Life expectancy - Epson 3800 - Hurricane Irma


Please bear with me here. There are a couple parts to this solicitation for opinions.
I was out of town prior to Hurricane Irma hitting town and then didn’t return for nearly 2 months after. When I got back my 3800 had been fried, I’m assuming by lightning. ( trust me it is now on a dedicated surge protector). I was able to get it up and running again after I was lucky enough to find a replacement main circuit board on ebay.
After that period of not using it the magenta channel is now clogged and I have not been able to clear it no matter what advice I have followed. The printer is now loaded up with Piezoflush and sitting here taking up space.
It would seem to be an ideal candidate for conversion to piezography but my worry is just how much longer can I truly expect this machine to work. It is nearly 9 years old ( i’m guessing) and I’ve never had any servicing done to it. For example, the dampers are original.
Considering that just the ink costs for conversion will be a chunk of change, and that I really don’t believe that changing dampers are a maintenance project that I would feel comfortable performing, I’d like to know from any with experience is this just a crap shoot as to how long it may or may not work. Which channel is likely to go out next?

Finally, is there any firmware update or utility I should run after having changed out that main circuit board? All seems okay but with the clogged magenta channel all I’ve really been able to do since I’ve gotten it back up and running is to run cleaning cycles and nozzle checks.
Thanks, I appreciate any and all opinions.


Generally I think the dampers should be replaced (they should be replaced every 2 years). After a replacement, most likely you’ll be able to get it back into full working order. These are durable printers.

Often these dampers come in the form of an ink supply unit available here: EPSON Pro 3880 Ink System - 1607156/1518586

CompassMicro (in US) may have this part but possibly not. Might be a good idea to call them first.

Firmware can be downloaded and used from



I had really hoped to generate an open discussion here among those who have had experience with converting their own old printers. Clearly, I could spend more money to change out the dampers or the ink supply unit. My goal here is to gather the experiences of others in using an old printer without dumping more money into it.

As I stated, and although I am an engineer, from what I have seen changing the dampers is not an easy afternoon’s project for even the mechanically inclined, especially for one who has never done it before and has only diagrams and some iffyYoutube videos as guidance. Neither am I in posession of little baby hands or a photographic memory. I see disaster looming were I to take this particular DIY route.

In the worse case, yes, I could send it to have the dampers changed out I reckon, but I don’t want to, at least not at this point.

Does anyone in the general public have experience taking an old down on its luck Epson workhorse and squeezing a few, or quite a few more miles out of it after one channel has crapped out?

My plan would be to map out the clogged magenta channel and use this 3800 for printing only MK piezography.

Thanks to all.