asked Oct 28, 2004 at 4:21am
Epson Epson Stylus Color 660

waste ink pad replacement

I have an Epson Stylus Color 660 printer, which quit printing any blue, so every color print is basically red.

I did all the nozzle checks and head cleaning procedures, changed cartridges, with no results, then went searching. One site recommended putting Windex on the waste ink pad and letting the cartridge and head sit on the pad. I looked at my pad, and found, I think, my problem.

My pad has only the black, red, and yellow areas correctly in place, and the blue area seems separated off the the right and angled vertically, so that it cannot make contact with the print head.

So, I need to replace the waste ink pad, and that's how I located this site. I haven't found the answer in the Search section.

I need some advice on the replacement process and in obtaining a replacement pad. Looking at the pad, at the far right side under the printer cover, it seems accessible enough, once the cover is removed, so I'd like to try to repair it myself, as pro repairs, from what I've read, are costly to the point where I should just buy a new printer.

Well, I can do that. I'd just like to try the fix first, with some kind assistance from you folks.

The part you are describing are NOT the waste ink pads. That is referred to as the cap assembly. The porous pads in that assembly should not be any higher than the lip of the rubber piece it is mounted on. The porous pads are not sold separately.
by unknown on Oct 28, 2004 at 6:37am Add comment
Roger...Just to let you know: That felt pad [Cap Assembly] is probably not what is actually causing the colors not to print. I'm assuming that when you did the NOZZLE TEST, the blacks were printing normally, but the colors were not. In that case, its most likely do to a possible CLOGGING in the Color Printhead Nozzles. It's also possible that you may even have an actual HARDWARE/PARTS PROBLEM [failing Printhead Assembly or Main Board Assembly], but normally the most common problem is clogging of the Printhead Nozzles. You might want to try using the Epson Stylus Head Cleaning Solution, available through the Home Page on "", at . When it opens, click-on Epson, under PRINTER REPAIR KITS. Then click-on "Epson Stylus Head Cleaning Solution" and that page should then open correctly. The Epson Solution sells for around $10.00 plus shipping. It includes a syringe and some Epson Printhead Cleaning Solution, which is designed to dissolve most clogs, especially if you were using Epson inks. This is the same chemical used by Epson in their service department. You can try it if you want to and see if you can get the printhead nozzles to open up again, but that will only help if they are actually clogged. It was basically designed by Epson Company for use on their older models of ink jet printers, but people have been using it on the newer models, with success reported. IF YOU DECIDE TO, TRY THE "EPSON STYLUS HEAD CLEANING SOLUTION", JUST REMEMBER: The "nozzles" inside the printhead assembly can be easily damaged by using to much force on the plunger of the syringe. Damage can even occur when you are using the Epson Stylus Head Cleaning Solution method, if you actually try to force the fluid thru the nozzle. To much force/pressure can damage the little tubes inside the Nozzle Assembly and then it will never work again. One individual printhead nozzle is so tiny, that it will not accept a human hair. You can see why they can get clogged so easily, or even why the nozzles can be so easily damaged. The correct method is to use the syringe to add the fluid into the nozzle and then leave the fluids set inside the nozzle for a day or two, to try and dissolve a possible bad clog. Sometimes you might have to use the fluids several times to be able to dissolve the clog in the printhead nozzles. Sometimes the clog will never dissolve, or it actually damages the nozzles. The longer the clog has been in, the worse it is to remove. Again, if the cleaning fluids don't help, then its generally time to invest in a new printer. In some more expensive printers, you may want to get an estimate to replace the printhead assembly, but as a general rule, its not really economical to do in the smaller Epson Ink Jet style printers. You can generally buy a new small printer cheaper than you can have your old one repaired for. EXAMPLE: The printhead assembly in the "C80" Printer sells for around $120 to $130. There is a REVIEW of the Printhead Cleaning Solution kit, available to view at ...WES suggests trying the SSC Service Utility from here: . Unfortunatly, that SSC Utility does not work on all printers and on all Operating Systems and sometimes won't even work on printers that are actually listed, so you will have to check it out for yourself. If it does work for you, people have had some success using its "separate cleaning of color and black heads routine" and its "powerful cleaning mode", but be warned it uses up ink faster...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Oct 28, 2004 at 11:00am Add comment
Thanks, Eddy and Denny, for your prompt replies. I don't believe I made my self clear enough. I had to rewrite my question three times to get it through, and each one got shorter. Heh. 8-)

Now I believe my problem is the cap assembly. The blue spot on the pad is displaced. I can see that inside the case. The blue is the only color that doesn't work. So, I think that my blue probably is clogged, the reason being that the blue part of the printer head is no longer
making contact with the pad.

When I ran through the head cleaning process, the ink levels dropped on all three colors (maybe not significant), but I never saw a trace of blue in any of the nozzle check prints.

In my guesstimate, it may be possible to replace the cap assembly and then clean the head by the standard methods. If that doesn't do it, I will "consider" the solvent method, but, as you said, Denny, there's a potential of damaging the print head, and I'm the kind of guy who often needs a couple of cracks at a mechanical fixup, so I assess my damage potential as being in the "red zone".

The cap assembly looks easily accessible once the printer cover has been removed, but I def need advice on going forward. And a new cap assembly.

I remain confident, Denny, within the grasp of your capable hands.

Thank you, guys, for your attention and promptness.


by Roger on Oct 28, 2004 at 4:45pm Add comment
Roger: If the blue ink is not printing out onto the paper, when you run a Nozzle Test, then its because the blue nozzles in the printhead assembly are clogged and not a problem with the actual Cap Assembly. If that cap assembly was actually bad or failing, none of the inks would print out, because that felt pad is one piece. Even a really dirty or defective cap assembly, would cause a loss of vacuum pressure, that would stop all colors from working, not just one color only. JUST SO YOU WILL KNOW: When you run the "Printhead Cleaning Cycles", "Nozzle Tests", or any printing jobs, the printers "Internal Ink Counter" keeps track of those ink useage cycles. The printers "Main Board Assembly" deducts for ink that should have been consumed, even if it was not actually used. Even if all the color or black printheads were clogged, the printer still deducts for the ink that should have been consumed during any testing or printing cycles. The printer is not capable of actually seeing if that the ink is printing or not, it simply deducts for ink that should have normally been used. The internal ink counter changes and the ink level indicator changes as well. It's actally possible to install new ink cartridges and if the Main Board is failing, or if the printheads are bad, failing or clogged, you can run enough sets of cleaning cycles & tests so that the printer thinks the ink has all been consumed. In reality the ink cartridge could still have ink in it, but because the printer thinks its been all used up, the red ink light can come on and you would have to then replace the cartridge or cartridges, before the printer would go to a normal ready condition again. Of course with clogged or bad printheads, installing another new ink cartridge will not even help...If you want to actually buy and install a new cap assembly, thats your choice. I can tell you that even with an actual Service Manual to use for reference and disassembly, its not that easy to do. There are tiny springs located under that cap assembly that are very difficult to reinstall, even for technicians trained on those printers. Unfortunatly, even an actual Service Manual is really not of that much actual help, in that area. To be honest to you, As an Epson Printer technician, I have cleaned many felt pads on those cap assemblies, but have never had to replace one yet. Just in case you still want to replace that Cap Assembly: You can see Exploded Diagrams of most Epson Ink Jet Printers and information for possible parts ordering, by Compass Micro Inc, at . I have not checked, but you can normally find Service Manuals for most Epson Printers, from, at (most Service Manuals can usually be downloaded for around $10 /- ). If that source is not available, then I would recommend that you go to the "Compass Micro Inc" web-site, at and check with them directly, to see if they have a Service Manual available yet for your printer...Again, Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Oct 28, 2004 at 5:43pm Add comment
Denny, you are tops! Your friendly advice has guided me to making a final decision without undue delay.

Further, I got some other advice, from a "higher source" (my wife!) *tries smiley w/out success?*

She was, today, actively printing in black, only, when it quit writing completely. She just put her foot down and told me to get a new printer and quit horseing around.

I interpreted your advice the same way, only your advice was completely based on logic, talent, and experience, as well as being respectfully courteous. 8-)

As much as I like to fix things myself, I yield to your info, common sense, and my wife on this one, and I'm off shopping tomorrow.

Thank you, Denny, for your attention and kind consideration.


by Roger on Oct 28, 2004 at 8:15pm Add comment
Roger: You're welcome and good luck with the new printer...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Nov 2, 2004 at 12:19pm Add comment
Denny, I bought an HP Deskjet 6540 for $134 at Costco, Hawaii. There wasn't much info available to review (one favorable), but in reviewing Epson and Canon and finding lots of complaints, I focused in on HP.

I haven't done much with the new printer yet, but in opening test printings, a stock image of a load of summer/fall squashes appeared, and it was beautiful, including the light glistening off the pumpkin and a couple squashes. And the printed image, on plain paper, looked like a photograph....not an ink-soaked blob like I got when I printed color on plain paper with the Epson.

The printer is quiet and ever so fast. I like everything about it so far. Final grade to come, but everything so far is A plus.

