WIC reset is a waste ink counter error solution. Everything seems simple enough, there is an error and software that allows you to eliminate it. But is it really so? In this article, we will take a detailed look at what a waste ink counter is, why it is there, and how to correct a waste ink counter error?

Table of contents

What is a waste ink counter?

As the name implies, the waste ink counter is a counter that counts used printer ink. A logical question would be, where does the waste ink come from and why does all the ink I put in the printer not end up on the paper? So let’s analyze these questions in more detail.

Inkjet printers use print heads that have micro holes through which the ink passes and lands on the paper. These holes in the heads are called nozzles, they are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. If the nozzles are clogged, the quality of printing deteriorates. Given this fact, they need periodic cleaning. Such cleaning is performed by pumping a certain amount of ink through the print head with increased pressure. This ink does not get onto the paper during printing, but is stored in the waste ink pad. The waste ink counter counts the approximate amount of ink that flows into the waste ink pad. When the counter reaches its full capacity, the printer is blocked.

Most often, in such cases, Epson printers give the error “Service required. A printer’s ink pad is at the end of its service life. Please contact Epson Support”.

Service required. A printer's ink pad is at the end of its service life. Please contact Epson Support

Also, the error may be displayed by a code on the printer screen, such as E-10, E-11, W-11, or other errors.

e-11 epson error

Canon printers give error 5B00.

error 5B00

HP inkjet printers give a service station error, in many cases with a system code of 21:10.

21:10 hp

What types of waste ink pad are there?

There are two main types of waste ink pad. Directly to the ink pad and maintenance box. The difference between these two types is in the counters of used ink. In the case of the ink pad, the counter is contained in the main board of the printer. And the maintenance box counter is made in the form of a chip, which is placed directly on the container for used ink. There is also a difference in the method of access to the absorbent capacity. The ink pad is usually more difficult to reach than the maintenance box. The manufacturers assume that service engineers should replace the ink pad, and the maintenance box should be replaced by the user himself, like ink cartridges.

Older models usually use an ink pad, and newer models use a maintenance box. This is probably due to the fact that the amount of spent ink has increased in new models.

The main difference between these two types of absorbent pads is the method of counter reset. For example, software methods are used for the Ink Pad, and physical methods are used for the Maintenance Box. We will look at each of these methods in more detail below.

In order to determine what type of capacity your printer is equipped with, check the information about it on the page of your model in our information base. To do this, click on your model in the model table and look at Waste Ink Pads Tipe.

View the table of models

How to programmatically WIC reset?

In order to reset the waste ink error on Epson and Canon printers, special reset programs are used. They are both free and paid. Suitable for one specific model, and support many models.

In HP and Brother inkjet printers, the waste ink package is usually reset by a general reset of the printer settings.

Below we will look at the main programs for the WIC Reset.

Epson Adjustment Program

Epson Adjustment Program or Epson Resetter is one of the most popular WIC reset utilities. The program is available in versions for specific printer models. This is an analogue of the original program used by official Epson service centers.
Adjustment Program for Epson are available in a free version, but for new Epson models they are increasingly found with a paid license for one computer. Such a license allows you to reset the spent ink counters many times. Another important advantage of this software is the possibility of its use without access to the Internet.

Download Epson Adjustment Program for free

InkChip Adjustment Program

InkChip Adjustment Program

InkChip WIC is a newer program. It supports many Epson models. To reset the counter, you will need your computer’s access to the Internet, as well as a special paid WIC reset Key.

Download InkChip for free

Print Help

print help

Print Help is a well-known service program for Epson and Canon printers. Epson resetter and Canon resetter are also among the many useful functions. For some older models, the reset is free. For newer models, you need to purchase a WIC reset key.

An important advantage of Print Help among other similar software is that this program is available for MacOS and Linux operating systems, while most other programs support only Windows.

Buy Print Help Key Now

Canon Service Tool

canon service tool
Canon Service Tool is an analogue of Epson Adjustment Program for Canon printers. The program is also available in versions for specific Canon models and is available in free and paid versions.

How to fix the maintenance box error?

The maintenance box error cannot be resolved using the WIC reset utility. This is due to the fact that the used ink counter in this type of ink pad is made in the form of a chip, similar to the one installed on ink cartridges. When the container for used ink is filled, this chip blocks the operation of the printer so that the used ink does not flow out of the container. Based on this, to eliminate the problem, it is necessary to replace or reset the maintenance box chip. Or, as the printer manufacturer suggests, simply replace the entire maintenance box.

Maintenance Box Chip Reset

Resetting the service box chip is performed using a special programmer – resetter. The resetter overwrites the data in the chip. It indicates that the container for waste ink is empty, thereby resetting the Epson maintenance box error.

The option with a programmer is more suitable for service centers, because the device itself is quite expensive, and it does not support a large number of models. For ordinary users, it is easier and cheaper to replace the chip.

