Vivid Light Magenta Cartridge-not working again

I am having issues with my VLM R3000 refill cartridge again. Since I got in Feb-I’ve had to replace the batteries 2x, it registers as full when it is empty and it is really finicky about printing. It seems to somehow clog often. I love the inks and the is the only cartridge of the set that I’ve had any issues with, but it is causing a production backup. It may print-5-10 cards fine and then the VLM stops laying down any ink at all. If I do a nozzle check its area is blank.

I clean the print heads 10 or more times and it may print again for a few more cards then its right back to not working.

Any suggestions?


We replaced your VLM position one with a new setup - please let me know if this remedies you.


Hi Jon
I received the cartridge, thank you. I swapped it out and unfortunately it didn’t work-when I run a nozzle check 1-3 little bars of ink show up. Coincidently I started having the same problem with LK after I replaced the VLM cartridge-it also doesn’t show up on the nozzle check. I was printing fine about a week ago-I ran about a 100 cards and other than the VLM issues everything was fine. I have no idea why the LK is acting up now.
I’ve run the print head cleaning about 20x over 2 days hoping the issue would resolve but I’ve had no luck at all. The nozzle checks still so minimal distribution of VLM and LK.

Any suggestions?

Hi Jamie,

I think Jon thought you were indicating the VLM cartridge was having recognition problems due to weak batteries or faulty chip.

Instead, are you saying that you are having clogged nozzles with this position, as well as the LK now? Clogged nozzles and chip recognition problems are 2 different, unrelated issues. Please specify so I can understand what’s happening with the VLM & the LK positions.

Is there any possibility you ran either one of these positions out of ink and introduced air into the system?

How old is your printer?
When is the last time any Physical cleaning was done to the Capping Station, bottom of print head and Wiper blade?

On the VLM cart I do think it was having recognition problems-since it would read full when empty and other types of issues.

Right now I am having clogged nozzles with the VLM and the LK-so yes I think it is 2 different problems. I just don’t understand if I have been using it regularly how this would happen.

In regards to your question: “Is there any possibility you ran either one of these positions out of ink and introduced air into the system?”: not really both were over half full when I pulled them out to check.
The printer is an R3000 and is about 2 years old. I haven’t done a physical cleaning other than the cleaning sheets (I do that about once a month). I am on a mac and had just started looking into your Piezo Flush, but was confused as to whether or not it would work since the initial fill/charge software is Windows only.


Hi Jamie,

Thank you for answering my questions, this helps me further assist you with a solution.

You are correct, the Adjustment Program is run through WIN only, and Yes, this is the absolute easiest way to introduce Flush into your system. Same goes for introducing Pigment back into the system after flushing.

Your R3000 uses an internal ink line system, very similar to the 3880’s. The ink flows from the cartridge, through an ink line, into a Damper (aka Ink Selector Unit) then into the head when ink is called for. Think of these dampers as your filters for the inks, they work in a similar way that an oil filter works in your car, they filter out the large materials so it can’t make it’s way to the print head. If there has been an accumulation of pigment build up over the year(s) then you start seeing clogged nozzles, because the damper(s) are doing their job so well that it is now restricting flow into the head itself.

Because this is such a common problem with the R3000 & 3880 printers, Epson recommends replacement of the Ink Selector Unit every 12-18 months to keep your printer running at 100%. As of now, your printer is out of that spec by 6 months and if it sits for any amount of time (a week-4 weeks at a time) then you are more apt to see these problems arise early in that time period.

To determine if there is air in your line, which I think may be why you aren’t getting any thing printing out of your LK channel, look inside the printer at the ink lines themselves to see if you can visually see any line that might have air in it. You can also try purging that channel with purge images, this will take some time and patients. I would think you would see some improvement after 15-20 us letter sized sheets of the pure LK image. You will be able to determine if the ink is actually leaving the cartridge and traveling through the ink line, damper and to the head by keeping track of the ink level in your cartridge visually. Follow the instructions here for purging an individual line using QTR Print Tool

Thank you.
Is the Ink Selector Unit something that an owner can replace or would it have to be brought into a service center? I am assuming there is no other way to clean the damper other than replacement?


If you have some mechanical abilities and some time/patience, then Yes. The only way to clean the dampers is using Flush cartridges, which requires a WIN machine to run the Initial Fill cycle. You will also need this function for replacing the Ink Selector Unit as well, because you will need to re-introduce the ink back into the system and work all the air out at once.

Ok, Thank you for being so patient. I just want to make sure I am clear.
This video doesn’t fix my problem-it is more like general maintenance:
This video may help is the issue is that I have air in my lines:

But other than that, because I am on a mac I’d need to send my printer into a service center so they could install a new Ink Selector Unit, or I can borrow a PC to try the flush cartridges.
In addition I just realized the R3000 has been discontinued…so I guess it is a balance between what I want to invest in the R3000 that may work again and a new printer.

Yes, this is all accurate assessments, although the R3000 has been discontinued, we still supply refillable carts and inks for this printer and will for a few more years. The new printer platforms are proving harder and harder to find refillable carts for these days. We are in the process of developing a system for the SC-P600, but this could take a very long time considering some of the road blocks we have to face when developing new systems.

My personal advise would be to find a WIN to borrow from somebody and invest your time into replacing the Ink Selector Unit yourself. As I said, if you have any mechanical abilities and patients this is completely doable and worth the $ put into the printer.

One more question. To wrap this up I just went through all my cartridges and noticed that some of them that were registered as full were actually empty. To make sure there were no flow issues with the exit chamber being less than half full I went in to refill them. When I went to refill the VM with the vacuum method (the exit chamber was empty)-when I pulled back on the syringe plunger (when in the cartridge) there was no suction created- ink actually flowed freely out of the bottom of the cartridge. The air vent hole was fully plugged.

Is this something that happens often-and could if affect anything else?

It sounds like the Exit valve is faulty in this cartridge, if the air vent hole was plugged then there should have been vacuum created when you were filling it, just like the others. You purchased these cartridges within the last year, so I will send you a new replacement Vm cartridge free of charge in the mail asap.