Solved: Is it possible to clean out an Epson 3800 refillable cartridge?

I bought a set of refillable cartridges for an Epson 3800 because I wanted to try to undo a clog in the magenta section of the head with Piezoflush. I put Piezoflush in the Magenta refill cartridge and did a bunch of cleaning cycles as well as scrubbed the underside fo the head. So far, I haven’t had any luck with the clog, but I was wondering if it’s possible to empty out the refill cartridge that I put the Piezoflush in so that I can put ink or other fluids in it? I was considering trying original Windex. Anyway, I’d like to get the Piezoflush out of the cartridge. Will it all come out of the fill hole? Thanks in advance for your help.

I would never recommend that you put ammonia into an Epson print head. Windex contains ammonia. There is some small amount of copper that this ammonia can come into contact with and form precipitants that will permanently injure the print head.

Do not run cleaning cycles when you use PiezoFlush. It will take 50 or so before the PiezoFlush is through the ink lines and into the dampers and outside the print head. You should run three POWER CLEANS. Turn the printer off overnight. Then run a POWER CLEAN the next day and see if the print head cleared.

If it hasn’t, and because your printer is more than two years old, there is some possibility that you have a fouled damper in that position. If you are at all courageous - you can download the service manual at to see how to examine the dampers on your model printer. Remove it. Put some distilled through it. If you see any solid matter in it at all! Replace it.

Otherwise, use distilled water to rinse out your cart until there is no longer any staining. Allow it to dry. Resuse it as you need to.

Thanks for the info! I won’t try Windex. I misspoke. I did run several (more than three) power cleaning cycles from the printer’s menu with Piezoflush, so I guess I’ll check out the service manual.

It’s a good preventative maintenance to replace the ink dampers in PRO printers every one to two years. They are designed to filter out pigment. Under normal conditions pigment particles pass harmlessly through the screen filter. But, when printers are allowed to sit for periods of time and pigment falls out of suspension - it is possible that sheets of dislodged pigment particles will find their way into the filter. It takes only a small amount of that material to inhibit ink flow and give the impression of “clogged nozzles”. When this occur, the clog jumps from nozzle to nozzle rather than being permanent (a true clog). Over long use, pigment particles that have clung to the tubing eventually come off and this is another source of sheeting of pigment that can foul the filter screens. Finally, the screens themselves can eventually cause some pigment particles to cling to it. Simply, they can not last forever. They are designed to protect the print heads from expected pigment behavior.

At Cone Editions Press, we change our dampers for fresh ones every year. We never want to encounter micro-flow issues that might make slight changes in color - or cause us production headaches. The operation takes less than an hour. Dampers are usually $20 or less depending upon the model. For our Roland 64" printer - they provide a simple cover that is lifted so the end-user can change new dampers and new wiper blades, and even allows the end-user to wipe the print heads with a swab. Epson on the other hand, keeps its PRO printers more as consumer models in which this type of maintenance is only provided by service calls. The service manual will allow almost anyone to repair or maintain their own PRO printer. With it, the Epson PRO printer is as useful to a production environment as a Roland, Mimaki or Mutoh printer that use the same Epson Piezo print heads - but aim their printer products at professionals.

Know your equipment and learn how to perform routine preventative maintenance that includes damper replacement, wiper blade replacement, capping station cleaning, ink drain tubes cleaning.