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Old 1st of April 2012 (Sun)   #1
Stuart Leslie
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Default Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Don't know if anyone else has run into this but thought posting may benefit someone in the future.

About a month ago I switched from matte to gloss black (after about 2 months of printing only matte), I noticed that the black was not printing on the image at all. I went through 4 cleaning cycles and finally it cleared up so all was good- but it used a lot of ink.

Yesterday, I switched back to matte black and same thing happened. After 3 cleaning cycles, I was only seeing sporadic black squares on the printhead test print and it wasn't improving. It occurred to me that maybe something was getting stuck in the ink tank vs. in the lines. I took out the matte black cartridge and gave it a shake. The test print came out perfectly this time.

So, I will probably just give the black cartridges a quick shake before switching now going forward. Hopefully will save me a lot of ink! Also, if you use ink faster than me this may not be a problem for you. Both of my black inks have been in the printer for almost a year now.
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Old 1st of April 2012 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

A bit of insight into print head clogging in Epsons. http://www.inkjetreview.ca/Articles/...on_nozzles.htm
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Old 1st of April 2012 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Here is a comment similar to your experiences, in a thread about Epson clogging http://forums.cnet.com/7723-7590_102...entMain;posts:

"I'm glad to know that other Epson printer owners have the same problem. I have a CX4600 and have clogged heads virtually everytime I print which may be because I dont use it very often. But even after fitting new carts, I couldnt believe they cloged again, I've done loads of head cleaning cycles but they dont work, in fact it ruined the printer by dumping loads of black ink behind the small cover on the back.
" Eventually I just tried brute force, actually I take out each cartridge and shake them vigorously/tap them several times on a hard surface. That solved the problem for me, simple and effective, plus this way you can take out your frustation on them!
Sorry for late post, I only read this forum today."
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Old 1st of April 2012 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

I don't know if what I am doing helps, but have had no problems. I have my printers on an open shelving unit mounted on large rubber wheels, and whenever either of the printers are in operation the cart "shakes" on the wheels and the printers with it. I started storing my ink bottles, that need to be shaken occasionally, on the cart and I can see the ink in them sloshing side to side. Long story, short, they motion of the cart makes the inks slosh around in the bottles and carts! Also control humidity levels in the room where I print.
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Old 1st of April 2012 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Judging by multiple threads on the topic of Epson clogging, things which really screw up the heads is
  • too many cleaning cycles in quick succession
  • use of the printer at less than daily frequency
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Old 2nd of April 2012 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilt View Post
A bit of insight into print head clogging in Epsons. http://www.inkjetreview.ca/Articles/...on_nozzles.htm
Thanks for the link. Useful article. Saved for future reference.

To the OP:

I don't have much of a problem on my 3800. I don't know if the 3880 has the auto-clean function where the printer prints and reads its own nozzle pattern, but I always use that. Perhaps the auto cycle cleans differently and helps preserve things better between sessions, but like I said, most of the time I have no clogs, and when clogged, it rarely needs to repeat the nozzle print pattern more than once.
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Old 2nd of April 2012 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

IMO, the newer Epson printers (I have an R2880) don't clog nearly as often as older models. I have experience with an Epson R2100 and a Canon iP4000: Both clogged more.

I don't print that often, yet even after a month of no use I rarely have to clean the heads (printer is left on though, so it probably periodically runs a maintenance)

On the "shaking": That's mentioned in the install instructions by Epson: "Shake cartridge 4 or 5 times before opening"…
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Old 2nd of April 2012 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Yeah, I have not really experienced clogging in general even with sometimes not using the printer for a couple weeks. It really only became an issue with the matte and gloss inks since one of those can sit around for a month or two without use which seems to be the problem. I am actually pretty impressed with how they have improved on the whole nozzle clogging thing. My old printers would require cleaning many of the nozzles regularly but this 3880 is always ready to print no matter how long I wait it seems.
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Old 2nd of April 2012 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilt View Post
A bit of insight into print head clogging in Epsons. http://www.inkjetreview.ca/Articles/...on_nozzles.htm
Thoroughly read the article. Very informative and instructive. Had an Epson 960 that frequently got clogged. At that time I purchased OEM cartridges and couldn't figure out why it did not erradicate clogs. Per the article, I now know the possible cause and actions to take.
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Old 2nd of April 2012 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

The newer epsons aren't quite as bad, but they still clog pretty awful. Have not seen the very latest ones (7900/9900)..the 7880's still clog a lot, at least during heavy daily use for some of our clients.

One thing that can sometimes rescue a seemingly hopelessly clogged printhead is to take a paper towel, soak it in windex (don't use the non-ammonia windex just the regular stuff), move the printhead away from the suction/cleaning area where it rests, set the paper towel there, then gently (with printer off) move it back and rest it on the paper towel. Let it sit for a good amount of time (an hour or so) then try some prints and see if the clogs clear up, heh. Obviously a last resort, prior to replacing the printhead or printer.

The new Canon poster printers (6300, etc) and the 9500 mark 1 / mark 2 are a dream and just don't have the same clogging issues that the epsons do. The epson 7900/9900 and the newest 13x19 ones may be much better though, I don't know.
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Old 2nd of April 2012 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Our Epson 9890 clogs a lot, usually after being idle for a whle. It's usuually better with steady work, whereupon it behaves itself beautifully. Any ideas whether humidity makes clogging worse?

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Old 3rd of April 2012 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

I have read that low humidity can lead to clogs, I use a humidifier in the winter and a de-humidifier in the summer to keep the levels between 40-50% relative year round. Also keeps my papers laying flatter.
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Old 3rd of April 2012 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Epson 3880 black ink clogging...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralff View Post
I have read that low humidity can lead to clogs, I use a humidifier in the winter and a de-humidifier in the summer to keep the levels between 40-50% relative year round. Also keeps my papers laying flatter.
Humidity can totally cause problems. If you have super low humidity, those little cigar humidifier package thingies can be bought pretty cheap and stuck inside the printer (inkjet, epson, clogging).....or for a wetlab (fuji frontier and such), inside the paper magazine (exactly for the reason you stated, paper curling!)

Edit: Usually anything above 10-15% ish is fine, it's gotta be pretty dry to cause issues.
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