Has anyone heard of "Ink pads are at end of service life..." error on Epson printers? I have an Artisan 800 printer that is about 2.5 yrs old. I don't use it every day and, sometimes, a few weeks may go by. (Even so, it seems that the ink still goes down rather fast.) Now I get this error message about the ink pads. The control panel flashes and the printer becomes unusable. Called Epson support. Only thing to do is have their service center fix it. The repair kit cost about $28. Problems are 1) the closest service centers are 180 miles away in Portland, OR. and 2) the service center can't sell me the part. They have to install it. The shop costs would be around $100. Add shippng/handling costs then you're getting into printer replacement cost area.
It's an interesting problem. There is a tray under the ink jets with sponges in it. The sponges gather up the excess ink from head cleaning, printing, etc. When the tray is full this error comes up. But, displaying of the error doesn't seem to have anything to do with the full sponge tray in that the error comes up when a counter goes to zero or some predetermined number. A temporary fix is to download a (free) counter reset app from Epson and run it. Once run, you can use the printer again. However, there is a caveat in that the tray may overfill and spill ink all over whatever the printer is sitting on.
So, is it a ink pad problem or a counter problem?
I don't know if this is a problem unique to this printer model or is a condition all Epson inkjet printers may experience. I think it's built in obsolescence.
Either way, this printer is soon to be toast as it's Depends are full....
Anyway, I thought I would pass this along as an FYI for Epson printer owners.
Thanks Jon. As a matter of fact I'm on eBay now to see if there are kits available. It's interesting that there are a lot of sellers trying to sell the counter reset app, for around $7.00, which you can get for free from Epson, along with the activation key code.
Looks like there is also a $19.95 external ink tank for the Artisan 800. Comes with a syringe, tubing, a tank. Interesting.
Oh, wait there's a ink tank and a key code for $22.00.
OK, I guess I'll take the printer apart to see what can be done then figure out what's next.
Thanks Mick. I looked them up and they are up in Everett. Before going up there I'm doing some Google work, as Jon suggested, to maybe find someone a little closer. Seems there's a lot of repair shops around here but I haven't had time to call anyone (I'm doing some deck railing and floor maintenance while the sun shines).
The shops around here are probably not Epson partners but that's not a concern.
I do not have experience of that printer, but I did have the same issue with an old Epson that I have. I found the instructions on the internet and opened it up. The pads are VERY inky; no make that super inky - you can certainly tell where the ink went! I was able to wash them out with water, lot of water and be very careful every splash will be pure evil! Dry them thoroughly before putting them back. My only concern is if your printer ink is water proof then you might not be able to wash them clean and may need either a cleaner or new pads as they probably harden with spent and wasted ink. Do decide how much you value the printer before you start to launch the attack! Richard
I think I'll give it a shot this afternoon. Let you know how it goes.
As far as value, questionable. The printer is quirky, seems to take forever going through gyrations before it prints a single page. Probably due to the infrequent usage. And probably loading up the ink pads...
I already told the wife that the printer is on the fritz. She's OK for getting a new one (unlike my getting a new lens or flash ).