Epson 1400 Mods & Troubleshooting
If your following my Instagram feed, you may have seen me post pictures of my printer setups here and there. I have been wanting to write about my struggles with the Epson Stylus Photo 1400 Inkjet Printer for a couple years now. Just so I can have a quick go-to guide when things get rough. So that’s what this post is about.
When I was studying Graphic Design in college we went through a ton of prints. The school didn’t cover the costs of paper and ink. This was something the students paid for. When your a design student your printing on a regular basis and the cost really adds up.
CIS Ink Stystem Installed On Epson 1400 Printer.
CIS Ink System Research
In 2011 the Epson 1400 was a popular choice for design students due to its affordable price and the ability to print 13 x 19 inches. The print quality is also really good. After some research, I decided to buy the Epson 1400 with part of my rent money. Soon as I took it out of the box I started to take it apart. I already knew I couldn’t afford the ink cartages. After a lot of research, I found a company called Super Premium Electronics which used to be “Super Smart Electronics.” These guys used to provide a Continuous ink system (CIS or CISS) for the Epson 1400. (You can get these on eBay or Amazon now) This system allows you to have large ink tanks on the side of the printer and tubes filled with ink run into the top of the machine. The printer sucks the ink into the cartages when needed. This allows the user to print for months without worrying about refilling printer cartages. The downside to this tactic is it voids the warranty with Epson. So if the machine breaks you’re on your own.
Waste Ink Tank
Over time the printer will get errors and one of the big ones is when the eject paper and ink refill light turn red and flash repeatedly. This means there is an error of some sort. But when you’re using a CIS setup it probably means your waste ink pads are full. You will also get an error about this on your monitor. On the bottom of every Epson machine, they use cotton pads. The software comes with the printer that tells the user to run through a series of tests to help with clogging. The printer cleans itself with its own ink. But that waste ink doesn’t disappear it soaks up in the cotton pads until the machine breaks. This is another way for Epson to make money because the user will send in the machine if it’s still under warranty. The repair costs around $200+ to replace these pads. To get around this I found a company called Octoinkjet. They have tutorials on how to open the side of the printer and redirect the waste ink tube so it hits an external tank.
After redirecting the tubes, the printer won’t just “magically” work. Epson may or may not still provide a WICReset Key. When the printer is plugged in download the key and go through its brief software install. The key tells the machine everything is working correctly. If you can’t get the key through the Epson website there are many companies out there selling the keys for $10. Keep in mind a lot of the keys are free if you’re using a Windows computer.
Here is a situation where a key will be needed.
Unclog Epson 1400 Printheads
After installing the mods mentioned above your ready to go. However, if you ever let the printer sit longer than a week without use, your increasing the chance for a clog. Epson wants you to waste your ink so that’s why they gave you print head test software that does just that. Sometimes the clogs are so bad you need extra help. This is where Inkjetcarts comes in handy. They sell a cleaning solution that has its own cartages. You just remove your CIS cartages and replace them with the clear cleaning ones. Now you can find a detailed image and press print. The solution runs through the printer and works on the clogged areas just like Drano. The company provides a tutorial on how to do this and even talks about situations where you have to manually use a syringe plunger to extract ink out of the clogged print heads with the cleaning solution.
Test Print Patterns
Inkjetcarts also has a nice print package you can download. This package includes multiple color patterns so you can test your printer for color matching. This is critical if you ever needed to use the cleaning solution. These test prints will help the user get their machine back in top-notch working order.
Paper Jam Issues
After several years of heavy use, I recently encountered a paper loading problem. The printer was able to print letter size documents ok but anything larger would wrinkle up and get jammed. I found out this is usually caused by dust and small paper fibers sticking to the printer feed rollers. On the back of the Epson 1400 where you load your paper, there is a rubber roller that grabs the paper. To clean this, use a damp microfiber dusting cloth and apply a little bit of water. Be sure to turn the roller all the way around so you clean each side. After this, the printer should be able to grab all paper stocks once again.
Troubleshooting the Ink light
Sometimes after cleaning a nasty clog, the change ink light will stay on. If this happens follow these steps:
1. Power off the printer and turn it back on.
2. Unplug printer after its startup cycles a couple of times.
3. Take out cartages and clean off cartage chips with a towel.
If you make it to step three this is because one of the cartage chips is blocked. Be sure to clean those off before placing the CIS cartages back into the machine.