As is your advice.

Your new fan,

by unknown on Nov 2, 2004 at 11:20pm Add comment
Roger: I don't really keep up on any of the newer printers, because I seldom actually see one in for repairs [usually under warranty]. To be honest with you, all manufactors have gone the route of the inexpensive and basically disposable ink jet style printer. Printers used to last much longer and be built much better, but of course they were also more expensive. As prices came down, it seems like the quality also came down. In the printer industry, any printer under $100 is considered as being disposable. Unfortunatly, its quickly swinging towards any printer under $150 is starting to look like they are also more disposable. Quality seems to be a thing of the past anymore, at least on inexpensive equipment. There have been a lot of unhappy HP Printer customers in the last few years, that bought the under $100 printers, just like the owners of Epsons and Canon Printers. Even so, I still recommend the HP Printer line to most of my customers, but I tell them to spend over $100, or they will usually be sorry later. I own HP Printers and still believe in them, so I wish you well on your new "6540"...Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Nov 3, 2004 at 9:22am Add comment
With my epson s.c.660 I tried the manuel reset of the excess ink pad counter and also the SSC service utility . Neither worked, in fact in the SSC right click menu not all the items are available including "reset counters". (The protection counter option I can go thru and it says the counter is reset after confirming that I have serviced the excess pads.)

I still have all lights blinking.

Can't do a test print, etc.

Any suggestions besides the sledge hammer?
by rlw on Feb 17, 2006 at 12:03pm Add comment
Feedback, Please Re: C66 Ink Pads

I've had this printer for two years -- bought it refurbished, which I assume means that the pads were replaced. The replacement warning has begun to appear, so (thanks to the great directions posted here) I took the unit apart (not easy) and accessed the pads. To my amazement, both pads are as white as snow, with only a few small ink stains on them. When I fished out the drain tube, I found it clogged with dried ink, so I cleaned it out with a coat hanger, pipe cleaners and solvent. I already have the SCC Service Utility, so before I put the unit back together and reset the protection counter, I'd like some feedback on the following:

1. Assuming that the clogged tube caused ink backup resulting in the machine assuming that the pads are full, should I just replace the now-free-running tube and, if so, does it go under the pads? When I first removed the tube end I couldn't tell if it had been properly placed or had become dislodged. There is no sign of ink collection on the printer bottom.

2. Or, should I drill a hole in the back and run the tube to an outside ink reservoir so I won't ever have to disassemble the dang thing again? Can I assume that the main precaution with this alternative is that the drain end of the tube should be lower than the other end?

3. How long does it usually take for the pads to become saturated? I use the printer infrequently but run test ink swatches every week to keep the printhead from clogging. Still, it seems strange that there is practically no ink in the pads after two years of usage.

Thanks for any feedback any of you can offer.
by drshi on Jul 18, 2008 at 5:32pm Add comment
This a follow-up to my posting above. I queried the Ink Store about this and here is the reply:

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the feedback.

The generation of the 'Ink pad full' message, we already know has nothing to do with the pad itself. What actually happens is, the printer counts how many pieces of paper it has passed through the sheet feeder and that's what generates the messages and consequent shutdown of the printer if not reset.
For the C66, I am not sure what your trigger number of sheets is, but for the C46, it's only 3,000 and for the C86, it's 30,000.

However, there is no need for you to bypass the ink pad as this was only used as an excuse for why Epson had to install this software which is causing lots of people to throw away a perfectly good printer. All this is on our web site.
Your ink pad will outlast the life expectancy of the printer itself.

I hope all this info helps.

Kind Regards
The INK Store - drshi
I tried to reset the Ink Pad replacment Utility program for my Epson Stylus Photo R1800 (it locked up after only 1-1/2 years of use because the ink pads were full) and I got the error message "Model Not Found" (a supported printer could not be detected from the computer, even though the printer WAS plugged in and turned on.)

Talking with Epson Technical service I was informed that using the IPR Utility


You must DISOCNNECT THE FIREWIRE CABLE that came with the printer, HOOK UP A USB CABLE INSTEAD, and run the utility again. It worked fine after that.

Why couldn't EPSON mention that in their FAQ on the IPR???? That would have saved me 4 days of frustration over the holidays! This is the 3rd R1800 I've had in 2 years (the first 2 had faulty sensors and wouldn't work! When this model is working, it prints great, but it's caused more than it's share of frustration for me. They could just have easily programmed a warning message saying it's time to replace the ink pads, rather than instantly locking up the printer without any warning!) Epson, Grrrrr!
by engle on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:25pm Add comment
change wast ink pad in the printer
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