nozzle check Epson 3880

Started Feb 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
AusPic Regular Member • Posts: 331
Re: nozzle check Epson 3880

jtoolman wrote:

AusPic wrote:

jtoolman wrote:

AusPic wrote:

jtoolman wrote:

Ursula Freer wrote:

Danny Michael wrote:

I think the big question is, why are you doing nozzle checks? Shouldn't need to do that unless you suspect a clogged nozzle, which is rare on this printer.

If you live in a desert area where the humidity can go down to 8% you need to pay attention and avoid clogged nozzles. On the other hand I have a friend in San Francisco who printed without having to deal with a nozzle check after storing the printer for five years!

Sure. Miliage may vary when it comes to individual printers and humidity levels.

Printing without a previous nozzle check which use an almost unmeasurable amount of ink, so I don't understand why anyone would be against running one, specially when shoosing high quality will very likely not show you that you indeed have a few nozzles NOT firing. Only the Nozzle check will do that. Sometimes the missfiring nozzles will clear themselves out after several prints but they may not.

But if you do not want to run them, that is your choice, just I would not recommend doing so.

It is the same as not ever getting a medical check up just becuase you feel fine.

LAst night I did my 15 printers, reusing the same sheet of paper for each 4 nozzle checks. ALl were perfect except for one of my R1900s. Had I simply ran a print on $7 a sheet paper, I would have been out $7. I am using OCP inks on that printer and it is about 3 cents per ml so the cleaning cycle that I had to run to get everything back to normal must have cost me about 3 cents. Much better than $7.



It PAINS me to argue with 'the man, Mr. Printer" BUT..

On advice from you and others, when new I had to put my 3880 in hibernation whilst I was doing renovations, That took from June 2012 to end January 2013. In that time I did the same routine EVERY time. Print nozzle check from the printer screen.....nothing else!

Printer was not connected to my computer so no option but to use the printer screen I did a nozzle check once a week. Each one on a different end on an A4 sheet of Laser jet paper I use ( dated and kept for the record just in casa!)

New carts installed at the shop I purchased from and they checked there at the shop( BEFORE I TOOK IT ALL THE WAY BACK TO MY FARM IN THE BUSH) that the machine was 100% operational, so the lines were loaded and they ran a nozzle check. Thus when unpacked (again) and powered up at home carts barely registered any usage, and Maint. tank 98%

From the day it arrived here in June till January the only operation the printer did was nozzle checks.

IF nozzle check 'routine' and it is a routine, uses miniscule amounts of ink, how did my waste tank go from 98% down to 52% and my colour carts all register around 25%. MK 20-25%

and PK about that time I had a single skip in 1 square, so I ran 4x nozzle check one after the other till it printed right.

If I get what you have just said, you purchased it and installed inks and then put it into hiatus till you once again set it up to print. The initial install of ink will use up about 30 or more % of the inks just to prime the lines and head dampers, it will dump a lot of ink into the M. Tank. This happens on ALL these printers with stationary ink carts. The problems is the the true initial usage of inks is NOT immediately reported or displayed by the LCD or the printer driver. EPSON's sneaky way, so we do not have a heart attack from the start. Later on as you print here and there, even nozzle checks, the true ink levels and MT usage is revealed. That's whe we are shocked at the drop. From now on you will be seeing true ink level readings.

Yes it is a dirty trick. Give you an example, Epson's biggest BOMB / LEMON of a printer, the 4900 will use almost a complete set of starter 110ml carts to prime and to print the few initial test prints and alignments needed to get the printer going. Almost immediately you will need to buy a brand new set at about $95 x 12 carts.

I just accepted the usage as 'normal' as I have nothing to benchmark against.

A chance remark by the Salesperson (a printmaker and a long time Epson user) lead to a lengthy debate, that sent me off enquiring of other Professionals using the 3880, ALL said the same thing. They used to do it but gave it away when they worked out that it used NEARLY as much as a regular clean.

All I can tell you is a nozzle check ONLY uses the ink that it needs to create the print we call the Nozzle check. I have no idea where ANY extra ink could or would possibly be used. The ONLY way waste is ever generated unless your carts are leaking into the system by gravity as in during transport, or the printer is tilted, is through printing lots of borderless and or runing cleaning cycles. Both processes do produce waste ink. Borderless from the overspray and cleaning cycles directly dumps ink in the pads through the heads.

Regular printing does not produce any waste ink from the direct printing process itself.

