I just fixed our clogged 3800 by replacing dampers and flushing the head!

Due to all the research and development we do, we have a LOT of printers. There are some we use constantly for production printing, some main ones we use for testing, and a few that were used for tests over the years, but now mainly sit unused. Our 3800 is several years old, and has worked like a champ- first with the continuous ink system we had about five years ago, then the 120ml refillable carts, and most recently the current 80ml refillable carts. We have used it with Epson, ConeColor, Piezography and InkThrift inks over the years, and have had excellent results until sometime last year when the magenta channel started having flow issues. At the time, we got a new 3880 printer to test that model, and didn’t have much need for the 3800- so I installed a set of PiezoFlush carts and it’s been sitting for the past year waiting for me to have time to work on it…

Yesterday, after I have been working on some of our other printers recently, and have a few customers out there struggling with 3800/3880 clogging- I decided it was time to work on the 3800 and see if I could get it working again. We have a bag of individual dampers, though there are no instructions for replacing just the dampers, and everything I have read directed me to replace the entire ink system (which is why we don’t have these model dampers on-line for sale)… but I was curious if I could flush the print head and replace the individual dampers to see how the printer worked, before buying any more parts.

Since I didn’t have instructions to follow, and wasn’t even sure if it was possible, it was a bit tricky this first time- but now that I’ve figured it out and had success, I can write instructions and help our customers do this repair to their own printers.

Please let me know who’s interested in learning what I did, and would like to replace dampers and flush the print head try fixing their printers. It will take me some time to put my photos together and write instructions, and I’m always very busy- but if there’s enough demand, I will make the instructions and order more of these dampers to have available for you!

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:

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Hi Dana
Since we have a 3800 which suddenly stopped printing on 4 inks - 4 are ok still, I guess that it has to do with the dampers (did 2 power cleanings and several cleaning cycles). If you could describe how you solved the problem with your printer - and if possible where to get the replacement dampers - it would be great if you could describe the process.

Best regards, Markus

Hi Markus~

When did the 4 channels stop printing?
Did they stop suddenly, or gradually over time?
Did the 4 channels stop at/around the same time?
What 4 channels aren’t printing?
Are any nozzles printing from these 4 channels, or are they completely blank?
What inks and carts are you using in this printer?

I will work on putting these instructions together, and will post them as soon as they’re available.

Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hello Dana,
Well, the whole 3800/3880 community (that is at least one guy…) is eager to know more about the procedure to replace dampers…

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Dana I am also interested to see how you did it.
Jon mentionned in his "Printer Cleaning and Preventive Maintenance " article (jan 3rd 2013, that if you print with only one black color and not the other the color that is not used will clog and dry out and he recommands replacing that cart with one filled with PezoFlush. How can you do that without using a few “POWER CLEANS” that will use an important amount of inks in all the other 8 carts ?. Can you comment on an idea that I saw on youtube with someone printing text instead of using the nozzle cleaning function to save ink from all the unclogged nozzles ? Is this procedure could be used to push the PiezoFlush liquid without wasting inks in the other carts ?.
epson pro 3880

Other users have posted photos and helpful information for replacing dampers in the 3800/3880 printers, check out these threads: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/showthread.php?512-Epson-3800-ink-selector-assembly-disassemble-!
and http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/showthread.php?228-3800-LC-channel-completely-missing/page2

I hope this helps!
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hello Dana,
In a thread about replacing individual dampers on the Epson Pro 3880 (Nov 7, 2013) you announced your plan to put together instructions based on your experience in replacing these dampers in the 3880.
I assume that you have written these instructions in the meantime, and I would appreciate to receive these.
I am considering switching to Cone inks as soon as my ink reserve is down and needs to be replaced.
Thank you for your reply!

I will be embarking on this journey as soon as my dampers arrive. I too would appreciate any write-up that may be available, but will forage ahead without one if not. I can report on my success if needed. (positive thinking!)

I didn’t write up any formal instructions, but you can find helpful information and photos from other users who successfully replaced their dampers on my post #6 above :slight_smile:

These links no longer seem to work. Can you please point me to their current location. Or/and to any other videos showing how to change out the ink dampers.

I recently purchased a lightly used 3800 which had been sitting around for who knows how long–all of the OEM ink carts were dated between 2014-16. I replaced them with new inkjet refillable carts and ConeColor Pro inks. After multiple cleaning cycles the Y channel is blank, though all of the other channels are fine. I’ve put Piezo flush into a Y cart and rerun the cleaning cycles, but it looks like nothing is moving through the Y ink channel as that cart is still full. Thus my question about seeing how to change out dampers as I am thinking the Y damper is clogged???

Try this: Epson 3800 ink selector assembly, disassemble!
and this: 3800 LC channel completely missing
However, that thread was 2014 and the availability of these parts may be even more limited…
You can still however, find new ink selector units on eBay for the 3800. An entire unit replacement is much easier than dissecting it to replace the clogged dampers - plus you get a fresh black ink exchanger with it. Sorry that we can not guide you in the repair. There are no videos - just the experience of others

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Thanks for the response back Jon. I may give a repair a try, though I’m thinking that I might instead convert this to a B&W printer so long as I can not have to use the Yellow channel.