My Epson R1800 which has given me good service for about two years developed an alarming symptom last night. After printing several 4 x 6 “proofs,” in the middle of a print the head carriage went all the way to the left and stayed there while making a horrible noise, much like gears failing to mesh. I dived for the power switch, and the head then very slowly moved to the right and stopped entirely.
I shut the printer down and a few minutes later powered it back up, it went through its power on sequence normally. Another attempt to print resulted in the same problem.
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Just because the Wiper blade is not visible when the carriage is off to the left it does not mean it is not there. Epson R1800 has automated retractable system that will pull the wiper out when needed and then hide it away. You might be able to access it manually only at certain cycle point while unplugging the power in mid cycle. I saw the thing after removing the print head for cleaning. Have a snapshot of it. Covered in hardened gunk. My problem was that after cleaning and reassembly printer will initiate properly, park the head but when attempting to print on paper or CD it would shut off. In paper mode the carriage moves all the way to the left and turns off the moment it tries to pull paper in. The green light goes off, when power button is lightly touched it will recover, go through the cycle and repeat the same when another print job is sent to it. While in CD print mode it shuts of while the carriage is on the right side and is getting ready to pull the CD tray in. I'm thinking the data-ribbon was still moist from head soaking, drying and spraying it with compressed air was not sufficient. Somehow it screwed up the communication/head alignment procedure. Will get back to it and report if I'll get any positive results. Any input will be appreciated of course. Seen few post with the same exact result of a print head cleaning attempt. It seems Epson designed those things to fail one way or another. First you go through a set or two of cartridges just to get rid of the constant clogging, when that does not work and you try to clean it it will fail in some other fashion, unbelievable. Last Epson I ever bought. They will bleed you dry, while frustrating and annoying the hell out of you in the meantime. To those neah sayers, yes I am using OEM carts, and no R1800 is not some econo class printer you throw away after 1 yr. I have actually payed $560 for it, betting it will last. 8x$14 each time carts need to be replaced and more of them got drained in constant cleaning cycles then actually printing. Got few months of semi successful performance, then nothing but problems. Stay away people ! "Made in Japan" no longer stands for anything. Shame on you Epson !
Your printer needs a service reset. Epson printers will only accept x number of cartridge changes / print head cleans. Basically it's telling you that the waste ink pad is saturated. It will cost about £30.00 from a local service centre
You could run head cleaning from the driver a few times and see if the nozzles start to clear out. If you send it in for repair they run a solution through it that is supposed to clean it out. If the solution doesn't work the head is like a $400 part.
Grinding noise is most likely caused by the carriage lock getting stuck and holding the print head at the home position. The noise is caused by the toothed belt that pulls the head back and forth, skipping over the splines on the motor drive wheel.
If you have been able to print since the problem occurred, chances are that it has freed itself up and will be fine.
Regarding the loss of cyan & magenta output, follow the solution given in my previous posts to complete a manual under-head cleaning cycle. This should get you going.
Check this previous post for cleaning info: