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Sadly the other solution is the usual corporate party line regarding "Parts at the end of their service life" and is intended to encourage printer owners to purchase new printers.
The reality is quite different.. Epson printer are generally capable of upwards of 3 to 10 years or service with minimal care unless the printer is being hammered 24/7 with almost constant printing, which is very unlikely.
Waste pads however are an achilles heel that do need some form of action to either replace or work-around to resolve.
The options available are either: 1. Go to a service centre where it is indeed prohibitively expensive to have the printer disassembled to replace the pads and have the waste counter reset.
2. Get an external waste ink kit to redirect any waste ink to an external tank (it doesn't remove the current pad contents) and obtain the relevant tool (either a compatible AdjProg service program) or WICReset tool with a key (one needed per reset) so you can reset the printers internal waste ink counter.
The cost of the latter option is around 20-25(GPB) total (including shipping) so compared to the tooth sucking Epson Customer "Care" option it's not exactly rocket science as to which is more cost effective.
Please ignore the rubbish about other parts being near the end of their service life... About the only other thing to note is that the printer gears might need a little grease but beyond that and flimsy plastic paper guides the printer can easily last 5 years with a little care.
Replacing the pads is costly, messy and requires the printer to be taken completely apart. If you have little or no experience of stripping down printers it is best left to a proffessional. Contact Epson to find your nearest service centre, but remember to get a quote as it may be more economical to replace the printer. Sometimes the counter can "jump" to the end of life number, this especially happens where 3rd party or refilled inks have been used. If you believe this to be the case and there is no sign of ink leakage and the pads look fairly clean then you can just reset the counter using special software called the SSC utility. See these sites: http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml http://inkjetprinterhelp.us/epsonSSC.html
More information about this issue and the "official" Epson resetter is available from the Epson web site, please read this link: http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/InkPadsForm.jsp
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Are you sure it is staurated or it just the printer showing the error. Apparently there is a usage timer in the printer firmware that will display this error after so many hours of usage. Epson has a small program to reset this error but warns that if the pad is saturated it may leak out onto you table/desk. My R220 displayed this error and I reset it with Epsons resetter program. If you are not sure of the pad, I would put something under the printer just in case it is saturated and leaks. I don't think you can buy replacement pads from Epson as they say the printer is disposable. I also don't know what material the pads are made of but I have never seen one overflo in all the years I have used Epson printers. There is always a first time so if I were resetting mine I would defininately put something under the printer to watch for leaking ink. The program to reset the ink counter is EpsonIPRUtility.A10.exe and is available at www.Epson.com