Printers strike over waste ink

PC Pro readers are up in arms after it emerged that leading printers stop working in as little as two years.

Printers strike over waste ink

Ray Marco contacted us after his two-year-old Canon Pixma iP1500 refused to print, after producing an error message which said: ‘The waste ink absorber is full. Contact the service centre for the replacement of the waste ink absorber.’

When Mr Marco contacted Canon, he was told his machine wouldn’t work again until it was sent back to the company’s repair centre, at a cost of £47 excluding delivery.

‘I was disgusted to find that it is now useless,’ says Mr Marco. ‘Do I really want to spend that on this printer, knowing that it’ll probably happen again? I think not! With the price of printers these days, this effectively means that a perfectly good printer will now be assigned to the bin.’

Reader James Wade has experienced similar problems with his Epson C45, although he’s found an unofficial workaround to the problem here. Please note PC Pro hasn’t tested nor endorses this procedure.

Canon says that all of its inkjets include firmware that keeps tabs on the number of prints they make, and how often they are turned on and off. Once the firmware deems the machine’s waste ink sponges are saturated, the warning will appear.

‘It gives you a warning when it [the saturation level] gets high and then eventually stops. If the [waste] ink went over the limit of the sponge, it could damage the printer,’ says Richard Griffin from Canon’s marketing department. Griffin adds that the waste ink buffers ‘are normally designed to last the lifetime of the machine.’

Epson has confirmed its inkjets have similar software.

Have you encountered this problem with your pirnter? If so, let us know by leaving a reader comment below.

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