~ by Maria Benner
We knew the day would come when our trusty inkjet printer, which we aptly named the Work Horse, would stop working. We bought it about four years ago, so we knew it was probably on its last legs, because it had printed thousands of prints. I was printing out several prints for a large order when, after printing a couple perfect ones, the Work Horse told me I needed to replace the photo black ink cartridge. This happens often, and I’m prepared with replacement cartridges standing by. No big deal. After the new cartridge went in, the print head decided it had worked long and hard enough, and apparently was too clogged to keep going. Since the printer had just made several perfect prints right before I changed the cartridge, I was convinced that the problem was the cartridge, so I called Epson support and convinced the guy who had an unidentifiable accent to send me a replacement one for free. Three days later it arrived via FedEx, but sadly, the support guy was right, the problem was not the cartridge, it was our printer. I called the local printer repair place, and the guy said it would cost $150 to clean the print head. Considering there are nine of them, each of which are likely to get clogged sooner than later, we decided to retire the old Work Horse and replace it with a newer, slicker model. We then learned that our printer had been discontinued! So we ended up going for the Epson Artisan 1430 inkjet printer. We ordered it from Amazon, because it was $50 cheaper than at Epson.com, and paid for faster shipping, since we had several orders that were way overdue by this point. This printer has been working great, and the best part is that the ink cartridges are available at Office Depot just down the street, so I don’t have to order them in advance! So we’re back in business. Epson has a great recycling program, and provided a free FedEx shipping label so we could mail the Work Horse back. Maybe it will get refurbished and put back to work. It was a good machine, and I can only hope that the new printer, which doesn’t have a name yet, will last as long.