Epson: "We waste ink."
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Take this with a grain of salt because the issue(s) we've had with our Epson printer lately were, more or less, the straw on the camels back. During this same time we were helping a friend with his iPhone.
Eliza and I have an Epson Stylus CX4800. We don't print very often and when we do it is generally in black and white. Eliza wanted to print out some invitations to an event she's putting together for a friend and when she went to print the printer replied with the error 'out of ink'. How the printer ran out of ink may forever remain a mystery since we don't print that often - but my best guess is that the cartridges dried out.
Eliza picked up a black ink cartridge because she and I both thought that'd be sufficient. We only wanted to print black text. She came home, plugged it in, fired the document back at the printer and: 'out of ink'. I tried just about everything to force the Epson to think it could print. I removed all but the black cartridge, I told the printer to only print black, and so on and so on.
The crux of the matter is stated, rather simply, by Epson on their site as this: "To keep the print head clear, the printer uses a small amount of ink from all the cartridges whenever it prints and to keep the print head primed. Even if you select Black Only, some color ink is still being used."
I'm sure there are very good reasons for this but surely there has to be a better way to keep the head clear without wasting ink that costs over $60 every time we need to buy new ink.
In my mind this is a waste of ink.