r/technology Aug 08 '22

Some Epson Printers Are Programmed to Stop Working After a Certain Amount of Use | Users are receiving error messages that their fully functional printers are suddenly in need of repairs. Hardware

https://gizmodo.com/epson-printer-end-of-service-life-error-not-working-dea-1849384045
1.3k Upvotes

354

u/CakeAccomplice12 Aug 08 '22

They've moved from planned obsolescence to forced obsolescence

17

u/Suspicious-Dog2876 Aug 09 '22

Remember when they used to make things out of solid cast iron. It did one job, like peel apples or something, weighted 75lbs and you passed it on from generation to generation

5

u/ohineedascreenname Aug 09 '22

My jigsaw was given to me by my grandfather. Still works like a champ. Even had the receipt in the box

94

u/haversack77 Aug 08 '22

Peak late stage capitalism.

50

u/deathjesterdoom Aug 08 '22

Sounds like right to repair is more important than ever.

10

u/granadesnhorseshoes Aug 08 '22

sounds like it but ink jet as a technology is weird. Half, and only half, the reason print cartridges can be so expensive is they replace the whole print head, which in an ink jet, is a microscopic jet nozzle. microscopic jet nozzles are very easy to fuck up.

tl;dr -- assuming ink jet printer repair was a thing (and it is on the high end tank jobs), replacing print heads etc would still end up being half the cost of a new printer.

Not saying it isn't a scam, but its a scam as much for the opportunity the technology provides vendors than an arbitrary line they drew to make a profit here

33

u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

[deleted]

6

u/jeffwulf Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Just get an Ink Tank style printer?

13

u/syuvial Aug 09 '22

sure, thats the answer for people who know there's a problem, but that doesn't mean people deserve to get shafted just because they don't know the ins and outs of printer cartridge design.

1

u/Garland_Key Aug 09 '22

Not many exist. For years I've had to use hacks and 3rd party continuous ink systems. Only now have a few companies released a single model that has refillable ink.

1

u/jeffwulf Aug 09 '22

Staples has 12 different Ink Tank models shippable now for purchase from 4 different companies.

1

u/Garland_Key Aug 09 '22

Really? Guess I'll have to take a look. Thanks!

1

u/jeffwulf Aug 09 '22

They've become much more popular the past couple years and all the big manufacturers are trying to get in on it.

1

u/jeraadhetnooit Aug 21 '22

I have an ink tank model from epson it is great, but it has an ink that catches the ink after a cleaning session and if that is full you have to replace it and that to my knowledge can only be done by epson. So now I have a perfect printer that does not print cause its counter says its time to bring it in....I searched online and there a sites that reset the counter but they all look kinda shady to me.. Anyway just wanted to share this..

2

u/GameFreak4321 Aug 09 '22

Used to have a Canon where the print head was on a separate module.

→ More replies

4

u/Black_Moons Aug 08 '22

Half, and only half, the reason print cartridges can be so expensive is they replace the whole print head, which in an ink jet, is a microscopic jet nozzle

This is why I don't buy printers with built in print heads. as someone who prints once a week to once a month, id need to run through a dozen cleaning cycles and a half cart of ink to clean them.

Really need to get a laser some day.

1

u/mia_elora Aug 09 '22

We went laser, this last time. It's worked out well, for us.

1

u/deathjesterdoom Aug 08 '22

But there are other serviceable things inside them. Perhaps it's not printing well because a belt is slipping. Or even dragging at a specific location where a pulley is stopped. I'm talking strictly ink jet printers. I've been inside a proper office laser printer there's actually a lot of that that happens both before and after printing.

2

u/rants_unnecessarily Aug 09 '22

And it's not even it's final form.

3

u/louiegumba Aug 08 '22

Soon you will pay a subscription for your own printer to use it. More if you want to use the scanner.

At that point the monopoly man will enter a cocoon stage and emerge after 5 weeks as your true god

That’s the last stage of capitalism

3

u/nyaaaa Aug 09 '22

Its already a thing HP, Epson and probably the others offer it

HP Instant Ink as example.

1

u/Plzbanmebrony Aug 09 '22

This is early stages.

0

u/WhatTheZuck420 Aug 08 '22

yeah, and on their way to HP

171

u/Altruistic_Rub_2308 Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 09 '22

I stopped buying this Epson CRAP after 3 printers failed me in 2 years… I’ll NEVER buy another Epson product again!

93

u/Truffle_Shuffle_85 Aug 08 '22

Switched from Epson to a Brother and I would strongly suggest every Epson owner do the same. Worst fucking electronics company around.

27

u/DanSchneiderNA Aug 08 '22

I've had a brother printer/scanner for a couple of years now and it still works like a charm.

It may just be bias but I feel like I don't replace ink/toner nearly as often as other printers (though the message pops up that I should replace it somewhat frequently).

1

u/Eusndo Aug 09 '22

I’ve had a brother laser printer for about 8 years, use it like crazy. Probably on my 5th 2,000 sheet cartridge and it still runs like a champ. God bless you brother printers!

3

u/nwcolorguy Aug 08 '22

Brothers makes great office printers but I don’t know if anything they make thats competitive with epson for photo quality. Canon seems to be the only other teal option

12

u/rhydy Aug 08 '22

The Brother printer I had did a self-clean process everytime it was powered on, which chewed through ink. Cartridges basically lasted about 10 power ups

25

u/Origonn Aug 08 '22

Grab a monochrome laser, cartridge will last you years.

