How to Troubleshoot Epson Ink Cartridge Problems

Updated February 21, 2017

The ink cartridges are the life blood of your Epson printer, and keeping those cartridges in top shape can extend the life of both the cartridges and the printer. With inkjet prices so high, extending the life of each cartridge through proper maintenance and troubleshooting can save you a lot of money. If you can learn to spot common problems early, you can resolve those problems quickly and get back to printing the documents you need.

Open the top of the Epson printer and remove the print cartridges if your printouts come out blank after you change inkjet cartridges. Check each cartridge for a small piece of tape, then remove that tape. This tape is used to protect the inkjet cartridge in transit, and it must be removed before the cartridge is installed in the printer.

Clean the metal connectors thoroughly with a cotton swab dipped in warm water. If you see spots or streaks on your printouts, the ink cartridge might have an accumulation of ink residue and paper dust. Cleaning the cartridge with warm water will remove this build-up and improve the quality of the printouts.

Run the on-board cleaning program for your Epson printer. The exact procedure for running this program varies from model to model, so check your user guide for instructions. For many models, clicking the printer icon in the system tray opens the cleaning program.

Print a test page from the printer to see the status of the ink cartridges and get an estimate of how much ink remains in each cartridge. The procedure for printing a test page varies as well, but for many models you can hold in the "Power" button until the test page starts to print.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Cotton swabs
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About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.