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Epson 3880 Black Ink On Page Fixed for $20.

Discussion in 'Epson InkJet Printers' started by A. Wulff, May 11, 2019.

  1. May 11, 2019
    A. Wulff

    A. Wulff Printing Apprentice

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    Printer Model:
    Epson Pro 3880
    I just fixed my Epson 3880 spilled black ink problem with almost no ink loss for $20. We all focus on the ink switch but it turns out that is not the problem. Here is the story. (Repair details are in Epson 3880 Black Ink Repair posting.) I print Matt (MK). I wanted to print some glossy PK B&W prints. PK channel not used in years. Ink all over the page. Bought a Damper Switch from Sdott Parts. Here from China in a week. Ok, cover off, cover removal link, and then take apart and remove the damper assembly, damper assembly link, and replace the black ink damper switch. I put the damper assembly back in place, loaded in the ink cartridges and plugged in the printer's control panel and the line cord (printer will print without the covers). Woops, ink still on the page. Close inspection indicated ink was leaking at the switch damper junction. I removed the damper assembly again and took out the Damper Switch and the Damper that feeds it. Washed out the black ink in the two damper chambers in warm water and then flushed with Windex and 20% isopropyl alcohol. Reassembled the damper assembly and ran the test. No ink leakage, immediate full pattern. Covers back on and printed with PK ink without ink leaks.

    It appears that often it is the Black ink damper, not the Damper Switch which becomes clogged with old unused ink. Also, it is easier (and much cheaper) to clean or replace the switch and damper on the MK/PK black ink lines than it is to replace the whole ink system. Further, the link loss was almost zero and the system had no problem simply refilling the empty black ink dampers and the switch. I'll bet I could have just washed out the Damper Switch and the only cost would have been the black ink used to refill the dampers.

    Also, if you follow the threads from the past 10 years, generally no amount of flushing will clear the problem. Once the damper is clogged flushing fluid will not penetrate the blockage. And the head isn't clogged, witness the other black ink you have been printing with prints without issue, thus the head is clean. It is the unused black ink flow line where the blockage resides and has to be removed. Then you are home free.

    How to prevent the problem in the first place: The suggestion is to make a calendar item to print an 8 1/2 x 11 print that uses a lot of black ink on the side opposite the one you normally use every two months and there will be no future problem.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    FinalProof and The Hat like this.
  2. May 13, 2019
    FinalProof

    FinalProof Printing Apprentice

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    Good to hear of your success, the dampers do filter the ink and I have observed fully clogged dampers in an Epson 7880 and pigment separation in the ink lines when the machine is left unused which is equivalent to not using the other black for a long period.

    Thanks for the helpful update.

    Cheers.
     
    The Hat likes this.
  3. May 13, 2019
    A. Wulff

    A. Wulff Printing Apprentice

    Joined:
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    Printer Model:
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    I have noted in the past that many people have wanted to know how to do it and where to get parts. I just uploaded a post: Epson 3880 Black Ink Leak Repair which outlines my sources. Perhaps it will be helpful to others. I think it applies to the whole series of Epson 3000 printers.
     

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