Maintenance Box Chip Replacement

Replacing the chip with a maintenance box is more expensive than replacing the entire maintenance box. Of course, replacing the chip on the capacitor requires more effort than replacing the box as a whole, but considering the cost, it is reasonable. So, Epson Maintenance Box C9344 costs $8 on the official website, and the compatible chip for this Maintenance Box on Aliexpress costs $4. Considering the home model Epson XP-3100, of course, the difference is not significant. But if you take the difference in the price of the maintenance box for a large wide-format printer, it will be quite significant.


Whether you’ve reset the waste ink counter with the Epson Adjustment Program or replaced the chip with the Maintenance Box, remember that you also need to replace the waste ink absorbent!

What to do with an absorbent pad?

Printer manufacturers provide replacement pads with new ones, but there are other ways to fix an overfilled pad.

Replacing the waste ink pad

Replacing the waste ink pad is a fairly simple procedure, especially on home series printers. So, in the Epson L3250, access to the absorbent pad is through a special hatch on the printer body. This hatch is fixed with a single screw.

This option is optimal for home printers with small print volumes. In addition to the original absorbent pads, there are also compatible ones on the market at a lower price.

External container for used ink

For people who print a lot, and especially those who use sublimation ink, an option with an external container for used ink is suitable. The tank is brought out using the ink tube. The user visually monitors the waste ink container and simply drains the waste ink whenever it is full. Very comfortable.

Washing the ink pad

The most economical option is to wash the ink pad. To wash, the pad must first be soaked, and then left for some time under running water. Remember that printer ink does not wash off very well. When washing, do not put absorbent pads in the washing machine. The best option would be to use a ceramic sink. Also, don’t forget to protect your hands with rubber gloves. After washing, the absorbent pad must be dried and only then installed back into the printer.

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13 reviews for How to reset Epson waste ink pad error?

  1. Hector

    Thanks for the detailed explanation of the waste ink pad error!

  2. Krystle

    InkChip WIC Reset is a convenient and inexpensive program, I chose it for my Epson ET-2700.

  3. Ella

    The most important thing is to replace the absorbent material, otherwise your desktop, where the printer is installed, will turn into a swamp of ink. I already have such an experience and I will tell you that it is completely unpleasant.

  4. Jane

    Nice job mate! You explained everything perfectly about the waste ink pad.

  5. Iker

    This is the best explanation of the waste ink pad error I’ve read. It is clear why it occurs and how to solve it. It would be nice if the sellers of printers told about such a nuance of using inkjet printers.

  6. astrid

    Your article is very helpful for Epson printer users. Thanks for this information!

  7. dwyer

    Nice job and a really good explanation of the absorbent pad and waste ink counter issue. Thank you for your work.

  8. mcleod

    This article must be read by everyone who has bought or is going to buy an Epson inkjet printer. Waste Ink Pad Error is an error that inkjet printer owners cannot avoid. Sooner or later the printer will give this error and the user should be ready to solve it quickly. This article contains all the necessary information.

  9. milton

    Thanks! Thanks to this article I found the solution to the ink pad problem for my Epson L3250.

  10. laurel

    It works. Epson Adjustment Program works on my Epson L3210.

  11. driscoll

    This article provides a detailed explanation of waste ink counters, types of waste ink pads, and various methods to reset the counters. The article also includes helpful images and links to relevant software and resources. Overall, it appears to be a useful resource for anyone experiencing waste ink counter errors.

  12. mordechai

    The article provides a comprehensive explanation of what a waste ink counter is and why it is necessary, as well as a detailed description of the different types of waste ink pads and how to reset them. The table of contents is helpful for navigation, and the use of images throughout the article makes it easier to understand the concepts.

    The section on how to programmatically reset the waste ink counter is especially useful. The article provides information on several programs that can be used for this purpose, along with links to download them. The author explains the differences between the programs and their advantages, making it easier to choose the right one.

    Overall, this article is very helpful for anyone who needs to reset their waste ink counter. The information is presented clearly and concisely, and the author has done a great job of explaining the concepts in a way that is easy to understand. I would highly recommend this article to anyone who needs to reset their waste ink counter.

  13. barron

    I recently came across an article about the WIC reset program and its ability to fix waste ink counter errors on printers. As someone who has experienced this error on my own printer, I was intrigued to learn more. The article provided a comprehensive overview of what waste ink counters are, why they are important, and how to fix errors related to them.

    The section on the different types of waste ink pads was particularly helpful, as I had no idea there were different types with varying methods of counter reset. The article also provided a useful table of printer models and their corresponding waste ink pad types, which made it easy to determine which method of counter reset was appropriate for my printer.

    I appreciated that the article not only provided information on the different reset programs available, but also highlighted their advantages and disadvantages. It was helpful to know that some programs required access to the internet and a paid license, while others were available for free and could be used offline.

    Overall, the article was well-written and informative. It provided all the information I needed to fix the waste ink counter error on my printer and I would definitely recommend it to others who are experiencing similar issues.

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