1

I had occasion to switch from matte to gloss ink yesterday and when I switched back to matte it was clear the blackest black was not printing. Many cleaning cycles and a short and long overnight soak with Windex on the parking pad did not fix the problem. Could the clog be in the internal lines? The gloss was used within the last two weeks and I shake the cartridges once a week and do a cleaning. Where next?


#2

Please check the black cartridge ink levels, and exit chambers. If the ink level is too low, and/or exit channel is empty, this can cause air to enter the internal ink line and interrupt your ink flow.
Let me know the ink level of your black carts, and we’ll move forward from there to resolve this issue and get you back to happily printing.

Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


#3

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;1442]Please check the black cartridge ink levels, and exit chambers. If the ink level is too low, and/or exit channel is empty, this can cause air to enter the internal ink line and interrupt your ink flow.
Let me know the ink level of your black carts, and we’ll move forward from there to resolve this issue and get you back to happily printing.

Best regards~ Dana :)[/QUOTE]

I checked both and they are close to the top fill line. They appear the same as the other cartridges. I’m not sure about the exit chamber. Can you tell me where to look?


#4

I just checked your order history and see you are using the older large style refill carts in your 3880 (this model cart doesn’t have an exit chamber like the current “80ml” model cart).

Since you were printing with the Photo Black within the last two weeks, and it was working well then, it may be the cartridge exit valve isn’t opening fully and that’s effecting the PK ink flow? I recommend you remove the PK cart and examine the exit valve, if there’s a lot of dried ink build up at the end, gently wipe it off with a Q-tip, then reinsert the cartridge back into the printer, making sure it’s in all the way for a good connection with the printer, and do 1-3 regular cleaning cycles before printing another nozzle check to see how things look.

My understanding is the MK and PK inks have separate ink lines, but share the same damper and print head channel. I attached a photo showing the damper assembly of our 3800 when I dismantled it a few years ago- this shows there are nine ink lines, but only 8 damper exits (which each connect to a print head channel). This makes me assume you are not dealing with a clogged print head (since it was working well with MK ink before the black ink change, and PK ink a few weeks prior), but could be related to the PK cartridge or black damper.

Please let me know if you have questions, your results, or if there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:



#5

Hi Dana:

Still no luck

I did that and the matte ink was particularly gooky. I emptied out the Photo Black cartridge, rinsed it with distilled water and filled it with Piezoflush, but still no good. Looking at the end of the cartridge, it appears nothing is getting into printer. I tried switching from matte to gloss and back, but nothing seems to free it. Next plan of attack?


#6

Thanks for the update.

When you switched back to Matte Black mode, did the black ink channel print- but when switching back to PK it wasn’t?

Since you are using the older style carts, please tell me which two cartridges have the large control chips attached. If ink is not exiting the cart into the printer, then it may be the exit valve of your cart is plugged up or for whatever reason not working well anymore, and that is effecting your ink flow- in which case I recommend using a fresh cart.

Please let me know so I can help you get this resolved and back to happily printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


#7

Dana:

No there doesn’t appear to be ink getting in on either cart, (no deepest black prints, matte or photo black) which leads me to suspect it’s something internal to the printer. Trapped air?


#8

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, I had to locate and test an older model cart before responding.

When you remove this model cart from your printer, they will (should) remain pressurized. Check that the carts are correctly pressurizing by removing them from your printer, and opening the fill hole plug- you should hear the pressure release. At the same time, make sure there is an o-ring around the fill hole for a tight seal, then reinsert and twist/lock the plug closed.
If you hear the pressure release when opening the fill hole plug, and both carts have the o-ring around the fill hole, then I would like you to test ink flow from the exit valve. To do this, you will need to reinsert the carts into your printer and allow it to re-pressurize them (or, if you have a syringe, inject about 20ml of air into the air inlet point of the carts to pressurize). For the next step, I recommend wearing rubber gloves, and working over a sink: remove the carts in question, and holding one exit valve down over the sink, slowly insert the tip of a straightened paperclip straight into the exit valve to depress the spring and open the exit valve- ink should quickly/easily squirt out. If it doesn’t, then ink may not be correctly flowing from the cart, possibly due to particle build up or dried ink in the valve- in which case, I recommend you get new carts. If ink does easily flow from the carts when you do this test, then the carts are working correctly, and the issue is somewhere in your printer- possibly trapped air as you suggest, or particles in the lines, dampers and/or print head channel. In this case, I recommend you try a few regular cleaning cycles, or 1-2 power clean cycles to try bringing the black channel back, though if there’s particle build up in the lines or damper, then you likely won’t see any change after cleaning. As per the Epson repair manuals, we recommend replacing the dampers every 1-3 years to maintain good ink flow, and get both good quality output and a long life out of your printer. Unfortunately, with the 3800/3880 printers, the dampers are not sold or replaced individually, but as a whole assembly.

Please keep me posted with your results, so I can try to help.
Thanks and best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


#9

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;1503]Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, I had to locate and test an older model cart before responding.

