Can't print in black when a colour cartridge is empty

If you’ve ever had an Epson printer, it’s quite likely that at some point in time you will have attempted to print in black only to receive an error message that you cannot print until a colour cartridge is replaced.

Scandalous! Ridiculous! I want to print some work, not a multi-coloured rainbow of joy. This understandably irks our customers quite considerably, so we went and got the answer for you!

Why can't I print In black when a colour is empty?

and I quote….

“If ink is not in the tubes from the head to the cartridge, air will be sucked in and therefore cause damage to the print head. This is because the nozzles are in the print head and not in the cartridge. ”

What Epson are basically saying is… if this safeguard was not in place, and you sent a print request for black when a colour cartridge was empty, there is a risk of air being pulled into the printhead. This air will ruin the vacuum effect needed for the printhead to pull ink in, meaning your printhead would be at risk of never printing again.

Additionally, if any air is allowed go get into the aforementioned tubes from the head to the cartridge, any remaining ink will coagulate. Just in case you’re not a scientist – coagulation in a tube/cartridge is bad, and will lead to you not being able to print again with that cartridge, or to a blocked nozzle/printhead which will require a significant amount of cleaning cycles to budge.

Will printing black without a colour really break my printer?

Now we're not one to accuse a manufacture of profiteering …. but this does sound a legitimate response from Epson, especially considering how advanced the piezoelectric technology is in their newer range of printers (which it is worth remembering utilises a very expensive printhead that is basically too expensive to replace.

Essentially, whether you believe it's true or not, the issue is there and is something to consider.