asked Feb 11, 2005 at 10:17am
Epson Epson LQ 850

Epson 850 Dead....?

My old trusty and reliable companion, my Epson 850 isn't working.

The ink tanks will go back and forth as though it were printing, but no ink sprays, nor does the paper advance. The light indicating the color cartridge is empty glows red, even though it's a brand new cart.

From reading other posts here, I fear it is doomed. But with your help, possibly I could spare it from that fate.


It would probably cost more to fix the printer than it is worth. If you have a old ink cartridge you might want to see if that turns off the ink light. The blank page is a clogged print head or a bad print head or main board.

I hope this helps,

by unknown on Feb 13, 2005 at 8:28pm Add comment
Marky: If that color ink cartridge is actually new, then I would have to guess that it must have not gone thru New Cartridge Initialization when you installed it, or that red ink light would have turned off. All you can do at this point, is to correctly reinstall that color ink cartridge and see if it goes thru that initialization process. If it does, then it should turn off that solid red color ink light and the printer should go ready, with only a green Power Light on. Unless, of course your printer actually has another problem. If there is a nother red light on, or that color ink light will not go off, then I can only guess that your printer may have a different problem and possibly even an actual hardware/part failure...HOW TO RESET THAT INK CARTRIDGE: All you normally need to do is to open the top cover and then push-in on the color ink button. The print cartridge holder assembly, should move over to the correct position for that color ink cartridge to be replaced. Simply remove the color ink cartridge out of the printer completely and then reinstall it. Then push-in on that color ink button a second time and the printer should go into that initialization process. The red ink light should turn off automatically, the Internal Ink Counter will reset to zero and the Ink Level Indicator will reset to full. All this happens because the printer automatically assumes that you will install a new ink cartridge, anytime you remove an ink cartridge with the power turned on. Thats why Epson says you must install a new ink cartridge, anytime ANY older style ink cartridge is removed. On the older style printers, when you reinstall a previously removed [used] cartridge, the internal ink counter automatically resets and now your printer thinks the cartridge is new and of course full. Lets say that the old cartridge had less than 3/4 of its ink left. What can happen is that your printer will use up that 3/4 of its remaining ink and then it runs itself dry. It actually runs out of ink and never know it, because it still thinks it has 1/4 of the ink left inside that cartridge. Then air will get into the tiny printhead nozzles, causing the ink residue inside those nozzles to dry out and that usually results in clogging. All new Epson Ink Cartridges are sealed and there is pressure put in them at the factory. When you install a new ink cartridge, that internal air pressure is what causes any air that got into the nozzles [such as when you removed the old ink cartridge] to be pushed out of the nozzles and primes the nozzles with fresh ink. If you reinstall the origional cartridge that you removed, it not only has already lost its internal air pressure, but now there is air inside of the actual printhead nozzles. That air starts to dry out any remaining ink inside of the nozzles and that normally results in clogging. Again, thats why Epson says to always install a New-Epson Ink Cartridge, anytime you remove any old ink cartridge, even if its full of ink. If you choose to just reinstall an old Epson Ink Cartridge, with no pressure inside it will usually also be difficult to get the ink to start flowing again. You may have to run several sets of "Printhead Cleaning Cycles" and "Nozzle Tests", to actually be able to get the ink to start flowing correctly again. Running a lot of cleaning cycles and nozzle tests can use up the ink inside the ink cartridges, but sometimes you may not have a choice. On some models, you could install a NEW CARTRIDGE and run between 10-15 cleaning cycles and tests and its possible to empty the new cartridge...Try reinstalling that color ink cartridge that you say is new and see if your printer will then go ready, If it goes ready then run those sets of tests, to try and get the ink to start flowing again. When the nozzle test is good, then try running a print job from your computer system and see if that also works ok. Let us know what happens and if we can help you further, we will try...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Feb 14, 2005 at 4:23pm Add comment
wow! Impressive detail, Denny. I think you may have solved my problem. I took out the new cart. and put it back in. The printer did an initialization and the red empty cart. light went out. prints just fine now!

You are a godsend. Thanks, Denny!

Marky - Marky
Marky: You're welcome. It's good to know that the info I gave you, actually corrected your printers problem. Please remember that if that color ink cartridge was not actually full, you could have other possible problems later. The best thing to do, is make sure you have a spare color cartridge on hand. Then, if the colors start to look bad, simply run a nozzle test and see if the colors look like they may be failing. If so and even if the color light is not actually on, it would be a good idea to simply install a new color cartridge, just to protect your color printheads from possible clogging or even damage. If that color ink cartridge was possibly not full: As most people use the black ink cartridge the most, sometimes they fail to realize that the color ink may have run out, untill its too late. Color ink can be used up, by running the printhead cleaning cycles and nozzle tests, as well as by purging of those nozzles during normal printer use. If your not that sure about the actual level of ink that was in that color cartridge, be sure and run a nozzle test page every few weeks, just to see how that nozzle test looks...How to correctly replace an ink cartridge, when the ink light is not actually on: On most Epson Printers, at a normal Ready Condition [only solid green power light on], you simply hold-in on the Paper Load Button (the one with the sheet of paper stenciled next to it) for 5 or 6 seconds and the Print Cartridge Holder Assembly will unlock and move over to the position where the cartridges can be replaced (ink changing position). Remove only one cartridge at a time [even if you want to replace both] and do not install the new ink cartridge yet. Close the locking cover, over the now empty cartridge holder and simply push-in on that paper button again. Because there is no ink cartridge installed the red ink light will come on solid and you can now install a new ink cartridge in the correct way. If by chance that red ink light does not come on, then turn your printer off for about about 10 seconds and then turn it back on. That should reset your printer and then that red ink light will come on solid. Now simply push in on that indicated ink button and that print cartridge holder assembly, will move over for installation of a new ink cartridge. Open the cartridge locking cover and install the new ink cartridge. Then close the cartridge locking cover and push in on that ink button a second time. Now your printer should go thru its New Cartridge Initialization Process, like normal...Again, Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Feb 15, 2005 at 9:56am Add comment