asked Feb 2, 2004 at 3:46pm
Epson Epson Stylus Color 3000

Epson 3000 black ink issue

After transporting the Epson Stylus 3000 the printer wouldn't print the black ink though printed all other colors flawlessly. Upon disassembly I saw that the little flat ink chamber directly above the jet had only residue ink as opposed to the half-full colored ink flat chambers.

Well, I removed the ink tanks and re-installed them so as to repeat the initial ink charging system. I watched it happen and saw some black ink enter this flat chamber, though not half full as were the color chambers. As it worked on the charging process I saw a lot of black ink flush through onto the waste ink sponge.

I tried printing black text after this and nothing was printed on the paper. Also, the flat black chamber was again empty. Thanks for giving this a look and appreciate your help.
David: It's possble that you may even have an actual HARDWARE PROBLEM [parts problem], but normally that would indicate that your black printhead assembly is probably clogged. You might want to try using the Printhead Cleaning Kit, available through the home page on "fixyourownprinter.com", for around $10.00 plus shipping. It includes a syringe and some Epson Printhead Cleaning Solution, which is designed to dissolve most clogs, especially if you were using Epson inks. You can try it if you want to and see if you can get the printhead nozzles to open up again...If you want to see what's involved in print head cleaning, Wes has supplied a link that might help: " http://www.epsonhelp.web1000.com/printhead.html "...I'm sorry, but I'm not really that framiliar with the 3000 series, because we seldom actually do any service on them in our shop. The 3000, 5000 & 5500 series are usually sent back to the Epson Factory for repair and servicing. In case no one else can really help you, I suggest that you e-mail Epson Technical Support for possible help or advice, at http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/supDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCooki e=yes&infoType=Email&oid=14374&prodoid=11473&menuSpec=15 ...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Feb 2, 2004 at 4:20pm Add comment
Thanks for your reply!!!

Denny, I thought that the printhead was clogged at first also, but when I re-charged the system and saw the little flat ink chamber located above the printhead fill with some ink, then empty itself into the waste ink pad I concluded that ink must be flowing somewhat freely through the head. And then when I test printed and there was no ink on the paper and the little flat ink chamber above the printhead was again empty, I'm thinking that there is some air leak near the print head and this is letting the vacuum fail and the ink to regress back through the tubes into the black ink tank. Is this possible/logical? THANKS!
by unknown on Feb 3, 2004 at 3:00pm Add comment
David: Its possible. I'm sorry, but I'm not that framiliar with the 3000 system, so I'm limited to the information that I can give you. I know that there are two separate Cap Assemblies on the 3000, one for the black printhead and one for the color printhead. Printheads must be capped to avoid clogged nozzles, do to drying out of the ink in the nozzles. Each individual cap assy also has an air hose attached to the bottom of the cap assy. Air pressure/vacuum is transferred thru that hose, to seal the cap assy to the bottom of the printhead assy. If a hose fell off, was damaged or even kinked, the air pressure/vacuum may not be transferred correctly. One air valve assy transfers air pressure/vacuum to both cap assy's, thru two separate hoses. In theory, one hose could be ok and one hose bad or even off and then one cap assy would seal normally and the other would not seal properly...There are two separate pump assy's, one for the black system and one for the color system. Its also possible that the black pump assy may not be working correctly, or even have a hose off or kinked/damaged. You might want to invest in a Service Manual for your printer, so you can see the available diagrams. You can usually purchase a service manual on-line for $10 to $15 and then download it to your computer. Most Service Manuals and or Service Adjustment Programs/Resets, for EPSON Inkjet Printers, can be found at www.otd.com.ua. ...OR... http://www.2MANUALS.COM ...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Feb 3, 2004 at 4:51pm Add comment
Denny, I am indebted to you for sharing your knowledge. It will take me a few days to check out this all. Thanks for the tip on the service manual, too. I'll let you know how it all turns out.
by unknown on Feb 4, 2004 at 9:06am Add comment
David: I wish you well and hope that my limited knowledge on your particular model of Epson printer actually helps...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Feb 4, 2004 at 9:40am Add comment
I have exactly the same problem as you (after transportation too). It would be a great help to me if you could let me know if you have managed to resolve the issue. I am not as clued up as you on the machine so I dont know how to dismantle the machine and see the ink chambers. Is there anything I could do myself or should I take it to a specialist?
by unknown on Mar 24, 2004 at 8:51am Add comment
Hi. I have an Epson 5500 which had the same problem - it's been driving me up the wall. Basically, it's the yellow nozzles which kept clogging when they shouldn't. I had got to the point where I was thinking that the yellow ink must be contaminated.