There is a some ink being wiped off the underside of the head surface by the wiper blade about every 6-8 passes but that's it.

I could run a thousand consecutive nozzle checks without my mantenance tank reading even budging.

I called Epson and like you they said it used very little but got really vague on just how much a very little is.This left me in no-mans land, who is right and who is wrong, I can SEE that I have used a goodly part of the carts and I know how and where it was, and was not used.

So here is where I leave this point I will not say anything again on this subject, I don't - not any more, If I get a block, it will show, $4+ on a sheet of very good paper is a lot cheaper than the volumes of OEM ink it was chewing through.

Well I am using OCP K3 inks at about 3 pennies per ML per color so if I need to run a cleaning cycle, it's not a problem. The 3800 is so good at not getting clogs that is not really even an issue.

Take care


With Respect,


Having thought a bit on the response above I felt a bit that your resopnse was a tad dismissive, glossing over the fact that a person could go out and purchase a printer and not get fooled by all the bright lights, and I am sure you also spoke from long experience here in this forum where there are a great variety of abilities in the folks asking for your help. So,

Inspired by one of your own refilling videos I sought to test the hypothesis , " a nozzle check only uses the ink required to make the printed nozzle check."

Test equipment - a set of scales measuring in grams, an OEM cart, and the carts installed in my printer

Method :

Turn on printer, remove carts and weigh each one, record weights....turn printer off.

Turn printer on, print nozzle check pattern....turn printer off.

Turn printer on and weigh carts again

The test routine was repeated three times, thus there were four weighings altogether, the first. To establish a baseline weight, and a further three looking for variances..

Usage was uniform for each cart through the three tests..........5g per test for 7 carts, with VLM using 4g

If you remove a single cart to weigh and reinsert it, except on printers with non movable carts like the 3800 3880 R3000, the printer will run a purge cycle which does use up several ml of ink every time you do so. On a nozzle check you will not use that amount of ink. What you measured was the ink lost via purging.

Thus each nozzle check used 39g of ink. Now I am not sure of the sg of these inks ( sg would enable me to calculate ml used) BUT given that a FULL OEM cart weighs 190g.......5g used per cart per nozzle check is not minuscule to me and explains EXACTLY why my printer used up ink doing nozzle checks was NOT smoke and mirrors from the Epson printer ink monitor screen. It also clearly debunks the assertion that the ink is going elsewhere!!!

Even when you print a full 8.5 x 11 image then total usage of ink is about 1-2ml total.

You cannot remove and weigh the carts to establish a base line weight because the second you re insert and press the ink button, it will purge several mls of ink.

On the 3800 I can remove and reinsert without any such thing occurring. But I will test that on mine tonight and see what happens.

In addition there is NO value in printing a manual nozzle check, as it can give you a print out from the residual ink in the print head, does not mean the print head is functioning as required...Auto prints a better test pattern that puts some flow through the nozzles and gives a better indication of print heads actual health after a rest in drying conditions.

You do have a point there and as far as the 3800 3880 series, goes, the head coating is so good that you don't really need to do this sort of weekly practice. On others you may have to.

I am in hopes that this is of use to 3880 users who live in dry hot locations or have to live with central heating in Winter or, who may have fun trying this out themselves.


Andrew G

Joe you have me confused, reading your comments you say that non movable carts like the 3880 the machine we are talking about does not do a purge, then you say it does then you say it does not again? Something here I am not connecting with...

Brian  I fell that going to three decimal places to test If a print nozzle check routine is using ink is just being a bit silly. At the end of the day I just don't care if you, or anyone else can accept that anyone outside of yourself can have an OPINION on  ANYTHING - ok,  FACT is :  based on the numbers, forgive me for rounding but I thought  transcribing the two decimal places I weighed to to be pedantic and meaningless, however in the seven months I conducted nozzle checks, did not print a single image etc. Oh, AND did not remove the carts!!  used within a REASONABLE volume , a sound enough comparison with the test I am not in a laboratory, all I require is guidance in making personal choices and develop beliefs based on my own findings.

On what FACTS do you assert that I or anyone else for that matter HAS to weigh to three decimal places to have any meaning. At the end of the day this is not an Academic forum where Research papers are debated adnausium it is a resource for ALL levels of photographers wanting a better experience from their printing.

Just so there is NO confusion........I used up approximately the same volume of ink in six months of nozzle checks as the volume indicated by the trials I just conducted folks can take from that what they will.....

Andrew G

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