Epson SP 3800 black printing mystery


Oct 4, 2021
My stylus pro 3800 refuses to print black ink (either one) on documents, photos, everything, but the test page prints fine. This started abruptly after I did a nozzle check due to some minor banding. The test page prints correctly (see attached) but a nozzle check shows no black at all, and a head cleaning stops after four passes and gives error messages "Print Head Cleaning Failure/Solve the problem on the product" and "Communication Failure/Solve the problem on the product." It then spits out the partially completed head cleaning page with some green where the black should be, but declining to nothing on the fourth pass (see attached).

Because the test page prints correctly I am convinced that the black nozzles are not clogged.

I have uninstalled and reinstalled the driver (10.90).

I am baffled.

Epson support says my next step is a power clean. I don't think I have enough ink for that, I would have to buy at least four new cartridges for that, and since I'm convinced the black nozzles are not clogged, a power clean will not work and they will say send it in. At that point I'm into unknown $000's for shipping and repair and I suspect I'll get it back without any inks and I will need to spend another $6-700 for inks.


  • SP 3800 test page.pdf
    232.5 KB · Views: 7
  • SP 3800 head cleaning.pdf
    362.4 KB · Views: 6
Sep 24, 2021
this is just an observation
the first pdf is printing green not black
is it using all the colours to make black or does it use black cartridge only
the second pdf should it have magenta on the page
most test pages have all colours showing
it looks like there is a colour missing
are you able to print black only

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