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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 22022
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I have an Epson XP-320 and when I print the page comes out

Customer Question

I have an Epson XP-320 and when I print the page comes out with some lines fine and others barely legible. My ink info shows that the black is pretty full and the yellow is low. I'm printing in black so don't know why it wouldn't come out ok. My other issue is that when I go to change the yellow cartridge and open the top, I can't access the ink cartridges as they are hidden on the right and I can't get them to go to the middle. Help!
JA: Can you guesstimate how old your Epson is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?
Customer: I bought it in October of 2015. It is an XP-320
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: MacBook Pro Notebook bought in May of 2015
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: Just happened. Can't think of anything unusual that happened prior to this.
JA: Anything else you want the printer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: How do you get the print cartridges to move so they are accessible?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble, but I'll do my best to help you. Please give me a few moments to review your details here.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

First regarding the cartridge change procedure, this is not an automatic process as on some other printers, some menu steps are required prior to physical replacement:

Press the home (house icon) button and select Setup (wrench icon) > Maintenance > Ink Cartridge Replacement.

Lift up the scanner unit (below the glass)

Open the cartridge cover

Squeeze the tab on the cartridge and lift the cartridge straight up to remove it.

Gently shake the new cartridge four or five times, then remove the cartridge from the package, removing the yellow tape.

Insert the new cartridge into the holder and push it down until it clicks into place.

Close the cartridge cover and push it down until it clicks into place.

Select Check on the LCD screen to make sure the cartridge or cartridges are installed correctly.

Close the scanner unit.

Regarding the print quality:

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it).

You can try going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 5 times total, testing after each.

If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning as a next step.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. These printers are built for a maximum 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising especially if it gets infrequent use or you have used generic cartridges (both of which damage the nozzles). While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $150; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,

Nathan