Priming syringe for replacement cartridges 3880

I have the refill cartridges for my 3880, but no priming syringe. Somehow I replaced the photoblack a month ago, and did not need it…worked fine. But now I’m replacing Matte Black, and tried to do it without the syringe. I replaced the matte black without priming…then I got a nozzle check with NO matteblack, although the status report shows 100%. And now I have no communication with my Mac! It shows the printer as ‘error’. Could this be a result of not priming the MatteBlack cartridge??
I will also immediately order a small syringe if you have them listed for sale.


Hi Bruce~

If the cartridge is not primed before installing, the two exit chambers are empty, and air from the channels enters the printer’s internal ink lines, which interrupts ink flow when it reaches the damper/print head. The priming tips were included in the plastic bag with the filling syringes and blunt tip needles. Carts MUST be primed before installing into your printer.
You will likely need to do a power clean cycle or two to purge air and get ink flowing again.

Best regards~ Dana

Thank you Dana;

I have done nozzle cleaning and a power cleaning. I get a decent nozzle check now, although when set for Photo Black the Matte Black pattern is blank and when set for Matte Black the Photo Black pattern is blank. Is this correct functioning?
BUT…My computer (Mac OS 10.10.1) shows a connection error now…Ive tried re-starting, power cleaning, etc. and the error remains. Can this be related to using ( or mis-using) the Replacement cartridges?

I did try to prime them as suggested, but no ink came out when I pulled the ‘vacuum’. I also see my maintenance cartridge now is almost empty.

Suggestions? Thanks!


Um…black will only print whatever black is selected. A good nozzle check should go (P/M)K, LK, LLK, C, M, LC, LM, Y. If both PK and MK are never printing, there maybe air in both lines. I find it surprising that PK would have worked at all without priming. It could be that it printed for a while and now that bubble of air has finally reached the head.

You can prime the cartridges using a regular syringe by taking the clear plug out of the cart, on the side with the blue label. There’s an arrow pointing towards it. Insert the syringe without a needle and pull until ink comes out.
Regardless of what method you use to prime, MAKE SURE THE ORANGE CAP IS REMOVED from the air hole!

Your maintenance cartridge will fill quickly when you do Power Cleanings. It is suggested to have the resetter and a spare tank on hand at all times.

The connection error should be unrelated to the other problems you are having. Turn the printer and computer off, unplug the printer cables, plug in printer power, plug in USB into the USB port on the printer (careful: the USB cable can fit into the LAN port. I’ve done this before, and obviously it doesn’t work :wink: ), then into the computer. Power everything back up. If that fails, try reinstalling the printer software on the computer.