I have an R1800 and an R800 (bought before I knew that the R1800 was about to be released). Both of these printers worked well once, but increasingly gave me clogging trouble. Before I knew about IJMall and Piezo-flush, all I knew to do was clean the heads as Epson recommends. A small fortune in ink purchases ensued, and the printers got very ink-y. Clogs were a constant hassle, and eventually, I gave up and let the printers sit unused. Yes, they are old, and probably I should have given them away or trashed them. I have had access to 3800 and 4900 in recent years, anyway, but that won't always be true.
Over the last month, I bought two sets of IJM empty carts, a flush kit, waste ink bottles, and Piezo-flush, hoping both to clear the heads on the R-printers, and then store them with flushed heads and PF carts installed when I wasn't printing for a while. I have managed to clear the heads. But I am now forcibly reminded of how these printers suck the ink through. Yeowch! IJM sells no ink except Piezography monochrome inks for these, and I'm sceptical of inks from other 3rd party vendors. I seem to be stuck in the Epson universe, at $13-18 per cart. In a new set of carts, used to make less than a dozen prints, mostly 5.5 X 8.5 or smaller, and a few nozzle checks, the printer is already claiming one cart is empty---solid red light. You have to do a couple of head cleanings just to push ink into the head and push out the PF, which must use a bunch of ink. But I can tell by the weight that it probably has at least 30% left.
Somewhere on this site (?), I saw a discussion where it was suggested that we keep a fresh, unused or little-used cart on hand (in each color) and that by inserting it, and pressing the ink button, and then removing and replacing it with your still-ok cart, you could reset/fool the printer into accepting the older cart. Maybe I have this wrong. Is there ANY way to fight the incredibly high cost of just trying to own and maintain these printers---and make a few prints in the bargain? Or should I scrap the R800, save the both sets of IJM carts, convert the R1800 to Piezography, and give up on the color option? Maybe I should trash them both. I'm feeling pretty stupid about trying to rescue these old printers.