Epson Waste Ink Counter Reset

Published: 21st September 2009
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Did you ever try to print something with your Epson printer only to
discover that both red lights are flashing continuously in a "game
over" fashion?

There are a couple of reasons why this
can happen

1st is that a foreign object has got into the printer preventing the
print carriage to move freely across left or right. Some remains of a
paper jam or something your little "treasure" left there for you could
easily be the cause. In this case turn off the printer then remove the
object and turn the printer back on.

2nd (and more usual) reason for the flashing lights is that is that the
waste ink counter has reached its maximum count and it shuts down use
of the printer to prevent damage to it.

This scenario is usually accompanied by a "parts in your printer have
reached the end of their sevice life" but not always.

So what it the waste ink counter?

Ok. let me explain. Every time you turn on your printer or do a head
cleanor putin a new cartridge the printer goes through a head cleaning
cycle that uses ink to clear the print nozzles in the print head. The
waste ink used for this cleaning cycle has to go somewhere. Epsons
solution is to collect it in pads at the base of the printer, and when
the printer software in the printer decides that the pads are "full" it
shuts the printer down.

So ... end of service life does not mean that any mechanical part to
your printer is not operational, and it does mean that your hardware is
in perfectly good condition.

Epson's Solution

Epson has 2 solutions for you when this happens (and if you use your
printer much it will happen)

1st is have your printer reset
and the waste ink pads replaced.

2nd is to go and buy a new
printer and consign your (perfectly good) printer to the ever growing
rubbish heap.

If you purchased your printer less than 12 months ago you are covered
by the Epson warranty and you will need to take your printer to an
Epson repair centre to have it reset and pads exchanged.

If your printer is out of warranty (and if your printing is average use
it will only just be out of warranty) then you are left with a hard
choice. Pay the £40 fee to have it reset or to go and purchase a new
printer (which can be had for the same money and comes with a new set
of cartridges).

There is a consideration to be made here. It is the use of compatible
ink. If you use 3rd party ink or cartridges be warned that by
purchasing a new printer you may find it hard to get your compatible
inks for it (if its a model thats just out.) Epson change their printer
models regularly and the main reason is to stay ahead of the copied ink
market, and the built in redundancy (waste ink counter) is a way to
ensure customers upgrade their printers on a regular basis.

If your printer is not so new then there is hope to breath new life
into it. is a website that hosts a cool
little program called ssc print utility.

This program can reset many Epson printer models ( don't worry about
the pads as they can hold 2 or 3 times the waste ink count.)

Unfortunately it does not reset the latest Epson printers,
and it looks like the programs development has come to a standstill.

If your Printer is not listed by this program you will need to do a
search like "Software resetter Epson" with your model at the end.

Some printers can be reset by pressing a combination of buttons.

Before you decide to throw away your Epson printer have a go to reset
the waste ink counter. If successful and you still want a shiny new
printer, at least you can sell it or hand it to someone else thus keep
it out of landfill a while longer. :)
is a website that specialises in premium compatible ink for Epson,
Brother, Canon and HP. Our photographic dye inks give stunning results
and have great longevity. You can purchase our inks directly from our
website or from our partner website target="_blank">

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