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Author Topic: Epson 3880--outdated ink cartridges  (Read 2602 times)
robgo2
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« on: June 05, 2013, 11:23:17 PM »
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I have some cartridges for my 3880 that are about one year past their expiration date.  Are they still usable?  I know that with medications, the expiration dates are arbitrary and often bear no relationship to drug potency.  Is the same true of Ultrachrome K3 pigment inks?

Rob
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langier
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 01:50:16 AM »
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Give them a shake and give them a try! You should be fine.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 03:07:28 AM »
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They should be fine.
I've been using carts in my 3800 that are theoretically well past their use by date with no problems for years now.
They often arrive from dealers with laughably short expiry dates anyway. I've just checked a PK cart I bought a couple of months ago from Amazon and it's expiry date is 6/13. I'm not at all worried about using it.
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robgo2
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 09:33:51 AM »
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Thanks for the reassurances.  I figured that would be the answer.

Rob
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digitaldog
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 10:03:55 AM »
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I too have used expired inks with no issues. Go for it.
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Andrew Rodney
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2013, 12:47:18 PM »
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Remember that this is an Epson 'disclaimer' that covers their rear end in case something should go wrong with your print.  They would have the legal right to say you were using outdated inks.  The Epson ink system within the printer is a closed system and the typical things that can harm the ink: UV light and environmental pollutants, are absent.  As long as you are not encountering any clogs in your printer (I have a 3880 and have never had a clog) I suspect the longevity of the inks can be a year or more once they have been installed in your printer.
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2013, 01:53:02 PM »
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The thing you folks using outdated carts are missing, is the reason for the dating!!

Pigmented inks have a tendency to settle. The name brands of inks are better at reducing this tendency, than third party inks. But regardless, it is quite hard to keep pigments in suspension indefinitely. At the same time the pigments settle, they can also clump, which can lead to damper clogs, which lead to nozzle clogs. You can help the settling situation by occasionally taking the carts out and shaking them, but this won't alleviate the possibility of clumping.

If you keep the same set of carts in your printers more than a year, you can be asking for troubles, if not with print consistency, then with "clogs from hell".
You should buy sizes you might use up within a year or so. Never buy large capacity carts of colors that get used very little. I know that 3880's don't have multiple cart sizes, but this information is for folk using other machines.

And the number one thing to remember about inkjet printers, "they like to be used"! Especially Epsons. If you are a "light" printer, you should plan on doing a weekly "throw away" printing, just to keep the print heads in shape.




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JohnBrew
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 03:13:48 PM »
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Never a problem with old cartridges. I just popped the cover on mine and the oldest one is dated 8/2011. I recently printed an entire series for an artist for exhibition using this cartridge in the mix and everything was A-OK.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 03:22:05 PM »
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The thing you folks using outdated carts are missing....
I write from experience, not supposition. I bought one of the very first 3800s sold in the UK (20/11/06) and I've kept records of every cart change and the weights of carts as installed and removed.

My 3800 has fairly light use overall. It's only once had a nozzle clog on day three after a head strike with some very warped paper.
One cart was installed for over four years, another is still working well having been fitted on 3rd December 2007.
I keep track of the performance output with an GMB i1Pro and it's not significantly varying.

On that real world experience I can say that the 'use by' dates of the 3800 carts is HIGHLY conservative.

If you have any measured data otherwise I'm sure we'd all like to read it.
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2013, 04:58:54 PM »
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I write from experience, not supposition. I bought one of the very first 3800s sold in the UK (20/11/06) and I've kept records of every cart change and the weights of carts as installed and removed.

My 3800 has fairly light use overall. It's only once had a nozzle clog on day three after a head strike with some very warped paper.
One cart was installed for over four years, another is still working well having been fitted on 3rd December 2007.
I keep track of the performance output with an GMB i1Pro and it's not significantly varying.

On that real world experience I can say that the 'use by' dates of the 3800 carts is HIGHLY conservative.

If you have any measured data otherwise I'm sure we'd all like to read it.
Well it's great you've had such good luck with your printers. I'm sure many on this forum are envious of your good luck. Performance always varies according to individual printers, environments, and persons using them.

