Epson Print Heads & Cartridges Care

Epson printers typically come with black and colour print heads permanently installed within the device, accompanied by distinct black and colour ink cartridges. These cartridges, also known as ink reservoirs, are easily clipped in and out of their designated print heads.

Certain Epson models feature a combined, removable head and reservoir, designed for ease of changing from black to colour printing. However, note that only one head can be utilised at a time. The innovative design of Epson print heads includes piezoelectric jet elements.

It’s crucial to remember that an ink cartridge should only be replaced when the corresponding ‘ink out’ light is on. Premature cartridge replacement can cause your printer to stop printing in either black or colour, depending on the replaced cartridge. If this happens, don’t worry, as there’s a straightforward way to resolve this.

Never leave a cartridge slot empty for a prolonged period as this may lead to the print head jets drying out and consequently blocking, especially during warmer conditions.

When removing a cartridge from a combined head/reservoir, ensure that the head assembly remains in the printer to avoid breakage of the cartridge locking mechanism and to prevent any potential printing issues.

Replacing a Cartridge

Before you start replacing an ink cartridge, ensure that you have a new one ready. With the printer turned on, navigate the cartridge carriage to the ‘change cartridge’ position. Unwrap the new cartridge and carefully remove the seal from the top label – full removal may compromise the cartridge’s function.

Lift the appropriate lever to separate the cartridge from the print head ink supply tubes. Swiftly replace the empty cartridge with the new one, secure it by lowering the lever, and initiate the cleaning cycle once or twice. Following this, perform a nozzle test or a test print based on your model type.

If the test results are satisfactory, feel free to continue with your printing tasks. If not, it’s recommended to repeat the cleaning and testing process a few times for better results.

Remember to have your printer’s manual nearby for detailed guidance. Refer to it for cartridge replacement procedures, troubleshooting tips, and understanding print defects.

Make it a habit to print daily with your Epson printer, if possible. If you predominantly use black ink and sparingly use colour, aim to run a colour cartridge clean and print test at least once a week. This practice helps prevent the print head jets from blocking, reducing the chances of a potential piezoelectric jet ‘pump’ element failure during subsequent prints.

Ensuring Longevity of your Cartridge

While the cartridge replacement process is relatively simple, there are a few guidelines to bear in mind that will help to prolong the life of your Epson printer.

When you’re replacing an old cartridge with a new one, it’s essential to keep the cartridge carriage in the ‘change cartridge’ position. This positioning helps to prevent any inadvertent damage to the printer during the cartridge replacement process.

Always ensure that you remove only the seal from the top label of the cartridge and not the entire label. Removing the complete label can disrupt the cartridge’s air and vent balance, rendering it non-functional.

Once you’ve installed a new cartridge, run the printer’s cleaning cycle. Depending on your printer model, you may need to do this once or twice. Then, carry out a nozzle check or a print test. If the results are not up to your expectations, don’t worry. Just repeat the cleaning and testing process a few more times until you get the desired results.

Keeping your Epson Printer in Top Condition

Regular use of your Epson printer is key to maintaining its performance. If you find that you print in black ink more often than in colour, it’s still essential to run a colour cartridge clean and print test at least once a week. This regular upkeep helps to prevent the print head jets from becoming blocked and minimises the risk of piezoelectric jet ‘pump’ element failure.

Remember, your printer’s user manual is an invaluable resource for guidance and trouble-shooting. It contains detailed instructions on replacing cartridges, fixing print defects, and resolving common issues.


Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your Epson printer performs at its optimal level. Follow the guidelines outlined in this article to effectively replace cartridges and consistently print high-quality documents. It’s also crucial to perform regular tests and cleaning cycles to prevent the ink jets from drying out or blocking. With careful handling and regular use, your Epson printer can serve you well for years to come. And remember, 123toner is always here to help with your printer and cartridge needs.

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