Two channels blocked, paper feed and ink lights blinking red



Hi, I was getting close to having my printer up and running again this morning. It was performing a head cleaning and I was only getting a few gaps but ink was passing through all 8 of the nozzles. I thought to help this process along it would be wise to clean the capping station and wiper blade.

I also cleaned the bottom of the print head, albeit with a poor quality paper towel that began to come apart as i removed it.

Since performing this operation things have got worse, the printer will not perform a head cleaning cycle without displaying the print feed and ink lights flashing red together. Howeever, it will print a nozzle check pattern but the Vivid Magenta and Yellow channels are completely blank now. Nothing is printing on them.

groan, help


Ok, It will now perform a head clean fully since I installed a different yellow cart but the yellow and magenta channels still won’t print at all. Now the Light magenta is showing about 75% missing on the nozzle check. Bear in mind that I flushed every nozzle with piezoflush solution a few days ago.


The yellow and magenta are now printing OK but the problem. Has moved to the light cyan channel which now won’t print!


Please don’t use low quality paper towels when cleaning the inside of your printer, especially the bottom of the print head, because as you’ve experienced, they fall apart and cause problems…
I recommend getting a roll of high quality paper towels, such as Bounty White (NOT Basic), and carefully cleaning your print head again.

Have you been making any prints, or just doing a lot of cleaning? How do the physical ink levels in the carts compare to the status monitor levels? Does ink seem to be dripping from any channel when you make prints, or are you just having the opposite problem of missing nozzles?

Please let me know, thanks~ Dana


I haven’t experienced any leaking when filling apart from one cartridge which I have put to one side. The levels seem out of sync with the ink in the carts yes. The printer will ask me to replace an ’ empty’ cart when there is still ink in there. No printing. Just much cleaning. Jon recommend installing a set of piezoflush carts if the printer is left for a week. The parameters have changed. It used to be if a printer was left for three weeks! Shows how susceptible the inks are to blocking


I will make sure not to use any towels other than bounty from now on. They were supposed to be a heavy duty towels though


Hi Jarvman,

Actually, the [I]parameters have not changed[/I].

I am just aware of how you are using the system and my suggestion of ‘one week’ is just for [B]you[/B] rather than for others.

I am [I]attempting[/I] to try and make a difference in your printing habits.




Yeah that’s fair enough. Appreciate that. I have managed to destroy a printer in the process of trying to clean it afterall.

I am just worrying after reading this thread…!!!

Rob says he has to do a head cleaning cycle daily to stop things from seizing up.

The guy who did a pt/pd workshop with me (the last time I had things working) said that printing a nozzle check pattern daily was enough to keep the nozzles drying. A head clean daily is going to make the ink go in no time

I will have to get this printer serviced and hopefully fitted with a brand new print head. Only then will I be assured of starting from scratch again. The print head in this printer is possibly 10 years old, so not ideal. I just hope a brand new print head stays functioning with the correct care. Have learned from heavy handedness with this one. Have paid explicit attention to the small printer maintenance video now.


The guy who did the workshop with you was possibly speaking from his own experience rather than as an expert or qualified advisor. For example, with a large format printer containing OEM inks - a nozzle check a day would do nothing to starve off pigment falling out of suspension. Within just a few months the ink lines would be literally lined with pigment. This is why Epson warns to discard their inks after six months.

You would not be worrying about the ink usage of a head cleaning if you were printing a good proper amount.

Think of an inkjet printer a bit like a refrigerator. If you just open the door a tiny bit and grab a grape once a day - all the food in the fridge will eventually spoil. If instead, you open the fridge and take enough food to make meals for the day - the food in the fridge will need to be replenished and will stay fresh because it is fresh. The reality is that a printer needs to be used (a lot).

If you are using yours for workshops - then I can’t understand why you would not put it in PiezoFlush just to serve as an example to others of how to properly maintain a printer when it is not in use. If you were teaching cooking you would not want a student coming in to a dirty kitchen! Right?? They would then learn to keep their kitchens dirty - and eventually people get sickened or poisoned. So keep that printer in a condition you could eat off of it!!! lol


OK but printing digital negs daily is going to be rare in the case of most people. Even at a commercial studio I have seen negs delivered perhaps once a week. The rest of the week is spent making prints once the negs are made. Prints everyday yes but negs no. I want this printer set up only for negs


And I can understand printing a nozzle check daily won’t be enough on a large format printer as ink will go stale in the lines. Will it be enough for a small format like the r2880 though?


I do plan to have a set of piezo flush carts installed if the printer isn’t being used for a while. Just hope I don’t need to as often as suggested as it takes two head cleans to get running again. Perhaps I should print a load of negs once a fortnight or just try and do two or three a week. Need to figure out a habit that keeps things ticking by. It’s rarely for workshops. More for my printing.


I am inclined to agree. Jon’s comments seem relevant for a printer with ink lines, but it should not be that hard to keep a 2880 going. Because the carts are on the print head, even just a nozzle check will agitate the inks as the head moves back and forth. That said, I don’t think that a nozzle check is enough, and I print a purge pattern once a week or slightly more often. If you can’t leave it alone for a few days without losing a nozzle or two then it may need the cleaning routine. Flush carts are a very good idea for leaving it sitting unused for an extended period, but make sure to agitate the ink carts when you reinsert them. I prefer to drain the ink from the carts and put it back in the bottles and agitate the bottles and refill the carts at such times. As these were the last of the K3 printers without ink lines, you want to keep it going as long as you possibly can.


Just an FYI, Epson USA has refurbished 2880 printers for $349 with free shipping


Brian. what do you mean by a ‘purge pattern’? Thanks


[QUOTE=Jarvman;9844]Brian. what do you mean by a ‘purge pattern’? Thanks[/QUOTE]

I assume you’re using color inks rather than Piezography. Either way these tips will work:

The advantage of using QTR in calibration mode is that each column is printed only using one ink channel, so it’s a pretty clear indication of what is going on in each individual channel, esp at 720dpi. However you may not have a license for QTR. If you don’t then printing any image than uses all the colours will do, such as one of these:

If you’re printing one of these charts via the Epson driver e.g from Photoshop, you need to be aware that each column is printed using a mix of colours. E.g. magenta uses more than just the magenta ink. This is not a problem for simply exercising the printer to prevent blockages, but it does mean that you can’t rely on this type of purge pattern for diagnostic purposes to show you precisely where any clog may be.