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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 25451
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I have a Workforce 3540 and I keep getting an error message

Customer Question

i have a Workforce 3540 and I keep getting an error message saying that the paper is out or there is a jam...neither of which there seem to be given that I have looked everywhere for a jam and there is clearly enough paper in it. very frustrated.
JA: What's the exact make and model of your printer, and can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: it is two years old
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: mac
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: it just started problems printing things earlier in the day but then wham, it started.
JA: Anything else you want the printer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: nope thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with this but I'll do my best to help you.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

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. Then remove the input paper supply.

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. Next take a piece of heavy paper like card stock and push that through the rollers (feed path) to dislodge any last bits of paper that may be stuck.

Slide the paper guides to the center then back out, fan the front edge of the paper stack, and replace the paper supply.

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.
still not working.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the cartridge is not moving when i open the cover and i can't move it manually.
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Did you try moving it with the power unplugged?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
both ways and it won't move.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when i turn it on the carriage goes back and forth tho
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Okay turn it on, so it moves over on its own, and pull the power plug while it is in the middle, so you can access that way

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
still nothing
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

The idea behind getting it accessed from the middle is simply to check that there is nothing jammed on the other side of or under the carriage.

Did you complete all of the above steps?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
still not working. sounds like the rollers are just spinning and spinning and not picking anything up, and then the dreaded error beep
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

But no actual error code or number given on the printer display?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no "Paper out or paper jam in the cassette 1. Load paper or remove the jammed paper."
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for confirming,

repeat the reset steps once more to be sure that was fully processed,

if no change, that would confirm a hardware fault, meaning a bad sensor or a defect in the feed path.

That is something that would require repairs, and at that point replacing the printer is your best option. It would cost $150+ to have it repaired, and it can be replaced by a new model with a fresh warranty for half that.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

If it does come to that, even though it is well past the warranty period, I'd still recommend calling epson as they will usually give you an additional 50% discount toward a replacement model.

You may reach them at(###) ###-####/p>

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


Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Do you need more help with this?