REPAIR OR REPLACE YOUR EPSON 3880?

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Island Golfer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
REPAIR OR REPLACE YOUR EPSON 3880?
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I don't know if anyone is interested in cleaning or repairing their aging Epson Stylus Pro 3880; but, I just went through the process. I thought it may be of interest to relate my experience. For 5 years, my 3880 delivered beautiful print after beautiful print, without issue. Then, about a month ago, it started leaving thick lines of black ink on some of my prints. At first I thought that my cartridges needed replacement, as it had been some time since I had bought new ones. And, as they were all getting fairly low, I splurged, and replaced all nine of them. That just seemed to make the situation worse. Now, I began getting a thick sort of square grid pattern of black ink across my prints. So, I Goggled the issue, as well as read through the Owner Manual. This led me to using the light-cleaning function of the printer. That didn't cure the problem; so, I set the "deep-clean" function into motion (which waists a tremendous amount of ink). That did no good, either. Further Goggling led to U-Tube videos on how to manually clean the 3880 with Piezo Flush Print Head Cleaning Solution. So, I bought the Piezo kit ($25-$29); and tried that a couple of times. Having now gone through about 30% of the new ink that I just spent $499 on, I decided to give the closest Epson Service Center a call. I was told that there is a tiny valve that allows the printer to switch from Matt Black ink to Gloss Black ink. This valve fails about every 5 years. Apparently, it is a very common issue with the 3880 printer. Unfortunately, Epson does not offer a new tiny valve part to fix this. Instead, it is integrated into a larger part and repair kit that must be purchased as a unit (about $185 for this part and kit). As the Service Center was only about 15 miles from me, I drove the printer there; and saved the two-way shipping (I hate to think what that would have cost me. The 3880 weighs a ton). When all was said and done, the repair and the part "kit" ended up costing me $359. Had I known this at the beginning of my adventure, I would have junked the printer; and bought a new one. But, having just spent $499 on all new ink, I went forward with the fix. Once again, the 3880 works perfectly. Total approximate cost of the venture, including new ink and all ran me about $900. I believe that the new Epson printers come loaded with new ink cartridges (at least my 3880 did when I originally bought it). In my view, I would have been better off buying a new printer, even though the 3880 originally cost me $1,300. Then, again, you may feel differently.

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