R3000 nozzle check ok, printing off color in red/orange

I am having trouble with the red/orange spectrum in my R3000. The nozzle check is perfect, but when I print, those colors are greenish blue. One cleaning restores the color balance.

I have just refilled the carts, and replaced some of them that were more than 2 years old, but not all of them.

Would this be caused by old or otherwise faulty cartridges?

Hi Hugh~

After reviewing your order history, I see you purchased the set of R3000 refill carts and 4oz ConeColor inks on 2/29/2012, then bought a second set of carts on 8/6/2014.

So, your red/orange colors are coming out greenish blue?!
When did you first notice this problem?
Have you confirmed not only that all nozzles are printing on the nozzle check, but colors are in the correct order, and there’s no ink mixing?
If you do a cleaning cycle, and color balance is restored, how long until the problem returns?
About how often do you print vs. how long does the printer sit unused?
About how often do you agitate the ink cartridges?
Do you shake ink bottles before filling/refilling carts?
What paper(s) and profile(s) are you using?

Please let me know so I can help you past this and back to happily printing.
Best~ Dana :slight_smile:

The problem in the earlier email was solved by agitating the carts.

However, now a new problem. Or, rather the same problem again.

First, I have been careful since the last event to do nozzle checks and print at least a couple of 8x10’s each week, and have had no problems until yesterday. Started up to do a job and found large color shifts, mainly in the red/orange spectrum. Ran cleaning cycle and got all nozzles running except VM. After several cleaning cycles, that finally worked enough for me to finish the job. Took an hour break left printer on, and came back to find the VM clogged again.

This morning, ran another test sheet and all nozzles are good, except VM. Could this be dry nozzles due to humidity swings, which have been radical of late? I put a hygrometer out a hour ago, and it is showing 48% right now. Will dry nozzles correct themselves eventually with cleaning cycles (or without) in a 35%+ humidity range? Should I get some cleaning solution and run a clean cycle on all heads?

I purchased new ink earlier this year, but four new carts (not including the VM) have been replaced with what was left of the old ink from 2012. Yesterday, after talking with Wells, I did fill a new VM cart with new ink, but this did not seem to help.

So, I guess this may revolve around making sure a complete set of new carts filled with new ink is installed. Or, running cleaning solution through first before doing that. Or???

Just to answer your questions from your earlier email; I agitate the carts at least once a month by taking them out and turning them up and down 4 or 5 times, then flicking them with my finger to dislodge bubbles. I then tip the entire machine from side to side three times to agitate the ink in the lines. When I refill, I shake the bottles until I can’t see any sediment on the bottoms when held up to a bright light. I refill when carts are about 1/4 full.

Nearly all my printing is on Red River Polar Matte (greeting card stock), with some on Staples or HP double sided matte brochure and flyer paper. Lately, I have been printing on Staples 20# plain white inkjet paper occasionally. I use profiles for the Red River and Staples paper made with a Color Munki.

Thanks, I hope I have told you the whole story.



 It sounds like you may be having a problem with a clogged damper.  I have been fighting the same problem on my R3000, with the Black.  It appears that some of the dampers start to clog after about 18 to 24 months, regardless of how often the printer is used.  And, from research, the Photo Black and Vivid Magenta appear to be the worst offenders.  Somehow, the pigment particles from those two are adhering or getting stuck in the dampers.  They may be larger or thicker than the other colors.  Your next problem may be magenta ink blotches appearing on your prints.

 Currently, I am flushing my entire system with Piezoflush.  So far, it appears to be solving the problem.  But, I won't truly know, until I have recharged all of the inks.


Yes, I agree with Dustin, that it sounds like you’re experiencing restricted flow due to particle build up in your VM damper. It’s normal to experience this in the M and Y channels first (though, some experience it with other colors), as those are the thickest inks (this is true with all color pigment ink, including Epson, due to the natural pigments used in those inks).

I suggest using PiezoFlush to flush the internal ink lines of your printer in hopes of cleaning out your damper.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana

Dana and Dustin -

Yesterday. the day after the problem arose and multiple cleaning cycles, the VM channel worked fine. Today, likewise. Humidity has been fairly constant at mid-40%. I am now assuming that the immediate problem was dry print heads, rather than clogging.

Two questions:

  1. Is this damper problem a given - is it inevitable that it will happen?

  2. What happens to all the ink expelled during cleaning cycles? This problem took about 10-12 cycles to clear itself up.

If I am facing a damper problem ahead no matter what, then I will go ahead and get me some Piezoflush right now.

Thanks Dustin and Dana


Well, i hate to call the damper problem “a given”. I’ll just say that, if I get my R3000 working properly again, I plan to give it routine flushes, at least once a year, whether I am seeing problems or not. Folks have been complaining about these damper-related issues in Epson pigment printers, ever since the 2000p—four generations before the 3000. Still, Epson has not seen fit, to install replaceable dampers in it’s high-end semi pro printers, even though replaceable dampers are standard on the fully pro models, like the 3800, 3880, and upward.

As for the ink wasted during cleanings, it goes into special pads at the bottom of the inside of the printer. You can, if you want, install an external waste ink bottle, that you can empty yourself, when needed. Inkjet Mall, among others, sells these waste-bottle kits. Cost is pretty cheap. And, they come with complete instructions for installation and usage.


If your VM channel is working again, then it may have been air in the VM ink line that was interrupting ink flow (?)
I recommend installing an external waste ink bottle on any desktop model printer that doesn’t have a removable/replaceable ink waste tank. Waste ink bottles can be found here: http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/it.A/id.7858/.f

Best regards~ Dana

Let’s see if I have all this together. I need to get:

  1. The Epson adjust program for the 3000 and borrow a PC to run it.
  2. The waste ink container.
  3. Piezoflush.

Since I have a spare set of cartridges with good chips, can I empty the ink out of them, flush them with distilled water, then fill them with Piezoflush and run the cleaning cycle.

Or, would it be possible to flush just the VM head?

Dana -

With Wells’ help, I am going to try and flush just the VM channel, which is the only one causing trouble now.

He sent me the link to your article on using the QTRPrintTool and QuadToneRIP. I am using OS 10.7.5 and Photoshop CC 2014. Do I have to have both of the above programs, or just the QTRPrintTool?

An order of Piezoflush is on the way, and I am just getting ready to do the flushing of the VM channel.

Thanks for your assistance again.


You need to use both. Print Tool is the only way to turn off Mac OS silent color management… From PrintTool you will print to QuadTone RIP. Windows users do not need Print Tool because Windows does not care if you print without color management. Apple no longer permits it…