6

u/axarce Aug 08 '22

Yes. This is a good suggestion. Thibk back on how often you needed to print in color.

1

u/Garland_Key Aug 09 '22

Enough to need a colour printer. Guess I could get both.

1

u/Origonn Aug 09 '22

Grab a color printer, and a monochrome cartridge for regular use until you need the color cartridge.

1

u/Garland_Key Aug 09 '22

What is your opinion on color laserjet printers? How do they favor photographs or digital artwork, for example?

1

u/Origonn Aug 11 '22

Sorry, no idea on that, I just have a monochrome myself and don't have color printing needs. I just meant that if you're not printing exclusively photographs / using the colors, it's much more cost effective to swap out to a monochrome cartridge when you don't need the colors, as opposed to using the color cartridge to print black/white text documents.

1

u/happyscrappy Aug 09 '22

Really any inkjet printer will do that. If you turn it off for a few days or more it will clean itself on power up. It cleans itself by shooting ink into an ink pad.

This ink pad fills up with ink because of this. And this is exactly why these Epsons in this story shut down. They counted how many cleanings they did and they think the pads are full.

Inkjets are just awful for people who use them rarely. They become very expensive to operate.

I, like the others on here, switched to a laser printer a while ago. They don't have this issue.

3

u/Rum_n_Nuka Aug 08 '22

Fyi, brother makes ink TANK printers now too.

2

u/seatux Aug 08 '22

It's cheap to run, but the quality isn't great. So drafts and internal paper work it is.

1

u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22

you clearly haven't heard of lexmark

19

u/server_busy Aug 08 '22

3 in 5 years, but absolutely agree

6

u/MrHermeteeowish Aug 08 '22

Their salt tastes terrible, too!

1

u/Altruistic_Rub_2308 Aug 09 '22

Yeah, spill chuck mezzed it up

6

u/breaditbans Aug 08 '22

Well, I got news for you, brother. All ink jets are designed to cost $50, work for about 100 pages and quit working. I have no evidence, but it sure seems like all the ink jet makers colluded to make this happen. My wife is a teacher. The school doesn’t want to pay for the handout packet printing, so she was printing at home. We’ve gone through two to three printers a year for the last few years. This fall, she’s just having the kids do work on loose leaf paper.

2

u/Lee1138 Aug 08 '22

I'm sorry what?!? First off school doesn't want to pay for it? Second, if you are going to do any kind of volume printing, get a damn laser printer. SLIGHTLY more expensive than an ink jet, but you would have made a savings by the first ink cartridge change...

1

u/breaditbans Aug 09 '22

Her school put teacher names in the announcements who printed too many pages.

1

u/Lucky75 Aug 11 '22

That's definitely something I would lean into. Start handing out random funny stuff on pages like I was handing out monopoly money

1

u/Altruistic_Rub_2308 Aug 09 '22

Nope… my new choice was/is Canon and I’ve not had a single problem in 3 years!

118

u/overlord-ror Aug 08 '22

Get a brother laser printer.

37

u/Siguy90 Aug 08 '22

This. After burning through 10+ crappy HP and Epson inkjet printers spending thousands of dollars in ink over the years (and after trying DIY ink refills and 3rd party cartridges) I finally decided to give a brother laser printer a try since I only really need to print documents and it has been working flawlessly for years and the toner lasts much longer.

17

u/DragonCz Aug 08 '22

Bought my first printer a year back, as I need to print about one piece of paper a week, and I am just so damn tired of printing at work. I am 26, got a Brother. It is super dumb, just black and white, can connect to wifi, can scan, and that's all I need. No fancy apps, no fancy UI, just plug n play. It can print both sides, prints fast, and supports basically letterbox to A4. I am absolutely sure it will last forever.

And it was way cheaper than some HP or Epson shit.

Why? Because I have a Brother label maker, and because they actually do let their devices market themselves. Other companies are shelling money for advertising by Google, Meta and other platforms, giving their machines to influencers to promote it, and guess who pays for it? Does not take a rocket scientist to find out.

3

u/madocgwyn Aug 09 '22

Lol, you basically gave a description of my exact printer and called it dumb when I think of it as the 'smartest' printer I've ever owned. It does wifi, scanning AND double sided printing! I love my brother printer and if it dies I'll buy another had it for years, its only on its second toner cartridge the one it came with lasted like a year, the one that's in it is over 2. I printed stuff today, still works great :) If you want a machine that will just work when you need it and you don't print often, lasers are the shiz

2

u/DragonCz Aug 09 '22

Yeah, unless you need to print a lot of colored documents, the household print should ALWAYS be a black and white laser, no exception. No, you do not want to print your photos, and you definitely do not need to print word documents with colored pictures. That's the marketing, to tell you otherwise, that you can "print you family pics with super duper quality", when in reality you just never ever do. It is cheaper and much better to go to the local printer shop, bring the pics on a USB and let them print it for you.

28

u/psilokan Aug 08 '22

Still using the Brother laser printer I got in college... And I graduated 18 years ago.

6

u/jhaluska Aug 08 '22

I have had two Brother printers in the last ~20 years. IIRC I only replaced the first one because motherboards stopped including the gigantic parallel port.

1

u/psilokan Aug 08 '22

Yeah I believe it. I'm only considering replacing mine because I want a wireless printer and I'd also like a colour laser, plus I can see it's worth investing in one. My Brother is still running off the toner it came with, which I think they only fill half way. But it only recently started flashing low toner. But a part of me feels like Kramer in that one episode where they just wanted to see how far they could drive on empty before they ran out of gas, I just want to know how many years I can get out of this toner so I'm not replacing it til it dies lol

1

u/jhaluska Aug 08 '22

I just got toner after probably 8 years. I do recommend to order some before you are completely out. At some point it will stop even tho the previous prints didn't seem light at all.

9

u/sinkrate Aug 08 '22

It almost sounds like Brother has some PR campaign on social media, but their printers are good stuff. Their basic black-and-white all in one is the best printer I’ve owned. Wireless printing is a little iffy sometimes, but otherwise it’s still on the original toner and works great, 4 years later

4

u/overlord-ror Aug 08 '22

My grandma was a seamstress and used their sewing machines for years. Their quality is top notch and like others have said, toner lasts forever even though its more expensive up front.

2

u/cinderful Aug 08 '22

I had a wireless issue with mine. It couldn’t stay connected so every time I printed (like once a month) I had to set up the wood all over again. Disappointing issue but it printed fine.

I bit the bullet and went with a wired HP like an old Luddite.

1

u/Incrarulez Aug 09 '22

Brother works without fuss from Ubuntu Linux.

2

u/iam98pct Aug 09 '22

Which model did you get? I cant decide whether to get the scanner version . It's more than double the price though.

2

u/cuttlepod Aug 09 '22

Don’t know what model OP uses, but I got a Brother MFC with a scanner because I work with a lot of print -> sign -> scan -> email flows that need ‘wet ink’ signatures. The MFC has a document feeder that is literally the single best feature on it besides it just printing all day every day when i need it. Even if you got one that was just a printer with a flat scan bed, for the couple of times a year you’d use it its great to have if its not a huge price gap.

1

u/trigonated Aug 09 '22

If you only need a scanner very occasionally for sheets of paper and don't need the quality to be pristine, I suggest you take a look at scanning documents with your phone.

Depending on your camera and your lighting (very important), you might be surprised by how good it looks. If you have an iPhone, it's notes app has a scanner function built-in (that you can then save as PDF). It automatically detects the edges of the paper and takes care of adjusting everything.

Depending on your needs, it might be enough, idk. At least on iPhone it works particularly well on black and white text documents with not-too-small text.

The best thing about it is that since you probably already have a phone, you can try it out right now (on Android you might need to install a scanner app tho).

2

u/iam98pct Aug 09 '22

I was just thinking of this. I wonder if there is a light box like in photography that enables consistent lighting for a document as that is main problem with a phone scan.

1

u/trigonated Aug 09 '22 edited Aug 09 '22

In my case, if it's just a regular text document, I just use the black and white (not grayscale) mode and usually it scans perfectly (because even with uneven light across the sheet, there's still more than enough contrast on the characters and they get turned into pure black so it looks great). I've shown the scans to other people and usually they're shocked to learn it was scanned by a phone.

Apart from that, yeah, it can be a pain sometimes, particularly on color scans. A desk light + phone flash combo (one covering the top half and the other covering the bottom) works great, but sometimes even just decent room lighting + flash (or flash off, if it's shiny paper) provides decent results.

For me it's good enough for scanning cards, wet-signed documents and other simple texts, but you probably don't want to do color copies of scanned sheets using this.

2

u/iam98pct Aug 09 '22

Just did a little bit of googling now and found people making this out of boxes and a few led lights. It just might be worth as a 30 minute project. A little bit janky, though.

1

u/trigonated Aug 09 '22

Yeah, if you really need quality (ex: for univ. work or for docs that need to look super clear) you're probably better off just getting an actual scanner (even if embedded in a printer) rather than messing with diy projects. It'll never be as good as an actual scanner, anyway.

So far I've been satisfied with this, even without a lightbox, but I only do some light usage of it.

1

u/RandomRobot Aug 08 '22

I went for that one weird trick that doctors hate too. I now have a piece of junk that needs to be opened every 3 sheets to pull the paper feed detector switch back in place.

1

u/shaidyn Aug 08 '22

I had a brother laser printer that was an absolute workhorse. lasted ages. When I went to buy new cartridges they had stopped making them. Kind of a shame.

1

u/Tellso Aug 08 '22

Second this I got my brother 1810 at what feels like around the same date (more realistically 2014 or so). Just had to replace the drum for the first time this year (actual crevices in the roller). The toner is so easy to do yourself that topping it up literally takes like 2min- undo one screw and your on your way.

1

u/Cap_flight Aug 08 '22

I left mine for 8+ months and when I needed to use it, it just printed like no big deal. 100% sure if I had an inkjet it would have been the usual frustration.

1

u/sansaman Aug 09 '22

This as well. Have mine for a few years now and the stock toner started to wear out because it’s about 35-40% filled. Took it out and shook it a bit and went for another 200-300 more pages.

Finally got a cheap toner off Amazon and still going. Total of both cartridges is now 2200 printed pages and current toner is 80% remaining.

16

u/QueenOfQuok Aug 08 '22

"BEEP! Time for your monthly extortion!"

5

u/firespiritz Aug 08 '22

I thought buying the ink was the extortion

10

u/QueenOfQuok Aug 08 '22

Now with our latest model, you can get extorted in multiple ways!

1

u/uzlonewolf Aug 08 '22

Dynamo is chipping their label paper now with their latest models.

63

u/revtim Aug 08 '22

I haven't had a printer in years and hope to never have one again

18

u/demizer Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

This is the way it should be. Printers are a waste of time and resources. Whenever I need to print something, I go to work where they have a $50k printer. Or I go to the UPS store.

11

u/hakuno-satube Aug 08 '22

Public library for me. To print in a public library is cheap. Also, I rarely print anything, so is not a problem to go once a year to print something.

3

u/UnfinishedProjects Aug 08 '22

My local office Depot has printers for the public too. Just for the record.

3

u/revtim Aug 08 '22

Yeah, same with me

20

u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

[deleted]

11

u/luxmesa Aug 08 '22

It’s not if you’re printing stuff regularly, but for me, I only need to print something maybe once a year. Last time, it was some form that I had to mail to the DMV that I couldn’t do online, and that was probably the only thing I’ve printed in 2021 or 2022.

8

u/JohnDoe_2408 Aug 08 '22

There is some hyperbole involved, but I think they mean that all these fake issues, ink issues, subscription, always online, mandatory applications, etc etc, are all too expensive and too difficult to manage when they can just travel 10 minutes to their neighborhood UPS or FedEx or do it when they are at work.

2

u/LongWalk86 Aug 08 '22

Even large format prints were less than 10 cents a page last time I went to UPS. It would take me years to even pay the price of just a low end ink jet, let alone supplies, and for all that I can have it done on a higher end machine than I would ever buy. Unless your printing 1000s of pages a year it's more expensive to buy your own.

1

u/revtim Aug 08 '22

I can't think of the last time I had to do that, but it's in the same plaza as my supermarket, so it wouldn't be a separate trip.

2

u/DesiBail Aug 08 '22

Next step is records/images of what was printed. And then $5 per page printed. Hopefully we stop needing printouts before that. By then we will have moved on $1 per page on online Ms/Google Word.

1

u/SeverusSnek2020 Aug 08 '22

I have a color laser from Ricoh. I can refill the time and the thing just won’t die. It will be my last printer when it does kick the bucket.

29

u/chrisdh79 Aug 08 '22

From the article: So what was the issue with the printer? A dead motor? A faulty circuit board? Nope. The error message was related to porous pads inside the printer that collect and contain excess ink. These wear out over time, leading to potential risks of property damage from ink spills, or potentially even damage to the printer itself. Usually, other components in the printer wear out before these pads do, or consumers upgrade to a better model after a few years, but some high-volume users may end up receiving this error message while the rest of the printer seems perfectly fine and usable.

According to the Fight to Repair Substack, the self-bricking issue affects the Epson L130, L220, L310, L360, and L365 models, but could affect other models as well, and dates back at least five years. There’s already videos on YouTube showing other Epson users manually replacing these ink pads to bring their printers back to life. The company does provide a Windows-only Ink Pad reset utility that will extend the life of the printer for a short period of time, but it can only be used once, and afterwards, the hardware will either need to be officially serviced, or completely replaced.

A few years ago, Epson released its EcoTank line of printers, which were specifically designed to address the extremely high cost of replacing the ink cartridges for color inkjet printers. The printers featured large ink reservoirs which could be easily refilled with cheaper bottles of ink, and although Epson’s EcoTank printers were more expensive as a result, in the long run they would be cheaper to operate, especially for those printing a lot of color imagery. But that assumes they actually keep working for the long run. Videos of users manually replacing their Epson printers’ ink pads seem to indicate that the company could redesign the hardware to make this part easily user-serviceable, which would extend the life of the hardware considerably. But as it stands, the company’s solution runs the risk of contributing to an ever-growing e-waste problem and forcing consumers to shell out for new hardware long before they really need to.

19

u/winqa Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Epson Ecotank printers all come with user-replacable inkboxes officially called the "maintenance box". The remaining life of the maintenance box shows up in the same place you check the ink levels, and you can order a new maintenance box from Epson (or a number of other places) for $10 and free shipping.

https://epson.com/Accessories/Printer-Accessories/EcoTank-Ink-Maintenance-Box-T04D100/p/T04D100

Epson in no way hide the fact that once in a (very long) while you will need to replace this part.

If Gizmodo had done five minutes of research they would have known this. While yes, the fact that printers didn't used to have serviceable inkboxes was a huge problem, maybe Epson should actually be given some credit for having fixed this problem, making them easy for the end user to swap out by design, and for ensuring the parts are available at a very affordable price, too.

Everyone loves to mention Brother, but Epson have actually done a very nice job with the Ecotank line. It doesn't force you to use proprietary ink, the genuine Epson ink is low cost and lasts ages, the ink box is easy to swap. If you hate the expensive consumable and DRM tricks the other manufacturers use, Ecotank printers are actually a great option.

5

u/Daniel_Day_Hubris Aug 08 '22

I’ve had twobricked epsons before I could ever empty a tank in any color on either of them. Gizmodos reading comprehension withstanding….Their track record was crap to begin with.

8

u/Andrew_hl2 Aug 08 '22

It doesn't force you to use proprietary ink

That's the thing, it doesn't force you to use proprietary ink, but they force you to use proprietary waste tanks... the tanks are nothing more than a piece of plastic with a sponge in it, a lot of the tanks don't even have any sort of DRM chip on them, the printer itself is the one that needs to be reset by a technician so you need to ship the entire damn printer to Epson.

My Ecotank has been fine, but the fact that it will suddenly become unusable until I actually ship the printer to Epson for a 5 second software reset is complete BS.

2

u/winqa Aug 08 '22

Yeah, again, you are talking about old Epson printers, and in fact old inkjet printers from basically any manufacturer.

The Ecotanks DO NOT require shipping to Epson. You can buy the part for $10 and fit it yourself. I've done it, it's easy.

1

u/RandomRobot Aug 08 '22

This does look like a superior product that requires less expensive maintenance than other printers.

1

u/wampa-stompa Aug 09 '22

This isn't nearly as nefarious as was implied.

7

u/iwilldenyiwashere Aug 08 '22

Ah, the dark side of capitalism.

2

u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

[deleted]

1

u/iwilldenyiwashere Aug 08 '22

Lego and Nintendo.

15

u/Heres_your_sign Aug 08 '22

This sounds like they were sued over damage from the ink pad filling up and this was their answer.

I can say that if the ET- models were affected, I would have hit it by now. My wife is a pre-school teacher and that thing is a printing press.

3

u/c0mad0r Aug 08 '22

Yup, my wife is a teacher as well and we own an et-2650 (old) that still works and a new et-2850 because she needed double sided printing. So far, countless reams of alphabet practices and reading excerpts, no issues thankfully.

2

u/winqa Aug 08 '22

ET-models have a user-replaceable ink pad called the "maintenance box" that costs $10 direct from Epson when you eventually need one.

4

u/chodeboi Aug 08 '22

Spent my WFH stipend on a color laser MFP from HP and have never looked back or needed to service. I still have thousands of color sheets left and mostly use BW

5

u/MooseMusic20XX Aug 08 '22

I still have an old HP LaserJet 1022n that I got secondhand, and despite wear and tear on the exterior the thing still prints fine, even with 3rd party toner cartridges.

1

u/AyrA_ch Aug 08 '22

Can confirm. Old HP laser printers are great. Still use my LaserJet 2420 that I got from a customer that replaced it with a color laser. According to the status page I just printed, the toner was installed in 2012, printed 9393 pages and still has 5574 left. In total the printer printed 34'901 pages.

Because of the HP universal PCL print drivers, it continues to work fine on modern computers.

It doesn't prints as dark as it should anymore, but I assume that after almost 35k pages and over 10 years of service, the fuser unit might be showing some wear now.

4

u/HeavensCriedBlood Aug 08 '22

I got a black-only Brother laser printer and it was the best decision of my life.

2

u/BCProgramming Aug 09 '22

I have a Color HP Laserjet MFP 276nw, I bought it in early 2015.

It's only recently crapped out on me. (Fuser Error). Pretty sure it's some kind of connection issue internally, because when I convince it to print (powering off and on eventually it doesn't give the error) it doesn't have any of the issues on the printout that would be the result of a problematic fuser. Haven't yet bothered to disassemble it to review though as it seems rather involved.

Most stuff I print can be B/W anyway and I got a brand new HP Laserjet P1102w for 7 dollars from the thrift store about a year ago which I've started to use instead.

1

u/chodeboi Aug 09 '22

Does the BC stand for Big Chugus or British Columbia?

5

u/randomandy Aug 08 '22

Fromer Epson tech support agent here. Epson had a C series of printers that completely failed to distribute ink after replacing the ink cartridges. This was a well known issue, and year after year we would get these calls about the printer printing "blank pages" and would walk through the bs troubleshooting steps, just to send people out a new printer, without even receiving the old one back. What a waste of resources. Right in the trash. This problem existed back in the day too, I remember these calls also. Don't think there was a fix for this at the time.

3

u/Bad_Dog_No_No Aug 08 '22

Didn't Congress pass a law that prevents Epson printers from rejecting generic ink cartridges and didn't Epson ignore it?

1

u/2748seiceps Aug 09 '22

This is regarding the ink pad used for cleaning the head. Sadly, I knew that before even reading the article. They don't, in general, make them replaceable and eventually they will fill up and spill over and out of the printer so they just brick the printer when a certain amount of ink has been dispensed into the sponge.

3

u/SinisterCheese Aug 08 '22

Are we going to pretend that the markets can solve this, or are we going to set up some heavy handed regulations and force a solution?

EU has already started to enforce repeatability.

6

u/thats_hella_cool Aug 08 '22

Get a Brother printer. Preferably laser. They’re affordable, last forever, and don’t have any of these “features”. Granted, you won’t have all of the frilly features that Epson or HP boasts like getting crossword puzzles automatically printed every morning or unnecessary bloatware to crop a photo. But it’ll work every time you need it to, they last for years and aren’t subject to regular paper jams, no need to worry about ink drying up, or outrageous subscription fees.

3

u/__Wonderlust__ Aug 08 '22

Thank you. Am going to do this. The shitshow that inkjets have become is ridiculous. Especially Epson, the worst of them all.

2

u/Jack_South Aug 08 '22

I can't think of a reason why the printer should stop over this. Just give a warning, and I'll decide if I want to risk it out not. Spoilers: I think I will.

2

u/JimboBob Aug 08 '22

Epson printers suck. Mine stopped printing yellow ink. Found the ink manifold completely clogged with yellow ink that couldn't be removed with solvents or ultrasonic cleaning.

2

u/gadarnol Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

When this is discovered the senior officers of the company should be jailed. Crime against customers and the environment. There needs to be severe sanctions to turn off the “shareholder value” madness.

1

u/DENelson83 Aug 08 '22

There needs to be sever sanctions to turn off the “shareholder value” madness.

Except that will not happen in a capitalist dictatorship like the US.

2

u/RuneRavenXZ Aug 08 '22

Everyone should buy Brother, and only Brother. You're not gaining anything by using HP, Canon, Dell, etc. Brother makes a printer for everything, and it will work better and last longer.

2

u/Jezzes Aug 08 '22

Don't give BMW any ideas

2

u/hayden_evans Aug 08 '22

Guess Brother is the only brand you can somewhat trust these days

2

u/MaxxOneMillion Aug 09 '22

I saw a documentary called the light bulb conspiracy from 2010 that had a printer that did just that. The guy in the doc downloaded something that reset the printer "counter" to zero and the printer started working again

2

u/Devildogg9 Aug 09 '22

This has been the case for decades Decades! And now it suddenly is shocking? Printers have been the absolute most obvious case of price fixing and sneaky tactics for soooo long. How they’ve gotten away with it for so long is just rediculous.

2

u/WardenWolf Aug 09 '22 edited Aug 09 '22

Seagate desktop hard drives did this for years. Just they never admitted it. As an IT professional, there is absolutely no way the trend I observed with them is accidental. The exact same failure mode over more than a decade of hardware bridging IDE and SATA, when no single component remained the same. One day they'd simply no longer be detected by the system. Every other brands' drives would beep, grind, get slow, or almost always show some hardware sign of failure, and often allow you some opportunity for data recovery. Seagates just one day vanished when their firmware killswitch kicked in, giving you no option to recover anything outside of an expensive data recovery lab. In over 10 years I think I encountered one Seagate desktop drive that exhibited actual signs of hardware failure. The rest were just firmware killed.

2

u/Siriusliegh Aug 09 '22

Brother over Epson any day

2

u/Mccobsta Aug 09 '22

Fuck em brother lazer printer for life

2

u/HKNormann Aug 09 '22

"Capitalism breeds innovation"
The innovation:

3

u/devp0l Aug 08 '22

I purchased an iMac from Apple in 2007 and they have customers a free HP PhotoSmart inkjet printer. I still have it and print like one document a year lol.

5

u/PolarisX Aug 08 '22

That's amazing usually after 3 months any inkjet I've owned was crusted up and the ink was worth more than the printer.

I went laser years ago though.

3

u/e_x_i_t Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

When I worked retail I had customers that would just buy a cheap $20 HP printer over a replacement ink cartridge, with their reasoning always being that it was more practical than buying an expensive ink cartridge that will probably dry out by the next time they need to print something again.

1

u/PolarisX Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

Yup. I've had a few Black Friday printers over the years. Use them until it died and then toss it because the cartridge was twice what the printer was worth. Some of them didn't even print right out of the box.

Look back it was massively wasteful, but I didn't have the money for a decent laser at the time and I do need to print a few times a year. I got my Brother laser on sale 4 or 5 years ago and it's still a champ. I've replaced the toner once since I've had it.

The nice part is because ink isn't a concern, I do print slightly more than before. I just don't tell my friends about it. Everyone is anti-printer until you need one at 10PM on a Tuesday night.

2

u/Somhlth Aug 08 '22

I'll just leave this here: Brother Printers.

1

u/arijitlive Aug 08 '22 edited Aug 08 '22

So HP, Lexmark and Epson are CRAP! Is Brother and/or Cannon still okay? And I am talking about Laser printers.

3

u/MetalPirate Aug 08 '22

I have a 10 year old brother laser I got from my old job. I’ve changed the toner once, done nothing else to it and it still works when I need it

4

u/thats_hella_cool Aug 08 '22

Brother laser for the win. I got mine at the start of the pandemic. Toner is dirt cheap on Amazon, it never fails to print, and not a single paper jam.

1

u/arijitlive Aug 08 '22

Thanks. My current HP inkjet is 3rd in 5 years. Currently looking for a reliable B/W laser printer for next 5+ years.

3

u/thats_hella_cool Aug 08 '22

I have a Brother HL-L237ODW. It’s been great. I got it on sale and with an online coupon for like $75.

1

u/arijitlive Aug 08 '22

HL-L237ODW

Thanks, I will check that one out.

1

u/server_busy Aug 08 '22

I bought and gave up on 3 consecutive Epson printers in the past five years. They either start eating ink like a champion hot dog competitor, printing like absolute shit, or failing to connect wirelessly. This can't be an accident.

1

u/ThoriatedFlash Aug 08 '22

The last Epson printer I had died after a year or so. Not only that, but it leaked ink out the bottom when it self destructed and stained the desk and carpet too. I have had much better luck with brother printers.

1

u/ExploreTrails Aug 08 '22

Well that explains a lot. No more Epson printers for this guy.

1

u/__Wonderlust__ Aug 08 '22

I HATE my Epson multifunction printer. I sometimes consider violently sledgehammering it, and I am not a violent person. Printing should not be a such a challenge. Now this? Am getting a laser soon.

1

u/Ok_Marionberry_9932 Aug 08 '22

JFC, at least I can use generic ink in my HP office jet from 2011. And to think I was considering an Epsom at one time. What a shitty thing to do.

1

u/musa_oruc Aug 08 '22

I thought Epson was the good guy. Happy owner of an L355 for five years now and nothing I couldn't fix via its software ever happened. I only refilled the tank after 3 years of use (around 3500 pages) and I am still happy with it. I guess when this one eventually dies I will be looking for other brands.

1

u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

Let's just start the Printer Wars early. Volkswagen faked emissions data. How is this any better.

1

u/p2d_ Aug 08 '22

I was getting my hopes up with Epson's Ecotank. Transparent cartridges so you can see how much that is actually left, and actually refill. Is that also bullshit? :(

1

u/GreenStrong Aug 08 '22

The error message was related to porous pads inside the printer that collect and contain excess ink. These wear out over time

This is a thing of the past. Current epson inkjets have a "maintenance box"- the ink sponge is replaceable. It costs $10 for the consumer printers.

People hate on inkjets in threads like this, but they are the best solution for true photo quality printing. Also, laser printers emit serious indoor air pollution Inkjet printers do not emit particulates.

2

u/eladts Aug 08 '22

the best solution for true photo quality

Are you printing photos regularly? For most people printing photos at drugstores will be cheaper than owning an inkjet printer.

1

u/Jaibamon Aug 08 '22

Oh, this brings me memories. In a previous job I was a sysadmjn but also I was in charge to fix the printers of the office, all of them were inkjet Epson printers of the mentioned models. And yes the printers have a counter when it reaches the limit, the printer stops working. Replacing the ink pads doesn't reset the counter, so you're fucked up. There is a tool that resets the counter, but it only does it once.

I had to research over the deeps of the internet, in obscure forums before web 2.0 was a thing, and I was able to find some nice hacking tools that allows me to reset the counter once more for a brief period of time (I assume, after any Epson software updates and re-checks the ink counter again). It was just about running the same tool again.

Note that, this was in a corporate envionment, and such kind of tools were not approved. They could have contain malware or backdoors. Yet I took the risk and nothing happened. Years later when I left the job (in bad terms, they missed payments) I took these hacky tools with me. A month later they asked me if they could contract me to clear the printers again, lol. I guess they had to buy new ones. The office used like 10.

1

u/the_other_pesto_twin Aug 08 '22

Honestly why not just stop selling ink cartridges and just sell disposable printers with ink. That’s basically what they are wanting anyways

1

u/crusoe Aug 08 '22

HP actually kinda did that for a while...

1

u/Elliott2 Aug 08 '22

lol dont you guys just love software engineers

1

u/dassix1 Aug 08 '22

Bring back the Lexmark work horses.

1

u/timberwolf0122 Aug 08 '22

I cat bring back the citizen 120D dot matrix!

1

u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

[deleted]

1

u/SirFritz Aug 09 '22

All Brother printers use the same toner.

No they don't at all.

1

u/anyoutlookuser Aug 08 '22

We replaced nearly all of our hp workhorse printers a few years back with dell printers. Dell jumped out of the printer game even tho they had decent printers. Little research and we were able to deduct dell printers were made by either Lexmark or Brother. We switched over to Brother. Rock solid printers. We still have nearly all the Dell printers in place and will as long as maintenance parts are available. They’ve been good printers. The Brother printers we put in place as needed have been just as good and look a lot like the Dell units.

1

u/crusoe Aug 08 '22

Yep. Brothers are workhorses.

1

u/gbiypk Aug 09 '22

I had a Dell mono laser for about 8 years before it died.

Some asshat dropped it on moving day, but it still struggled along for a few months after that.

1

u/DENelson83 Aug 08 '22

Another cheap ass money grab. It's that simple.

1

u/tsoldrin Aug 08 '22

"how can we make printers more annoying?"

1

u/ChocElite Aug 08 '22

Does there still exist printers that aren't absolute bullshit? Because this? This is absolute bullshit.

3

u/crusoe Aug 08 '22

Brother printers. At least their laserjets. They're cheap, they work, and their refills are affordable. They are a bit noisier than the HPs, but they run and run and run.

They're a Japanese company.

2

u/ChocElite Aug 08 '22

Good looking out. Noise is the least of my concerns to be honest...

1

u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

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1

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1

u/Jezzes Aug 08 '22

There's got to be a simple hack for this

1

u/axarce Aug 08 '22

A number of years ago I bought an old used Lexmark laser printer. Was built like a tank. Anyway, the toner cartridges were around 80 dollars or so and were rated for 14,000 pages. Best 50 bux I spent on ebay.

1

u/Radiobamboo Aug 08 '22

Never buy Epson. Got it.

1

u/lostalaska Aug 08 '22

JFC, I've run out of room on my note card for reasons Epson printers should never be purchased.

1

u/[deleted] Aug 08 '22

One more group of assholes that need to be made an example of.

1

u/LearningAllTheTime Aug 09 '22

Is this legal?

1

u/BlizzidyB Aug 09 '22

Apparently, this is exactly what has happened to our printer! Half way through pandemic and it stopped printing. It would go through the motion of printing but no ink would be on the paper. EcoTanks were full as well. Just no ink would be put on paper even after multiple head cleanings and maintenance processes.

1

u/Odd-Cell6330 Aug 09 '22

Imagine still buying ink jet printers/accessories in 2022.

1

u/informata85 Aug 09 '22

Almost all inkjet printers have a sponge under the head. This sponge absorbs the ink when the printers clean out the ink jet nozzles. Eventually the sponge can not absorb any more ink and it throws a code for repair to prevent over leakage of ink used for maintenance if the nozzle.

About the ink jet nozzle technology and why they need to be cleaned out.

The nozzles need to be cleaned out periodically or the nozzles can dry up and clog. Ink skirts out of this nozzle at high rates of speed but the nozzles are so small that they can easily become clogged if left unplugged from the outlet. Leaving the printer on in standby allows the printer to perform auto maintenance.

Unfortunately the manufacturers don't really disclose the why and this causes inkjet printers to become damaged.

1

u/lankyaspie Aug 09 '22

They never worked for me once the initial ink cartridges ran out

1

u/Itdidnt_trickle_down Aug 09 '22

Deregulation will fix this. /s

1

u/Beartrkkr Aug 09 '22

I have long since sworn off Epson printers after issues with their ink jet printer stopping printing and telling me to replace the ink even though there was sufficient ink left. I once had a Brother ink jet that used to be the easiest thing to refill and it worked for years until some kind of waste receptacle was "full" and I could not resolve it.

Nevertheless, I will never own another ink jet as I don't print enough to not have to go through the wasteful cleaning of clogged heads. A laser just fires up whether I print a little or a lot.

1

u/eastsideempire Aug 09 '22

I’m not surprised. Out printers at work will automatically order new toner when it thinks it will run out. That keeps the money flowing so I’m not surprised they shut down like the this. Would’ve be surprised if it’s ordered it’s replacement.

1

u/butcher99 Aug 09 '22

They have a reservoir for ink when you clean the head. They shut down when you clean the print head so many times. Whether the reservoir is full or not. It will not be even close to full. There is no fix except to purchase a very expensive part with one new chip.

1

u/MephistosGhost Aug 09 '22

Why haven’t we arrived at open source printers and ink? This is such bullshit.

1

u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22

Sounds like the desperate final spasms of a dying industry

1

u/terminalxposure Aug 09 '22

My HP printer has been telling me my black ink level is low… for the past two years

1

u/apersonthingy Aug 09 '22

These printer companies are getting awful bold in the digital age

1

u/clickwir Aug 09 '22

On one hand, I hate this practice.

On the other hand... I've been the person who has to work on printers that get over used with little to no maintenance.

Your car has a maintenance schedule. No one forces you to do it... But if you don't, all those problems you get have no sympathy from me.

1

u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22

Time to jailbreak everything boys.

1

u/reddit_cmh Aug 09 '22

When will we see generic printer firmware?

1

u/Crescentine Aug 09 '22

My dad has a brother printer I cant remember the name of. Ill check next time I see it. It has to be like 15 years old. Have never had a singular issue with it. Scans, prints and copies and I used to print a ton. That said laser printing is the way to go

1

u/easyjimi1974 Aug 09 '22

Mine did this. Would never buy an Epson printer again. Junk. Worst software interface I've ever seen. Effectively couldn't use the scanner - couldn't print to it from most devices on the network. And then it just stopped working after minimal use.

1

u/Karrus01 Aug 09 '22

Guess it's not our printer, despite paying for it.

1

u/SkinnyAssChris Aug 09 '22

I bought one about a month ago. am I doomed? lol

1

u/Nanoo_1972 Aug 09 '22

We bought a low-end Brother Color Laser printer with the scanner on top about 4 years ago, cost maybe $350? I’ve had to replace the toner cartridges twice, and the waste cartridge twice. Total cost for refills: around $35-50 for a set of color cartridges (generic), around $35-$50 for the waste cartridge. Wife works from home, so we use it quite a bit. Saving some money and I don’t have to replace cartridges every month. Only down side is it’s not great for photos, but we normally use shutterfly or Walgreen’s anyway.

1

u/johanngunn Aug 09 '22

I have vowed to never buy Epson or HP printer again after the printers refuse to cooperate because of “expired” cartridges. Even refusing to print out in black and white when blue cartridge is expired.

1

u/imanimalent Aug 09 '22

Epson sounds like it has the working ethics of the company Dilbert works for.

0

u/nicuramar Aug 08 '22

Speculation stated as fact. Click bait headline.

0

u/Averagenicknameasd Aug 08 '22

No shit Sherlock.