Epson 3880 Cartridge problems

I have an Epson 3880 and since buying the refillable inks, I have been replacing the genuine ones with refillables as they run out.
Now, I have 2 issues:

The first, after some inactivity, the printer prints no black ink. The matte black and photo black are both full. It is only after a lengthy (and using a lot of ink) power clean that it works and prints out black. All the other colours print fine. Why is this? I have tried resetting the printer and cleaning the outsides of the cartridges in case of any debris, but still only prints black after a power clean.

The second issue, after one of the times where a power clean was needed to get the black working again, the vivid magenta (genuine) ran out. I replaced it with the refillable cart and the printer is telling me ‘ink cartridge error. Please install the correct cartridge’ I checked the chips and the connectors and everything looks fine. Also tried turning the printer on and off and it still says the same message. Help!

Hi media52~

After reviewing your order history, I see you purchased a set of 3880 refillable carts and InkThrift dye ink in Jan 2013. The 3880 is a pigment printer; pigment and dye inks look/work differently, so should be used as a whole set: either all pigment or all dye, not mixed…What color position refill carts do you currently have installed, and which positions are Epson carts?

  1. About how long has your printer sit unused when the black drops out? Have you cleaned the printer’s capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head? If not, I recommend you clean your printer following our instructions, here:
    Have you tried doing a black ink change to see if you’re having the same results with both blacks? Is your printer in MK or PK mode when the black has dropped out?

  2. Did you use the chip from the Epson VM cart you were previously using under the reset chip? Have you tried removing and reinstalling the VM refillable cartridge?

Please let me know so I can help.
Thanks~ Dana

We had no problems with them being pigment and dye at the same time up until a month ago. Just before the Vivid magenta ran out, they were all the refillable carts except the magenta as this was the last of the Epson ones to go.

  1. The printer sits unused for a week at most in between prints. I have cleaned it in the past when it first started happening, but will clean it again now as all the carts are refillables now.

  2. I had 2 Epson VM chips from 2 previous changeovers, and neither of them worked. I’ve tried taking all of the carts out and putting them back in at least twice, and still says it’s an error.

Thanks for the additional information.

Are you aware of the differences between pigment and dye inks?

Are the exit chambers at least 1/2 filled with ink before installing/reinstalling carts into your printer?
Have you been priming carts thru the side plug, or directly thru the exit valve as per our current written instructions?
Does your printer’s pressurization pump turn on while the printer sits on/idle?

I recommend you get a new VM reset chip, which you can find here:

Please keep me posted, thanks~ Dana