Epson 4880 Air Blockage In Cyan Line

My Epson 4880 has a stubborn air blockage in the Cyan line. I have tried everything I can think of with no change. I will list what happened below.

  • All colors print a nozzle check fine except Cyan.
  • Removing the cover over the Damper/Print Head I can see air in the Cyan hose.
  • I primed all the refillable carts and can see no trapped air in the exit baffle.
  • Thinking the Cyan cart might be faulty I replaced it. This made no change.
  • I have repeatedly disconnected the Cyan line from the damper and pulled ink out of the hose with a syringe. I followed that with either an Initial Fill or Power Cleanings.
  • Today three successive Power Cleanings made no change.
  • All carts are refillable and have reset chips. All are recognized by the 4880.
  • Although the Epson 4880 is an old printer model I kept it in storage unused. It was never used before I started using it at the beginning of this year. In that time all colors printed fine. Nozzle checks were usually perfect. The problem began after I have the carts out to add ink. After returning the cart the Cyan stopped.

If anyone has any insights I would be very grateful.

Why do you think it is an air blockage rather than the damper itself? You say that you can pull ink through the line up to the damper, but I don’t see anything that says you pulled ink through the damper. I think that indicates that there is no air blockage between the cartridge and the damper inlet. When I had a 4880 I never got as far as removing and replacing dampers (it died of an electrical failure just before I was going to install Piezo K7 inks last fall) but I did with a 7600 several years ago. Walker may have a better idea, but if I was you I’d try to pull ink through the damper. Or just replace that damper. Dampers are often the culprit in this situation.

~ Keith

Hello Keith

You may be right about the damper. However the 4880 got little use before this happened. It is essentially a new printer. Looking at the clear tube that feeds the damper I can see air in the line.

I have the Epson 4880 Field Repair Guide so I see how to replace the damper. You mention pulling ink through the damper. How can that be done?

Thanks for your reply.

Joseph F. Kohler

Hi Joseph,

I made an assumption based on two things, that you said you can pull ink through the line, and that you didn’t say you could see air in the line after doing so. Since apparently the bubble does return, I think that points to a leak at one end or the other, or possibly in the line itself though that is less likely. Does it form closer to the cartridge or to the damper? The answer might suggest which end is faulty. It could be one of the tiny o-ring seals.

About pulling ink through the damper, it’s the same idea as pulling ink through the line, but leave the line attached and connect the syringe to the outlet port of the damper. Of course you have to remove the damper from the manifold (or whatever the right term is) to be able to do this.

I’d check the seals first.

~ Keith

Hi Keith

The air returns from the damper side. The little o-ring is there on the tube going into the elbow joint over the damper. I don’t know how I could check for a faulty seal. And there’s no leaking at the cart bay.

I looked at the service manual for info on removing the damper. I understand it but, I may need some phone support.


I believe you need to replace your dampers. While we do not support maintenance of Epson parts, you can give compassmicro a ring for the part ( has the service manual with step my step instructions on replacement.


Thank you Walker. I ordered some dampers and will replace the cyan in a few days. Although the 4880 was used very little, age might be the reason for the damper trouble.

I’ll post the results. Thanks again.

Best Wishes,

Joseph F. Kohler

You were right. I replaced the cyan damper and all is well. Thank you.

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