Unfortunately most all in one printers I have owned are like this. It's to protect the print heads from becoming damaged. So it's not just Epson, I have an HP printer and if even one color runs out I cannot print just in black. If you turn your printer off and on a lot, that can use ink when it runs the maintenance. Instead try leaving it on all the time and usually it won't have to use such heavy amounts if it does have to clean the heads.