I have an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 with very old ink, perhaps as old as three years. There is around 20 percent to 30 percent ink levels in the old cartridges. I have not been printing anything critical lately, but this is soon to change. I bought a new set of cartridges and will be installing them before my next serious printing project. I will be printing a few 36 x 12 inch panoramas.
My questions is, should I burn-up the old ink by doing a few cleaning cycles, including the most intensive cleaning? Or should I just install the new ink and run a cleaning cycle? There is probably no way I will use up the new ink in the next one or two years, so I can afford to waste a bit of ink in the beginning.
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#1. "RE: Epson Stylus Pro 3880" | In response to Reply # 0PeterBeckett Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Thu 18-Apr-13 01:09 PM
As you know, I also have that same printer. My advice is to run a nozzle check and cleaning cycle while using the OLD inks, but ONLY AFTER removing each cartridge and mixing the ink thoroughly with a few "twists of the wrist". As soon as everything shows as good and clear, print some real pictures.
In the unlikely event that one or more nozzles is solidly blocked, you could try a new cartridge for that position, but I'd be FAR more inclined to have the head cleaned by an authorized Epson service centre and, at that time, have them install your full set of new cartridges.. I once used such a centre somewhere here in the BA, but can't quite remember where it was.
#2. "RE: Epson Stylus Pro 3880" | In response to Reply # 1mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004Thu 18-Apr-13 01:13 PM | edited Thu 18-Apr-13 01:29 PM by mpage
Do you recall the cost of the cleaning? Did you drop off the printer yourself, or did you need to ship it? If the print nozzle test show no missing points of ink, do I need to be concerned? Even though the printer was not used extensively, it was used every four or five weeks on small projects.
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#3. "RE: Epson Stylus Pro 3880" | In response to Reply # 2PeterBeckett Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Thu 18-Apr-13 01:47 PM | edited Thu 18-Apr-13 01:49 PM by PeterBeckett
Mark, I dropped the printer off personally. BTW, it was NOT the 3880. It was some years ago!
IF you happen to have a blocked nozzle, the problem could well indicate that the supply line needs to be cleaned out of that particular colour ink - and THAT is potentially both a messy and quite challenging task. My guess is that the line would probably be changed for a new one.
If nozzle checks etc. show no problems, then you should carry on and print just as if everything were fresh - replacing cartridges only when they become empty.
In the event that your printer does need to be serviced, remember that I am happy to make your prints for you while you're without it!