I then discovered your posts on this forum. On the 5500, there are 2 heads: black/cyan/magenta &
light cyan/light magenta/yellow - since the light cyan & light magenta were always faultless I reasoned that it wasn't likely to be a leak around the cap assembly & concentrated on the yellow channel only. After seeing the same ink chamber ('damper' in Epson speak) problem as mentioned originally, I thought an air leak was likely, but first I had to clean the yellow nozzles - they were so badly clogged that no amount of cleaning cycles worked, even the Service Program ones which use masses of ink. The only way I managed to do this was to remove the head completely and use a syringe with distilled water to dissolve the clogging - this being Easter weekend, I couldn't order the proper stuff & was determined to find a way. Eventually, this worked & although seemingly brutal, all the nozzles run consistently now. It took so long (2 1/2 days), that I've now bought an ultrasonic cleaner off ebay which should speed things up considerably if it happens again.

After more testing, cleaning & even more testing, I decided that air must be leaking up through the seal between the chamber & the head directly below, & needed to seal it (remember I couldn't order new chambers over Easter!) - after a lot of messing around, I've ended up with a couple of small o-rings under the ink chamber & the problem has disappeared. These drop over the protusion on top of the head & get squashed down slightly with the clamping pressure of the retaining screw when you refit the ink champer I'll get some new chambers as spares but am in no hurry to mess around now it works OK. A useful discovery: when the yellow chamber was empty, there wasn't enough vacuum to draw new ink through, even without the leak, so I used a syringe placed into the chamber opening to draw ink into the chamber via the ink feed system itself and then to prime the head, I only had to run a couple of nozzle checks & cleaning cycles rather than the full ink charge cycle which saved masses of ink. I just had to be careful not to further damage the seal (which is very soft) with the syringe nozzle.

I am now really pleased to have a working printer again & hope you can gain some knowledge from my
post as I did from yours - if I hadn't read that, I'd still be panicking & was about to order a new head for £114 which would have clogged immediately! I hope this helps & good luck with your own printer, David. Thanks to Denny too for invaluable information.
by unknown on Apr 13, 2004 at 3:50am Add comment
My problem is when I print a drawing facing front i get the picture perfectly. but when I try to do a mirror image, because I am heat pressing tee shirts it doesn't print the black? Can you help? It doesn't matter if I use illustrator or corel

by Susan on Aug 6, 2004 at 8:22am Add comment
Susan: I just wanted to let you know, that I can't really help you with your problem. Just in case no one else is able to help you either, you can try contacting the Epson Technical Support Department for possible help or advice. To see available phone numbers for technical support and replacement parts ordering, go on-line to Epson @ " www.epson.com ", or call the Epson Automated Support Locator @ 1-800-442-2110 [press 1, then 1 & following prompts]. If your printer is out of warranty, you will need a credit card, before the technicians can help you, because there is a charge for technical support over the phone. You can also e-mail the "Epson Technical Support Department", for possible help or advice, at www.epson.com and then click-on "Proceed With E-Mail". They state on their web-site, that they "will respond via e-mail within 1 business day"...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Aug 6, 2004 at 9:34am Add comment