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AcuLaser C1100, CX11N & CX21N: Error message "Replace Photoconductor"


  • Error message "Replace Photocondctr" (AcuLaser C1100 and variants)
  • Error message "Replace Photoconductor" (AcuLaser CX11N, CX21N and all variants)


The "Replace Photoconductor" (or "Replace Photoconductor") message means that the photoconductor unit (PCU) is at the end of its service life, and must be replaced.

  • The photoconductor unit (PCU) is a consumable item. You can order a replacement directly from Epson or your local Epson dealer.
  • The error message will clear automatically when the PCU is replaced.


    The images in this article depict the Aculaser C1100, but the procedures are the same for the Aculaser CX11N, CX21N and all variants.

    This article is a technical explanation of the issue. If you only want to know how to replace the PCU, see the following Related Article instead: AcuLaser C1100, CX11N & CX21N: How to replace the Photoconductor Unit


  1. Why does the photoconductor unit need to be replaced?

    Figure 1. The photoconductor unit (PCU) is located beneath Cover B:

    1. The PCU is a consumable item with a service life based on the number of pages printed, and other factors.

    2. When the PCU reaches the end of its life, it must be replaced with a new one to maintain the print quality and reliability of the printer, and avoid damage to the engine.

    3. The PCU can produce a maximum of either 10,500 colour pages, or 42,000 in black & white (also known as monochrome, or B/W).

    4. These figures are approximate and are based on the number of A4 sheets printed at 5% coverage, under conditions of continuous printing. Intermittent use may reduce the page yield.

      • For more information, see the specifications for your printer or consult your reference guide (available from the Epson website).

      • Specifications apply to genuine, original Epson products only. Epson cannot guarantee the results of using non-genuine consumable items.

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  2. How to compare your usage to Epson's specification

    1. Check how many pages the printer has printed to date:

      1. Check the Information Menu via the printer control panel. Alternatively, print a Status Sheet (if able to print, or when you have replaced the PCU).  For instructions, see your reference guide or one of the following Related Articles:
      2. Note the number of Total, Colour, and B/W Pages.
        • This page count is a running total for the printer only, not the current PCU. The page count is not reset when a PCU is replaced.

    2. Printing a black & white page only requires one pass of the photoconductor unit, while a colour page requires four passes.
      • Printing one colour page is therefore equivalent to printing four black & white pages.


        For example:

        10,500 colour pages 5% coverage = 42,000 B/W pages.

        5250 colour pages 10% coverage = 42,000 B/W pages.

        2625 colour pages 20% coverage = 42,000 B/W pages.


        1000 colour pages 20% coverage = 16,000 B/W pages.

        2000 colour pages 20% coverage = 32,000 B/W pages.

        3000 colour pages 20% coverage = 48,000 B/W pages.

    3. Multiply your colour pages by 4, then add this figure to your black & white pages.

    4. Compare this figure to the maximum page count of 42,000 black & white copies, per photoconductor, when printing at 5% coverage. This should establish that your Replace Photoconductor message is a result of normal usage for your coverage.


      For example:

      14,649 total pages

      2082 colour pages

      12,567 black & white pages


      2082 x 4 = 8328

      8328 + 12,567 = the equivalent of 20,895 B/W pages.


      As this is around half the figure of 42,000 for 5% coverage, this would be normal operation for an average of 10% coverage.

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  3. Continuing to print

    Whether or not you can print without replacing the PCU immediately depends upon the printer model:

    1. Aculaser C1100(N):
      1. Check the status of the error light:

        Figure 2. Error light above the Start/Stop button.

        C1100 Error Light

      2. If the error light is solid, the PCU has run out completely and must be replaced before you can continue to print.

      3. If the error light is flashing:
        • Press the Start/Stop button.

        • The display should now read "Worn Photoconductor". You can now try to print, but print quality is not guaranteed.

        • The "Replace Photocondctr" error message will occur after each printer. Repeat Step i to continue.

    2. Aculaser CX11N/CX21N and variants:
      1. Press either the B/W Start or Colour Start button.

      2. If the error message changes to "Worn Photoconductor" then you can print, however the print quality is not guaranteed.

      3. Press one of the Start buttons again if the message reverts back to "Replace Photoconductor". When the message no longer changes to "Worn Photoconductor", you must replace the PCU.

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  4. Replacing the photoconductor unit

    1. As a consumable product, the photoconductor unit is easy to replace yourself. For instructions, see your reference guide or the following Related Article: AcuLaser C1100, CX11N & CX21N: How to replace the Photoconductor Unit

    2. You can order a replacement photoconductor unit directly from Epson (part C13S051104), or from your local Epson dealer.

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