Understanding Your Inkjet Printer Blinking Signals

Surely you have faced this problem: one fine day the printer stops printing and starts flashing with its LEDs. You know that something went wrong but don’t know what it is.

The thing is when broken, printer can’t TELL you happened (I imagine it would be breathing like Darth Vader or speaking in Optimus Prime’s voice,) but it can give you a sign. It is the you who should understand that signs (as a higher developed species.) At least, it’s in your interest to do so.

So let’s learn some printer signals language.

A regular inkjet printer has 2 LEDs at its disposal: orange (alarm indicator) and green (power indicator.) The combination of blinking with these 2 LEDs makes up the printer language.

A flashing orange LED means there’s an “operator call error,” that user can solve on his own or with assistance of service person. A repeated blinking of green and orange LEDs means a “service call error” that can only be fixed in service center (for instance, replacement of parts).

To report a specific problem, printer flashes several times. To count flashes, take a look at your printer. For the first time the printer turned on, green (power) LED will glow for about 5 seconds then the printer starts blinking with interval about 2 seconds. The count ends when the green LED glows again. After that the cycle repeats.

Here are most often signals your inkjet printer may send:

Orange LED blinks 2 times – No Paper error

Problem description:
Generally, blinking 2 times indicates that no paper detected in paper tray. Check up whether paper is actually present in paper tray. If so, set the paper properly then press Resume / Cancel button to continue printing.

If the problem remains, make sure there’s no unidentified material in paper path that hinder the paper feed.

What to do:

  • Set the paper properly, then press Resume button to continue printing
  • Open the printer cover and clean the paper path off the material

Orange LED blinks 3 times – Paper Jam error

Problem description:
This error indicates that sheet feed unit cannot feed the paper properly, so the paper sensor stay ON. Also this error may mean the paper sensor spring is missing.

What to do:

  • Remove the jam paper, then press Resume button
  • Replace missing paper sensor spring

Orange LED blinks 4 times – Low Ink Warning / Ink Runs Out

Problem description:
The indication shows that low ink warning or ink has run out happens. When the indication appears, press Resume button to continue printing the remain documents. Even tough the indication has shown up, physically some ink still remain in sponge in cartridge.

What to do:

  • Replace cartridge with new one
  • In case of using refill ink, the problems will remain due to ink level data is stored in chip memory in the cartridge. Press and hold Resume button for 5 second or more to deactivated ink level detection function. Ink level detection function will return to normal condition if you change the cartridge with new one

Orange LED blinks 5 times – No Cartridge Installed

Problem description:
This indicates that printer cannot detect the cartridge in the printer. These are possibilities due to the problem:

  • There is no cartridge installed in the printer,
  • cartridge error so that the printer cannot detect the cartridge,
  • carriage unit error so there is no communication between cartridge and the printer, or
  • logic board error so printer cannot detect the cartridge.

What to do:

  • Replace cartridge
  • Replace carriage unit
  • Replace logic board
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