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Ask Nathan Your Own Question

Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 23601
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 20+ years experience printer repair
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Printers

Epson Stylus SX445W wont print. Says out of paper but it

Epson Stylus SX445W won't print... Show More
Epson Stylus SX445W won't print. Says 'out of paper' but it goes through the motions of printing i.e. it takes in the paper and spits it out but nothing printed on it. Have cleaned the print head and checked nozzle several times but to no avail. It has ink in it!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Printers
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Ask Your Own Printers Question
Nathan, Engineer
Satisfied Customers: 23601
Experience: Computer networking/repair. 20+ years experience printer repair
replied 3 years ago.

Nathan :

 


Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.

Nathan :

Hi there, sorry to hear you're having trouble with the epson,

Nathan :

when you did the nozzle check, did anything come out on the paper?

Customer:

No

Nathan :

Okay thanks for the info,

Nathan :

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head.

Nathan :

The automated cleaning function you tried is not sufficient to clear this

Nathan :

You'll have to try cleaning the head manually,

Nathan :

To try manually cleaning the print heads:


Open up the printer, and look for the "carriage" that goes back and forth (on metal rails) over the paper while printing.


 


You'll remove the cartridges, then clean on the bottom of them (focus on the ink port/hole) as well as inside the carriage using qtips and rubbing alcohol (ear buds and surgical spirits/meths)

Nathan :

Unfortunately your model does not have a removable printhead, so it will have to be cleaned in place. Fold up a piece of paper towel in quarters the long way, saturate the middle with alcohol, slide it under the print head, and pick up on the ends while moving up and down to clean it (think of drying your back with a towel).

Nathan :

When cleaning the port on the print head that the ink flows into from the cartridge, also try using a qtip to "pump" the liquid down into the port and force it through, which will help to dissolve any clogs. If possible, you'll get even better results from fitting a piece of plastic/rubber tubing into the ink port and flusing the alcohol into the head through a syringe.


After all of this swab again with a few dry qtips or give a blast of compressed air to dry everything well, then put it all back together. You can now try to print, or run the automated print head cleaning function in the setup menu. You may have to run a few pages through before everything starts flowing properly again.

Customer:

Sounds complicated but I'll have a go, thank you

Nathan :

If none of this helps, then you've got a faulty print head(s) which would need to be replaced. If it gets to that point though, it's time for a new printer. It would cost you £200+ to have the head replaced, while you could buy a brand new one, with updated features and a fresh warranty, for under 70

Customer:

Wow, hope it doesn't come to that. Now where's the 'meths' quick!

Nathan :

Here is the current iteration of your model,



Epson Expression Home XP-412 Small-i... (click for link)

Nathan :

well, that outcome is pretty common, especially as these machines age. The head is considered a "wear and tear" item, and does fail as it is used.

Nathan :

These inkjet printers (no matter what brand) are really only built to last a few years at most, and yours is a 2011 model, so while it may seem new still, it is old enough to have served it's expected useful life already

Customer:

What exactly is the print head? I have removed the ink cartridges but dont know where to slide the towel, the metalbox that holds the cartridges is at the side, can I get it to the middle?

Nathan :

the print head is the part that holds the cartridges,

Nathan :

it should move to the middle when you lift the lid (you may need to go into the menu and tell it you want to replace the ink cartridges to force it over)

Nathan :

You may find it easier to get to from the front of the printer (where the paper comes out) than from the top. No part of this process is clean or easy, which is why at this point most people simply replace the machine. The cleaning alone is hard to do, let alone the possibility of repairing it

Nathan :

Still with me?

Customer:

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX all that, ink everywhere! but printer still says 'paper out, load paper'. preserve me from technology!

Nathan :

Okay one last step here

Nathan :

lets try rebooting the printer

Nathan :

unplug power at the mains for at least 5 minutes

Nathan :

then press and hold the power/on button on the epson for 60+ seconds

Nathan :

keep holding while plugging back in, and another 60 seconds after.

Nathan :

If the problem still continues, then there is still a hardware issue, which could be a bad sensor or fault in the paper path, or a bad head; either way though we're still back to the point of not being worth fixing and time for a new machine.

Customer:

having replaced everything I did another print head cleaning and nozzle check but still no joy. i didn't do the syringe or hose bit because I didn't have one but I did the other thoroughly with meths, kitchen towel and qtips. is my only option now to replace the printer?

Nathan :

At this point, yes. Unless you want to go with the deeper cleaning steps (getting syringe, etc).

Nathan :

But if you saw no improvement at all with what you've done so far, chances are that wouldn't help either.

Customer:

Sorry didn't see your last message, doing that now

Nathan :

if you had seen some marginal improvement with the first steps, then I would conclude it is just a clog that could be helped further by more cleaning.

Nathan :

But if you saw no change, it's more likely a bad head, which can't be helped by cleaning of any kind.

Customer:

Sorry Nathan, got distracted, have now done final resort-re-booting, still no joy.

Nathan :

no worries, thanks for getting back with me, and sorry to hear that didn't help.

Nathan :

At this point, I would say it's time for a new printer, but at least you can take some comfort in knowing you've done everything possible on your end before going that route.

Customer:

Thanks for your help

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