Epson 3800 yellow nozzles sucking up black ink

Started May 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Holton F.
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Epson 3800 yellow nozzles sucking up black ink
May 21, 2013

I've been reading through past notes in this forum regarding ink issues regarding clogs & excessive ink to try to help solve a problem I've been having with my 3800.

After having tried the nozzle check & head cleaning a few times to clear a clog, I found that while that did seems to clear the clog, the excessive ink that resulted was making matters worse. Even though the nozzle check would print perfectly clean, the next photo I tried printing would result in a very poor quality print - lots of black ink smeared all over it.  I should note the photo used did have a lot of black in it.

I quit running the clean cycle and turned to the suggestions of using windex and paper towel set in the printer.  I also blotted up the excess ink as best I could on the sponge areas and the capping station (capping station was a mess after all those cleans).

Now I'd print a nozzle check and again it looked great.  I tried printing a different photo, one that was not nearly as dark, and it worked fine.  Printed nozzle check again to see what it looked like after this print - still good.  Printed a couple more images, still good.  Then I went back to the dark photo.  It printed much beter, not all that excessive black ink everywhere but I noticed a tiny amount of banding in the image - as if there was a small clog.  So I printed the nozzle check again and noticed that there were no clogs shown, but instead the yellow pattern was contaminated with black ink.  Don't know why it would be only the yellow that was contaminated.

So I checked for excess ink again, blotted where I thought it needed it - definitely did not do the head cleaning - and ran the nozzle check again.  Same problem, no change.

I decided to see if I could blow out the yellow by printing something with only yellow so I opened Word, put the word "HELLO" in large font, bold, with color Yellow all over the page and printed it.  It came out dark grey with maybe a hint of yellow - but it was not smeared or messy at all as I would have expected if the black ink was just on the surface of the print head.  The letters were printed perfectly sharp, just the wrong color.  I printed this sheet a few times and noticed that from top to bottom the text was becoming more and more yellow.  It took maybe 4 or 5 pages but finally cleared itself of the black in and was all yellow.  I printed the nozzle check again and it confirmed that 99% of the yellow pattern was yellow.

I printed that dark photo again and sure enough it printed reasonably well but the yellow was again contaminated.  Re-running that word doc in yellow cleared it out again.

Because the word doc's output was sharp and clear and took many pages to slowly clear back to yellow, it doesn't seem like it could be excess black ink just on the print head's surface, it seems as if the yellow nozzles had actually sucked up a certain amount of black ink and was spraying the black back out until it was cleared.

Is that possible?  Could it be sucking up the black ink?  If so why and how do I fix?

I've had this printer for a couple years and have until now always had great results, virtually no clogs or issues with inks.  I will also comment that when I started working on this problem 3 or 4 of the inks were out of date, the yellow was the oldest, year 2011.  I don't know if that would contribute to the problem, but I did change them all so they were fresh, including the yellow before I did the tests described above.

I'd appreciate any comments/help.

Thanks,

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Holton F.

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