Epson 3800 with a clogged magenta channel

Dae

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Nigel,

Both of what W.Fisher and Stormlight commented is exactly the steps to take to getting your printer back to working condition.

I see you're in the United Kingdom. Reason I bring this up is I want to highly recommend this product from American Inkjet Systems, https://americaninkjetsystems.com/product-category/cleaning/
I used Peizoflush, and when it comes to pigments, it didn't work for clearing up a full on clog in our 3880 (couldn't even get any nozzles to fire, just blank). I used the AIS Line cleaner and it worked after letting it sit for a couple of days. This was from a channel that wouldn't even print one nozzle with a full on clog. If you can get the American Inket Systems cleaners shipped to you, I highly recommend that for future cleanings on your 3800.

Since you have a decent amount of the magenta channel showing up and doing a power cleaning at this point is just going to waste more ink. I attached a "purge sheet" for magenta. W.Fisher is right that the colors do mix even with purge sheets that is meant to call in just one color. Unless you have a rip program where you can (from what I have read) just have specific channels print, your next best bet is to use a purge sheet, to get that magenta line, dampers, and print head filled with the cleaner. I used a purge sheet on our 3880 Yellow channel to get the cleaner out of the yellow channel and to get the pigment back through the line, damper and print head, and it worked great. I did have to print 8 sheets of 11" x 17" front and back, but by the eight sheet the pigment ink showed back up.
 

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Nigel Harris

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Thanks Dae for the link. Given I’ve now got over one litre of pharmacist solution mixed up, I will run with this for this issue, but it’s good to have that reference as you’ve proved it worked for you.

I don’t have a RIP program, although would be interested to learn more about these and their capabilities (adds note to self, another thing to learn!).

Thanks for the purge file. That’s basically the process I had jumped ahead to the other night, i printed a couple of sheets of a4 and used the sample from Marrutt USA website as the image to print, upscaled to 360 dpi. If you don’t mind me asking, that attachment looks like red, not magenta. Is that a mistake or does that actually map to the magenta when you print. Am not being glib when I ask because I am at the point where I am doubting and double checking everything I do, and the colour I downloaded (which looked like magenta to me) seemed to be draining the light magenta, so I was debating whether I had the right colour or not. I guess as you and others have said, it isn’t a precise mapping so it’s probably pulling ink from more than one cartridge.

Have slowed down my fault finding but with all the cleaning solutions, syringes and chemicals I am not sure my wife will be able to tolerate our dining room looking like a scene from breaking bad for much longer :)

Cheers
Nige
 

Stormlight

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You should try the garage or bathroom counter with the vent fan on. The ammonia is too strong of an odor for me. If you have Qimage, i would try to use Qimage to cycle nozzle spraying on magenta. Yes, light magenta will also be used! I don't have RIP either!

Stormlight
 

Dae

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Thanks Dae for the link. Given I’ve now got over one litre of pharmacist solution mixed up, I will run with this for this issue, but it’s good to have that reference as you’ve proved it worked for you.

I don’t have a RIP program, although would be interested to learn more about these and their capabilities (adds note to self, another thing to learn!).

Thanks for the purge file. That’s basically the process I had jumped ahead to the other night, i printed a couple of sheets of a4 and used the sample from Marrutt USA website as the image to print, upscaled to 360 dpi. If you don’t mind me asking, that attachment looks like red, not magenta. Is that a mistake or does that actually map to the magenta when you print. Am not being glib when I ask because I am at the point where I am doubting and double checking everything I do, and the colour I downloaded (which looked like magenta to me) seemed to be draining the light magenta, so I was debating whether I had the right colour or not. I guess as you and others have said, it isn’t a precise mapping so it’s probably pulling ink from more than one cartridge.

Have slowed down my fault finding but with all the cleaning solutions, syringes and chemicals I am not sure my wife will be able to tolerate our dining room looking like a scene from breaking bad for much longer :)

Cheers
Nige

Attached is the original purge color sheet I received set for a Epson printer that utilizes VLM and LC. I found the VM color swatch on this was actually using Cyan as well (I had a magenta channel that was completely clogged and when I did a purge sheet I was getting cyan printed). The purge sheet for Magenta I attached in the last reply was one I set more true to use the Vivid Magenta. It does use a little yellow in that one but not much.

RIP programs can be costly. From my research on these programs I have read this is one of the better ones to use, http://www.overdriverip.com/overdrive-mac.html
I own and run a fine art reproduction print shop. I still haven't found the need for these rip programs as of yet.

Some of the best advice I can give about cleaning for your inkjet printer is, "less is more". Always start with the simple steps of cleaning. When everything else has failed in the simple steps that is when you introduce a cleaning cart. Flush said line, let it sit for a couple days and introduce ink back into that line. If that doesn't work, do a couple power cleanings. You usually can get it back. From your nozzle checks, you have a decent amount and none of them indicate that you have a "fired head or channel".

I can tell you these printers being clogged is never fun especially when you have plenty of work that has to be printed off of them.
 

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Nigel Harris

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Thanks for that, appreciated. Your advice is sound and playing out with my situation. Based on my findings tonight, I need to take another step backward before moving forward. Successfully managed to get the cleaning fluid through to the print head. I used your first attachment and sure enough half way through page 2, it transitioned from reddish to orange. I did a nozzle check but nothing coming through on the magenta line, despite me having dyed the solution. So I thought about it, and considered carrying on printing those sheets out, but at the back of my mind I was worried about maybe doing some damage to that channel if nothing was actually coming through. Am fairly ignorant of how one might burn out a nozzle, but I thought that in the circumstances it would be safer to just do a cleaning cycle. May have been a bad call, but anyway I did that, and the next nozzle check showed the dyed cleaning solution coming through. Lots of gaps, but still, it was coming through. I decided that another clean of the capping station and pads would not hurt, and at this point found that when I added cleaning solution to the the nearest pad it was not draining properly. In fact, not at all. Maybe payback for running a cleaning cycle when I’ve been clearly told not to! So, I’ve filled it as far as I can with cleaning solution, and left it to soak overnight. I’ve also left the print head soaking on a paper towel.

