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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 24519
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I have an Epson XP-400. It was working fine and then stated

Customer Question

I have an Epson XP-400. It was working fine and then stated printing color all over page. I was printing black only at the time. The next thing I know there is now a Printer error message saying to turn power off and then on again. I have done that but still have this problem. Help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

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.

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.

Can you tell me the specific error code/message?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It says "Printer error. Turn power off and then on again. I have done this, unplugged printer for 20 minutes and when I turn it on it still give me the Printer error message that I cant get out off
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

What I was looking for is something more specific, an error code like 0xF1 or 0x9A

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there are no error codes. All it says is Printer error. Turn power off and then on again. That's it. Help!!!
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for confirming,

This is a “diffuse” message which simply denotes an internal fault. That can be caused by anything from debris/obstruction (paper jam, bent/damaged rails, out of place purge assembly/wiper, or dirty/dislocated encoder strip) to an actual hardware defect (bad sensor or control board, faulty carriage drive motor/gear/belt, bad printhead/carriage pcb).

What we can try here are some cleaning and reset steps.
First, open up the printer, and check for any internal debris such as scraps of paper, paperclip or staple, etc. Check if you’re able to move the carriage manually, or if it moves on its own when lifting the lid. If it does move, you can proceed with cleaning by blowing out the Inside compartment with compressed air and checking carefully on both sides for any obstructions. Next remove all of the ink cartridges, then clean the metal electrical contacts on the back, as well as where they mate up inside the printer, using qtips and rubbing alcohol. Dry well, then reseat the cartridges. Then wipe down the encoder strip, which is a clear plastic strip running the width of the printer, that sits just slightly above and behind the carriage.

Then reset the machine:
unplug power at the wall outlet
wait 5 minutes
press and hold the power/on button for 60+ seconds
keep holding while plugging back in, and for another 60 seconds after, then release

Let me know the results, and I’ll advise further if needed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I opened the cover and did not see any debris. I had just changed ink so I moved the carriage manually and started taking the ink cartridge out one by one. I think I found the problem. It looks like a cartridge exploded since ink is all over all the cartridges. I removed all 4 and threw them away. I took qtips and absorbed almost all the ink in the ink cartridge. I have also cleaned everything else. I have to go get some more ink however just to see what would happen after I cleaned all this, I turned the printer back on and got the same message. I guess I will go get more ink and place it back and see what happens. Any other suggestions??
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Once you have the right cartridges, you should be fine again.

Be careful with them though, on the bottom ink "port" on the ink tanks, do not remove that plastic/foil, there is a needle inside the printer that will pierce it. I'm thinking you may have peeled them off before and that caused the leaks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't do that. I will go get the ink in about an hour. Replace all 4 and see what happens. Do I need to do something other than replace the ink and turn the computer back on. Remember this is being done manually.
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

You should not have to do anything else. Unplug it while you're gone/waiting so it can reset, load the new ink, then turn on.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
still showing same message. Changed all 4 inks and still showing printer error message I have given you.
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for trying,

unfortunately, that leaves little recourse here. Either printhead was faulty before (which caused the leaks) or the cartridge leak damaged the head.

In either case, there is no practical option but to replace the printer.

As a 2012 model it is already past its 3 year service life, and simply isn't worth fixing. Repairs would run you $150, and you could buy a brand new printer for $50-80 with a fresh warranty.