Apr 21

Epson printer suddenly stops working on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux

Category: Linux   — Published by goeszen on April 21, 2022 at 8:36 pm

Epson printer

If you followed the guide on how to install a WF-2010 Epson ink jet printer on Linux here, after a few weeks of happy printing, you might run into a strange issue: the printer which worked flawlessly over some weeks suddenly isn't printing anymore! When you send a job to it, it will process it and then remain in the "processing job" stat endlessly. It won't do anything! No errors in the printer dialog. No errors in the cups log. BUT the tiny LED for low on ink is ON.

The solution is: your printer will STOP WORKING if any of the ink tanks is too empty!

The thing is, when you read through Epson debug procedures, that it openly sais: "Power is on, paper is in the tray and no error LEDs are lit." The low on ink LED is also an error! In the manual Epson states that each ink tank had a tiny reserve of ink that has to remain in the cartridge to protect the printing nozzles. And this seems to be very true. It's not like with older ink jet printers where colors will only fade. Newer printers will NOT PRINT when ink is below a certain threshold. And the Epson WF-2010 and probably other Epson printers as well are no exception.

One strange thing is that the whole printer will start to behave errenously. Opening the epson-printer-utility - the one to check ink levels - will tell you that it can't find the printer! Also, connecting the printer via LAN cable or Wi-Fi won't tell you anything and print jobs are simply discarded or won't get printed. Sometimes the printer status will tell you that "ink is low and you need to replace the tank", but most of the time it just won't print and jobs will remain stuck in the spool queue forever. I don't know why. Maybe this behaviour is for a more "network-centric" work mode, where a printer that isn't able to print due to low ink simply signs out from being an available device.

How to check cups log

You can peek into what cups is logging in its logfile:
But we aware that you first need to enable cupsd loggin via
$ cupsctl --debug-logging
and once you're finished you have to disable it again via
$ cupsctl --no-debug-logging

Remember not to trash but recycle empty ink cartridges!

Empty ink jet printer tanks contain electronics and the ink itself isn't well received by mother nature. So do return empty cartridges to your nearest retailer, a proper recycling facility or - the easiest way - ask Epson to send you a free return envelope for your empty tanks. Epson will recycle them for you:

Epson Recycling Portal

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