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Author Topic: Epson Pro 3880 Black edge smears  (Read 614 times)

sskennel

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Epson Pro 3880 Black edge smears
« on: March 12, 2017, 05:16:29 PM »

My five year-old Epson Pro 3880 is on its fourth set of OEM ink carts and has worked very well until now. I last used it successfully in late February. When I went to use it the other day, I started getting black smears along both edges of the paper. There's so much ink there that it runs down the paper. (See the attached image of a head alignment print.) The problem started just as the Photo Black cart was running out of ink.

I replaced the Photo Black cart. I made sure the paper (Epson Premium Luster) is flat and the paper tray is up. I checked that the paper settings haven't changed (Paper Thickness: 3, Platen Gap: Auto). I ran several head cleaning cycles. I cleaned the head parking area and the wiper with Windex. I still get the smears. I'm out of ideas.

Any help anyone can offer would be much appreciated.
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hugowolf

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Re: Epson Pro 3880 Black edge smears
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 08:25:06 PM »

My best guess would be that the ink switching unit is starting to fail. It is the part that switches to and from MK and PK and can exhibit this problem before total failure. When it does fail, it is usually stuck with the PK permanently draining, and becomes only usable for printing MK.

One diagnostic is to weigh the PK cartridge to see if it contains as much ink as the system claims. I have a 3880 where the PK weighs empty, but shows 81% full on the printer's front console screen.

Epson estimates the lifespan of the 3880 at 5 years, and the ink switching unit is a known first point of failure.

Brian A
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howardm

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Re: Epson Pro 3880 Black edge smears
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 08:41:41 PM »

I would concur w/ Brian.

sskennel

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Re: Epson Pro 3880 Black edge smears
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 10:50:37 PM »

Thanks. This is what I was afraid of, but i appreciate the confirmation that the printer is toast.

-- Roger
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pluton

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Re: Epson Pro 3880 Black edge smears
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 03:57:57 AM »

The same exact thing happened to my 5-year-old 3800 about 3 years ago.  It can be fixed, but the repair nets out at about $200 less than a new printer.  Unless you do it yourself for something like $170 in parts.  Personally, I have no patience for fiddly mechanical work, so another $1000 printer it was.  I guess that's about $200 a year for printer rental.
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