While I'm not an "ink chemist",  I've worked with several ink chemists in the past when I was in the ink business, so I'm not talking supposition. Also talking real world experience with 3rd party pigmented inks from several different main stream suppliers. I've got several bottles of old pigmented ink still sitting around that is obviously settled. Generally this settling with most 3rd party inks starts to manifest itself after about a year. That's why I write that OEM inks tend to have dispersants and co-solvents that make them better. Also, this is based on using many 3rd party inks about 5 to 10 years ago.  (one reason I don't use them any more) You don't need "data" when you can see obvious change in a bottle of bulk ink. I also don't see you sharing your delta E's? Epson's printing algorithm uses a lot of Lt. Magenta and Lt. Cyan. As I'm sure you have noticed that these colors are used a lot more than the others. A small degree of settling will be noticed as slight shifts of the color balance. Of course you wouldn't notice this unless you consistently print the same reference image as everyone should, and compare it to your first print. Some people just periodically reprofile their printing papers to negate this effect. I've been using the same profiles on my HP Z3100 from the beginning. Of course the HP has a much superior QC over their printing, since they have an  i1Pro built in, and use great undercolor and gray component removal to minimize such color drift and also minimize metamerism.

Yes, OEM dating is conservative, but I would discourage anyone from buying 2 year out of date inks, just because it was a good deal, unless they could use it up within a few months.

Just my "practical" 2 cents worth.
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jferrari
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2013, 10:23:35 PM »
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Well it's great you've had such good luck with your printers. I'm sure many on this forum are envious of your good luck. Performance always varies according to individual printers, environments, and persons using them.

While I'm not an "ink chemist",  I've worked with several ink chemists in the past when I was in the ink business, so I'm not talking supposition. Also talking real world experience with 3rd party pigmented inks from several different main stream suppliers. I've got several bottles of old pigmented ink still sitting around that is obviously settled. Generally this settling with most 3rd party inks starts to manifest itself after about a year. That's why I write that OEM inks tend to have dispersants and co-solvents that make them better. Also, this is based on using many 3rd party inks about 5 to 10 years ago.  (one reason I don't use them any more) You don't need "data" when you can see obvious change in a bottle of bulk ink. I also don't see you sharing your delta E's? Epson's printing algorithm uses a lot of Lt. Magenta and Lt. Cyan. As I'm sure you have noticed that these colors are used a lot more than the others. A small degree of settling will be noticed as slight shifts of the color balance. Of course you wouldn't notice this unless you consistently print the same reference image as everyone should, and compare it to your first print. Some people just periodically reprofile their printing papers to negate this effect. I've been using the same profiles on my HP Z3100 from the beginning. Of course the HP has a much superior QC over their printing, since they have an  i1Pro built in, and use great undercolor and gray component removal to minimize such color drift and also minimize metamerism.

Yes, OEM dating is conservative, but I would discourage anyone from buying 2 year out of date inks, just because it was a good deal, unless they could use it up within a few months.

Just my "practical" 2 cents worth.

John, your bottles of bulk ink have air in them, the carts I am familiar with have bladders with the air purged. I feel what is critical is to "Shake the cartridge well before installing it" as it is written on the cartridge (Epson) itself. I had a fresh Cyan cart delivered in January (I'm in Maine, USA) and the temp had been near zero for several days. Although the expiration date said the cartridge was "fresh" I still continue to have clogging issues with that color only perhaps due to the possibility of being frozen. I still shake all of the cartridges vigorously every time I change one as I feel you cannot create air bubbles where there is no air. Just my 2 cents...
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2013, 03:57:36 AM »
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Also talking real world experience with 3rd party pigmented inks from several different main stream suppliers.
This discussion is about the very specific case of the 38xx series printers.
As jferrari has pointed out these aren't big bottles with air surfaces, but small sealed packages. It also needs to be remembered that every time you switch one on and it goes through it's initialisation process there's a degree of mechanical agitation via the vibration from the heads moving, that also happens whenever you make a print. So it's nothing like leaving large bottles absolutely static on a shelf.
In the past Epson owners have been very vocal when they've suffered problems with them, but he reality is that there's very, very few reports of clogging with the 38xx printers, even when people aren't following the usage guidelines for changing the ink carts.
[/quote]I also don't see you sharing your delta E's? [/quote]
I'm not sure that's very helpful as without lots of qualification and consideration of other variables they're too easily misinterpreted. Please just accept that as someone professionally involved with profiling printers for ten years I do have some clue about what I'm reporting here.
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Well it's great you've had such good luck with your printers.
Yes indeed, but you'll also note lots of other people seem to be 'lucky' with the 38xx series printers. Is it that just 'lucky' people buy them, or maybe the design is fundamentally good ?

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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2013, 11:43:01 AM »
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This discussion is about the very specific case of the 38xx series printers.
As jferrari has pointed out these aren't big bottles with air surfaces, but small sealed packages. It also needs to be remembered that every time you switch one on and it goes through it's initialisation process there's a degree of mechanical agitation via the vibration from the heads moving, that also happens whenever you make a print. So it's nothing like leaving large bottles absolutely static on a shelf.
In the past Epson owners have been very vocal when they've suffered problems with them, but he reality is that there's very, very few reports of clogging with the 38xx printers, even when people aren't following the usage guidelines for changing the ink carts.
I also don't see you sharing your delta E's?
I'm not sure that's very helpful as without lots of qualification and consideration of other variables they're too easily misinterpreted. Please just accept that as someone professionally involved with profiling printers for ten years I do have some clue about what I'm reporting here.Yes indeed, but you'll also note lots of other people seem to be 'lucky' with the 38xx series printers. Is it that just 'lucky' people buy them, or maybe the design is fundamentally good ?



I don't want to "drone on" about the foibles of using outdated ink,but just point out that pigmented ink does indeed settle and can "clump" in the process as your frozen ink episode clearly exemplifies. I would just be less "cavalier"  than you and several other folk in saying without reservation, that using outdated ink is just fine.

The 38xx printers are indeed good machines, I don't want to disparage them in any way. My reference to "luck" is that you have a cartridge several years old still in your machine without any problems.

" jferrari has pointed out these aren't big bottles with air surfaces, but small sealed packages"---As for air and package size being a contributing factor in "settling" is totally nonsensical. I was using the example to emphasize the point that pigmented inks do indeed settle, but you can not see that due to the cartridge packaging.

I have no ax to grind, I am not involved in the ink business, other than buying my fair share from HP, and printing a lot of nice art and images on my five year old Z3100. Which, BTW has been one of the most trouble free printers I have ever owned, with the possible exception of my 10-year-old Epson Stylus Color 980. (dye ink printer)
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2013, 11:50:59 AM »
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My reference to "luck" is that you have a cartridge several years old still in your machine without any problems.
It's not been just one cart though, most carts that have been used in my machine have carried on happily well past their use by date.
More importantly I'm not the only one with that experience.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2013, 01:16:58 PM »
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This whole idea of pigment ink "expiring" is preposterous, IMHO.  If it expires in the cart, wouldn't it also expire on the print?

Agitation would solve the so-called "settling" problem. 

My 4800 and 9800 CIS carts are translucent.  I see no settling.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2013, 02:18:13 PM »
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This whole idea of pigment ink "expiring" is preposterous, IMHO.
Not really, it's quite possible that if left sitting on a shelf for a very long time the ink particles might settle too much to be practically re-suspended in solution.
It would be interesting to know if Epson have actually tested this issue, or just had an educated guess.
Given some of the stories here about ink being usable years after the use by date, I'd be surprised if they had.
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enduser
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2013, 06:38:21 PM »
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"Lucky" Canon owners have machines that shake the carts at intervals automatically.
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2013, 07:02:27 PM »
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I don't want to "drone on" about the foibles of using outdated ink,but just point out that pigmented ink does indeed settle and can "clump" in the process as your frozen ink episode clearly exemplifies. I would just be less "cavalier"  than you and several other folk in saying without reservation, that using outdated ink is just fine.

I still have original carts in my 3880 that are over 3 years old, still in the printer.  I never take them out to agitate, I go weeks or months between printing sessions, and I have not had a single clog in 3 years.  IMO the 3880 proves that clogs from pigment inks are dependent on head/nozzle design more than age of the ink.  Again, this is not a single cart that was "lucky," it was all the carts in the printer.  Old ink is fine, at least in the 3880.

Sal
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tjv
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2013, 07:20:30 PM »
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I'm reading this discussion with interest as last year a very kind person gifted me an Epson 7600 printer installed with a set of full 220ml carts. These carts had been installed in the printer since 2006 and the printer hadn't been used since about 2008. They had expired in 2006. I was getting some quite serious clogs and replaced the capping station and dampers, which fixed this problem almost 100%. I now keep the capping station "damp" using a solution I bought from American Inkjet Systems and have been swapping to new carts only when an old one runs out. In terms of colour, I have noticed no drifting. Black and white prints have remained absolutely neutral, even printing with composite colour. I do think I've been lucky.

At work, I also use Epson 3800 and 4880 printers. The 3800 NEVER clogs. Never, not even if it's unused for three months. The 4880 clogs every time it sits idle for over a day or two. They both sit in the same room. I've been wondering why, but I guess it has something to do with the 4880's design. In terms of expired inks, the 4880 gets hammered and has never been loaded with expired carts. The 3800 ink expired all the time. Where's the logic?
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2013, 08:20:03 PM »
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Does the 3800 have pressurized carts?
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