When you remove this model cart from your printer, they will (should) remain pressurized. Check that the carts are correctly pressurizing by removing them from your printer, and opening the fill hole plug- you should hear the pressure release. At the same time, make sure there is an o-ring around the fill hole for a tight seal, then reinsert and twist/lock the plug closed.
If you hear the pressure release when opening the fill hole plug, and both carts have the o-ring around the fill hole, then I would like you to test ink flow from the exit valve. To do this, you will need to reinsert the carts into your printer and allow it to re-pressurize them (or, if you have a syringe, inject about 20ml of air into the air inlet point of the carts to pressurize). For the next step, I recommend wearing rubber gloves, and working over a sink: remove the carts in question, and holding one exit valve down over the sink, slowly insert the tip of a straightened paperclip straight into the exit valve to depress the spring and open the exit valve- ink should quickly/easily squirt out. If it doesn’t, then ink may not be correctly flowing from the cart, possibly due to particle build up or dried ink in the valve- in which case, I recommend you get new carts. If ink does easily flow from the carts when you do this test, then the carts are working correctly, and the issue is somewhere in your printer- possibly trapped air as you suggest, or particles in the lines, dampers and/or print head channel. In this case, I recommend you try a few regular cleaning cycles, or 1-2 power clean cycles to try bringing the black channel back, though if there’s particle build up in the lines or damper, then you likely won’t see any change after cleaning. As per the Epson repair manuals, we recommend replacing the dampers every 1-3 years to maintain good ink flow, and get both good quality output and a long life out of your printer. Unfortunately, with the 3800/3880 printers, the dampers are not sold or replaced individually, but as a whole assembly.

Please keep me posted with your results, so I can try to help.
Thanks and best regards~ Dana :)[/QUOTE]

Dana:

I tested the carts and they both have pressure and the valves work. I then did 3 cleaning cycles. Still no change. It must be internal. Next step? The printer is about a year old and has seen fairly heavy use.

Thanks,

RA


#10

Thanks for checking the carts and confirming they are working correctly. Have you already followed our instructions for cleaning the printer’s capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head? If not, you can find information for cleaning your printer here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?133-Printer-Cleaning-and-Preventative-Maintenance

If this doesn’t help (based on your reports, it does sound internal, so our cleaning procedures may not bring your black channels back), then you likely need to replace the dampers.

I wish I had the magic answer, but this sounds like your printer may need more than some cleaning… though it’s certainly worth trying our cleaning procedures before moving onto printer repair. If this was my printer, I would try removing the dampers and flushing the print head channels with our PiezoFlsuh print head cleaning kit, though we can’t offer much in the form of instructions or support for dismantling or working on your own printer, the Epson repair manual is very helpful and easy to follow.

Let me know if you have questions or there’s anything further I can help you with.

Best regards~ Dana


#11

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;1528]Thanks for checking the carts and confirming they are working correctly. Have you already followed our instructions for cleaning the printer’s capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head? If not, you can find information for cleaning your printer here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?133-Printer-Cleaning-and-Preventative-Maintenance

If this doesn’t help (based on your reports, it does sound internal, so our cleaning procedures may not bring your black channels back), then you likely need to replace the dampers.

I wish I had the magic answer, but this sounds like your printer may need more than some cleaning… though it’s certainly worth trying our cleaning procedures before moving onto printer repair. If this was my printer, I would try removing the dampers and flushing the print head channels with our PiezoFlsuh print head cleaning kit, though we can’t offer much in the form of instructions or support for dismantling or working on your own printer, the Epson repair manual is very helpful and easy to follow.

Let me know if you have questions or there’s anything further I can help you with.

Best regards~ Dana[/QUOTE]

Dana: It appears to be an internal problem. I have a manual. Is this the part? Do I need to order more than one? Thanks, RA


#12

From the 3800/3880 and newer models, Epson designed the dampers to be replaced as one whole unit, instead of individually like with previous models. As per the Epson repair manual, this is the part you need, called the “ink system assembly” consisting of the cartridge chambers, ink lines and damper assembly: http://compassmicro.com/parts_detail.cfm?ID=6578&form.mfg=Epson&form.printerstyle=Inkjet&form.printername=Stylus%20Pro%203800
It [I]may be possible[/I] to replace just the dampers (which are the ones you found- though the MK/PK and M/LM I believe are different shape than the others) in the assembly, but there’s no workflow for doing this in the repair manual, and I haven’t had the need to try replacing just the dampers in our 3800/3880 yet.

Best of luck, keep me posted if you have additional questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.
~Dana :slight_smile:


#13

Dana:

This is a bit of quandary. The part is $171, difficult to install and the inside of the printer is clearly quite complex, and I have no guarantee I still won’t have a $1600 investment that won’t print, not to mention the time and energy to do this. I’d much rather pay more and be sure the unit was truly fixed even if I have to ship the unit. Suggestions? RA


#14

It may be worth contacting Decision One for help getting your printer up and running again.

Please let me know if you have questions, keep me posted about your printer, and let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile: