How to Troubleshoot an Epson Inkjet Printer

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Epson inkjet printers are relatively easy to repair and troubleshoot. Follow these steps to identify the problem and troubleshoot your Epson inkjet printer.

Things You'll Need

  • Epson printer
  • Manual

Step 1

Check the obvious. Is it on? Is it plugged in? Are the cables plugged in all the way? Ensure that you have the printer plugged into a working outlet and that the LED light comes on when you press the power button.

Step 2

Check the status. For LCD screens, this is pretty clear. A connected printer reads "Ready," "Connected" or "Online." Other printers will usually have a solid green light when functioning properly. Refer to the manual if you receive an error message.

Step 3

Perform a test print. Most Epson printers have a self-test function. Refer to your manual for instructions on how to do this. Usually, it is just a matter of depressing one button while pushing power.

Step 4

Check the ink. Most newer models will tell you if the ink is low, but try running a color test to double check. You can usually pinpoint the faulty cartridge with this test and then either replace or clean it.

Step 5

Clean the printer. Use the printer's self-cleaning feature usually found under the driver's "Utilities" or the printer's "Properties" section. Click "Clean Print Heads." Or get a dry, lint free cloth and gently wipe down any accessible parts.

Step 6

Check the paper tray. Is it empty or is a sheet jammed? Look at the paper tray and be sure it is lined up correctly for loading.

Step 7

Clear paper jams. Be careful during this operation. Refer to the manual for special instructions and always power down your printer and unplug it first. Use tweezers and be gentle-don't use force. Clear out even the tiniest bits of paper you find.

Step 8

Check to see if the print queue is backed up. On your computer, go to "Control Panel" and then "Printers" and right click your printer's icon. Select "Purge Print Documents." Try printing again.

Step 9

Make sure drivers are installed correctly. Try reinstalling the drivers from the disk or updating the drivers from the manufacturer's website.

Tips & Warnings

  • The manufacturer knows best. Visit Epson's technical support page and read through the manual to find solutions for common problems.
  • If your printer does not have a self-test, you can usually print a test page from the printer's properties menu.
  • Most printers have both black and colored ink cartridges. Chances are you won't need to replace both at the same time, so determine which one needs replacing and keep extras of the others on hand.
  • Running lots of tests and cleaning the heads can waste a lot of ink.