Is it a sound recommendation to switch to matt black regularly to activate to prevent the switching valve from failing on a 3880?

I am mostly printing on epson luster & glossy ultra-premium paper. My 3880 is near 5 years old, and I always followed your maintenance procedures for the capping station and cleaning the heads, and every two weeks removing the carts and shaking them.Every time I print I do a nozzle check, followed by using QTR if a color is clogging. The printer is only turned-on at the time of printing and is always after turned-off after printing & covered with a hood to prevent dust ,I only have a 1000 prints on this printer mostly on 8.5X11 size paper. Is it a sound idea to switch regularly to matt black to exercice the switching valve, and if yes what is your schedule recommendation ?


Everything I’ve read on this subject suggests that the answer to your question is yes. Reports of failure of the switch are generally from people who rarely made the switch from one black ink to the other.

That said, I am aware of one forum member who did this and still had the switch fail. This suggests that you can still be unlucky even if you do make the switch from time to time, although I have no doubt that your luck is improved if you do. The question that this user’s case raises is how often is often enough? I haven’t seen an answer to that.

The other factor is that these reports have nearly all been with OEM inks. I don’t recall seeing any with ConeColorPro or Piezo inks. Perhaps IJM could comment on their experience with their inks?

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Thanks Brian, I hope IJK have an answer on this matter

The switch failure happens just as much on IJM carts as it does on Epson OEM carts.


The precise nature of the problem remains a puzzle to me. The fact that I know of one 3880 which had been switched regularly and still had a switch failure suggests to me that the switch is fragile. But it remains the case that most reports of failure have had no or very infrequent switching. Which suggests to me that pigment sedimentation around the fragile switch jams it.

My question was really about relative rates of sedimentation. Based on my own experience, if I had a 3880 running K7 I’d be switching it more often than an OEM one. But I wouldn’t run K7 in a 3880, I’d run P2 and put flush I the PK channel.