Epson R2880 - Blinking lights - What do they mean?

While trying to clean out my printer, I had a streaking problem (see other posting). While trying to fix that, I replaced all the inks, rest all the chips, and now I get the left two lights blinking together. From research, it is hard to tell what the problem is. I am pretty sure nothing is caught inside. Does anybody have any suggestions?

You can try downloading the WIC reset utility from this link:

The download is free, and you can check to see how many cleaning cycles your printer has gone through as well as any error codes. Hope this is of use to you.

Alternately flashing ink and paper lights signifies the waste ink pad sensor estimates the pads are full and need to be replaced. When this happens, you need to either bring in to a service center to replace the pads and reset the sensor, or you can install an external waste ink bottle and reset the sensor yourself using the WIC (which you have to buy “keys” for), or the Windows Adjustment Program, both of which you can get from

Best regards~ Dana

I just re-read your post, and see you said lights are blinking together. By “two left lights”, do you mean the eight cartridge lights in the cartridge chamber, or the lights on top of the printer? If the cartridge lights are blinking, then your printer sees them as low, but if your ink + paper lights are flashing at the same time, then your printer detects a foreign object preventing the head or other parts from moving correctly.

It is the two lights on top. They blink together. If there is a foreign object, I am never going to find it. I don’t believe that that is what is happening. I have a thirty pound brick with two flashing lights. If I can ever get to the print cartridges again, I might try replacing them. At this point, I can’t do anything inside the printer.

Hoping for a response.

Dana is out today - so can not respond - but the blinking lights FAQ from Epson for the R2880 is here:
According to Epson this is what is happening.

[TABLE=“class: smallText”]

power off
paper and ink flashing fast
The print head is obstructed by paper or another foreign material. Turn off the printer, remove any obstructions, and turn it back on. If the error persists, contact Epson.


It may not be a large object - but something small enough to interfere. The likelihood of it being an electrical malfunction on the circuit board that detects this is possible. I am not certain if the decoder strip will affect this. It can not become dirty and is fragile. Cleaning it with alcohol is a good idea from time to time.

But what you are describing about not being able to release the print head sounds like Dan’s first post. The printer is locked out due to needing to have its waste pad replaced and the counter reset.

We really can not trouble shoot hardware issues beyond the obvious. But you should eliminate these two possibilities. They are both valid and possible. If it is a malfunction of a circuit board triggering it - there is nothing you can do but bring it to a repair center. So try to eliminate the obvious!

It won’t take much to do as Dan suggests and install the free WIC reset utility and see if the printer thinks that the waste inkpads are full. If they are then you buy a key and reset then, BUT you will also need to install a waste ink kit to collect the waste ink, or sooner or later you’ll have waste ink coming out the bottom on the printer.

You really need to rule this common issue out. You’ve been told how to do so, so why keep pushing for a response before trying this?

If that’s not the problem, then the WIC utility may or may not give more info about what the problem is. If it’s something else, and it’s clearly not being caused by the carts, then you’re going to have to get it looked at. Sadly, these printers do sometimes develop faults.

Next Chapter. I found that the only way to change the printer status was to pull out the plug from the wall. I did this and turned the printer back on. All I got was the middle light on. I believe I pressed that and got the printer head to line up in position to take out the cartridges. I opened that up and saw that six of the cartridges were out of ink. I then bought the WIC Reset Utility. I installed it but there was a problem with the Reference Number so I could not finish the installation. I think I got as far as it telling me that one waste XX was 86% and one was 24%. I never got to reset anything because of the Reference Number issue. I did what they told me and then said it would take 24 hours. I refilled the cartridges and re-installed them. I turned the printer back on or whatever you do after putting the cartridges back in. Honestly, I forgot. Amazing. No blinking lights. I then printed out a nozzle check and there was a solid smear with one of the colors. I don’t know what that means. I decided to try an alignment check. Somehow, while doing this, the printer is now back to the same blinking lights. Can anybody make any sense of this?

It sounds to me like you’re thrashing; trying a bunch of stuff without systematically trying to figure out what is the root cause. To recap: You were able to get it to print by power cycling. It then detected that ink was out, so you tried to reset the waste tanks??? But that turned out not to be an issue. Then you refilled the carts and was able to print something, but the printout didn’t come out right. So, rather than do a cleaning, you tried alignment. And now it’s back to lockdown.

You need to come up with a game plan. Figure out what gets the printer to power-on successfully. Try power cycling it again. Once you figure out how to get it to turn on without blinking lights, proceed.
Now the printer is on, and you can print a nozzle check. It comes out smeared. This implies that the capping station and/or head needs to be cleaned. Follow the cleaning instructions provided by IJM. Once the nozzle check is clean, proceed.
Now that all nozzles are firing, align the head.
Finally, do a test photo print.

If at any time during this, all lights start blinking again, analyze. What caused it? Did the printer make a funny noise before the lights started blinking? Did you do something on the computer right before that happened? Etc.

Just to add to the last post, there was no need to buy anything, at least not at this point. The WIC reset utility is a free download. You download it and install it and run it without paying anything. It will tell you about the status of your printer. You only buy a reset key if WIC indicates that your waste pads are full. And having reset the waste ink counter then you’d be very strongly advised to install a waste ink bottle.

But at this stage there isn’t a need to do a reset just yet, even though one reading is getting high.

I fully agree with tjn that you need to approach this systematically, using the IJM support pages and posts on this thread. I’d emphasise not only cleaning, but also following the cartridge filling and re-installation instructions.