I am thinking that if the drainage issue doesn’t cure itself, and I don’t think it will, then I will have to dedicate some time to giving that mechanism a proper clean, which will mean some dismantling, but on the upside would probably improve my chances of resolving the magenta nozzle problem.

I’ll post and edit images back into this when I can.
Thanks
Nige
 

Dae

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Nigel,

As far as burning out the head by using purge sheets. I have also read this and have been worried about the same thing happening. I used the purge sheet after I did three power cleansing (usually gets the line fill with the cleaner), but it was used after I filled the line, damper, print head and let the printer sit for a day. The purge sheet was used so I could clear out the Yellow Channel (that was my clogged channel) of the cleaner and get the pigment introduced back into the line, damper and print head. It works like a charm, plus I didnt have to waste anymore of the other colors by doing a power cleaning.

One thing I wish Epson would do with these entry level 17" printers is the "dual channel cleaning" they have it on the 17" models that utilize roll printing (4900, P5000) but not for the 3800, 3880, or P800. This way you could just clean the two channels and not all of the colors. The dual cleaning is also on the XX90,XX00, and the Sure Color P 24"-65" models.

But back to your issue.
Since the capping station isn't draining, that is your problem, I think. I have had this happen where I put cleaning fluid on the capping station and one side wouldn't drain the other side would. The side that wouldn't drain would be the side of the channel that was showing up spotty or not at all. Get both sides of the capping station "draining" properly and I think you will be able to get that Magenta back.
 
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Nigel Harris

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Yeah, I think I'll need to do something about the capping station. As mentioned before, it stopped draining properly. This was after a power clean. Since my last post, I've used more cleaning fluid and let that sit for a day or so, and it's drained and cleared. Followed it up with several more doses of cleaning fluid and it has been draining "fine". Until, that is, I run another cleaning cycle. Then it fills with ink and adding cleaning fluid shows it's just sat there, not draining. Conclusion: I need to sort it out. I'll dismantle the printer when I've got a decent run of time - might have to wait. At least my business doesn't depend on it unlike a lot of you folk!

I also mentioned previously that I'd left the head soaking. So, with the magenta line theoretically full of cleaning fluid, I thought it would be breakthrough time and I'd get some interesting results. Strangely enough, I'm back to an empty output for the magenta channel when doing a nozzle check. Even after the aforementioned power clean. I've run several pages of the purge file and it's spitting out orange coloured pages like previously. So I'm a bit puzzled by that, as I did manage to get a nozzle check output (once) prior to soaking the head. I've left the capping station soaking again for a bit, but I'm now seriously considering stopping until I've tackled the capping station.

There's part of me that is extremely frustrated with this, but there's another part of me that quite likes a tough puzzle. Must be a masochist.
 

W. Fisher

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No doubt you have some of those "Epsonus Hidenesis" worms residing in one of your two capping station drain hoses. I had two of them in this post that shows the photo of them both: https://www.printerknowledge.com/th...hing-all-ink-out-of-a-3880.12502/#post-107859

I was surprised to find them in the tray (I use blue shop towels as I recycled the maintenance carts with a re-setter. Later - much later - the capping station stopped draining too even with the worms gone. One side was white or magenta, and the other black.

So I took the CS out and turned it over and the place where the two hoses exit underneath were plugged with goo even though the worms were long gone. I had to pry the stuff out along with some brake cleaner (Be careful as some of that will dissolve plastic!) along with some thin wire as a rotor-rooter. It might be the cleaning solvents (alcohol, etc.) evaporate too fast once the ink is softened, and it causes the remaining ink to turn into a thick goo being as it is not a slower-drying ink solvent. Dunno, but later on, the pads were totally white again after cleaning them and they were draining well.

I got so mad at the thing once I must have pushed it through 40-50 power flushes over two weeks. It was either gonna die and head to the trash, or start working again. Guess I scared it into working again. Thing was made to spit ink so I wouldn't be afraid of pushing it more giving it's not working now.

I should go cycle three of my printers now too...

W.F.
 

Dae

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Nigel,

How many prints total do you have on your 3800? How many years have you had it?

I don't think you need to soak the head anymore, honestly. I have done that soaking head and it never helped.

I know that frustration, I have been there so many times. Had printers taken apart all the way down to the print head, capping station out, and all sitting in front of me with no definite possibility of it working. Take it slow and just work on it a little at a time.

I definitely want to see you get your printer back up and running.
 

Nigel Harris

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Thanks Dae. I’ve not got the info to hand (am about to go to sleep lol ! Note to self: don’t take iPad to bed), but I will dig that out when I get a moment. I really appreciate the support from you and everyone else on this forum: I would have given up by now had it not been for this site. As things stand I’ve paused on this now until I’ve got chance to dismantle and properly service the capping station. Might be able to do that at weekend. I am still optimistic that I will get this working, and when I do I will be better placed to look after it moving forward. I’d quite like to make use of the refillable cartridges and get cheaper ink, but that’s not on the table until I’ve resolved all of the nozzle issues, no point in introducing new variables to the mix it’s complicated enough already! I’ll post again when I have more info, or (more likely) another question!

All the best, Nige.
 
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