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Damned ink jet cartridges

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Apr 4, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    The problem is we don't use our color printers very often and in the
    interim the color cartridges dry up. The black ones do too in record
    time it seems also. This is frustrating and expensive as well. We
    bought a refill kit for our specified cartridges, and tried refilling
    the blacks first. We drilled the hole on top and refilled them and then
    plugged the hole all with only marginal success. I have two black ones
    sitting in front of me right now that are refilled but won't print. Is
    there a trick to successfully doing this? And is there anything I can
    do to try to prolong the life of these stupid things between long
    periods of inactivity? Thanks, Lenny Stein, Barlen Electronics.
  2. Ivor Floppy

    Ivor Floppy Guest

    Errrr - what printer is this?
  3. Newfdog

    Newfdog Guest

    Sometimes if you let them soak in hot water for awhile they will free
    up. I would do this before I refilled them. As for storing them, try
    putting them in plastic bag with a moist paper towel and sealing them as
    air tight as you can. I can't guarantee success but it has worked for me
    more than it hasn't worked.

  4. hemyd

    hemyd Guest

    I'll tell you my own brief experience with both re-inking and ink drying up.
    Of course I could be corrected, as there are many different types of
    printers on the market. I tried re-inking - drilling the hole, injecting the
    ink, etc. etc. First time I was successful, second time I wasn't - it was
    very messy and in the end didn't work. Also it doesn't help when many ink
    jet manufacturers make it difficult to reink, with pressurized cartridges
    etc. I eventually gave up in disgust and on our newer printer just buy
    reputable budget cartridges. As far as ink drying up, I suggest that if
    you're not going to use the printer for long periods, then at least once a
    day or every couple of days you do a registration pattern or something like
    that, just to get the ink flowing through the heads. As I said, it's my
    experience with only one or two different older printers. Some printers may
    be better than others at re-inking and preventing ink from drying up in the

  5. Guest

    Lenny, the best advice I can give you is to get a used laser printer.
    Used B&W laser printers are about $100-200. My LJ 1100 is worth about
    $150 and while it was a gift, if I were to have bought it and could
    double my money on it I still wouldn't part with it.

    The whole thing is, do you NEED color ? If you really need color go
    used. You can get cheap and get a Tektronix Phaser, but I have heard
    bad things about them.

    At any rate, with an inkjet the ink is water soluble and one drop of
    dew off you soda (or beer :) ) can can wipe out quite alot. Also if you
    print something that uses alot of ink you get the wet noodle syndrome.

    If you're dead set on keeping what you got, you might be able to clean
    the head with a Qtip and some water, or even ink. Afterward you can
    setup a scheduled task, for example a batch file.

    I could find out how to write a batch file to make it print something,
    anything every other day or so. Or, I wonder if there's a way to drag
    "print test page" into the task scheduler.

    I understand that you don't print that much, but I hate inkjet
    printers. It seems almost as though if your coffee's too hot the page
    smears, but get that stuff on your skin and it won't come off. I
    spilled some on my foot one time and it looked like I had some wierd

    I have a file called prin.bat that could probably be modified for your
    purpose, and unlike trying to get it to print a test page I'm sure a
    bat file will work fine in the task scheduler.

    Let me know if you want the batch file.

  6. Guest

    I used a refill kit also. It is a hassle to make the cartridges work
    again when they get dry. Here is what I did. First you take the
    cartridge and dip the printing side of it in some hot water to loosen
    up the dry ink. Then you put the cartridge in a sock with the printing
    side facing the toe part of the sock. Then you go outdoors and you
    swing the sock around hard a bunch of times. This is a centrifugal
    action to get rid of any air bubbles that are blocking the ink inside
    the cartridge. Then you put the cartridge in the printer and do a test
    printing. You may have to do a lot of test printings before the
    cartridge works well. You can repeat the cleaning and the centrifuge if
    you need to. Like I said, it's a hassle, but it works. When you refill
    cartridges, do it slowly to avoid air bubbles.
  7. JANA

    JANA Guest

    When not using the ink jet cartridges, it is best to put them in a very well
    sealed plastic bag with a slightly dampened piece of paper towel, or cloth.

    As for refilling these, I have had very little quality success, and found
    that refilling them was not worth it for me, in relation to the reliability
    and performance I had. Also, it is too easy to make a mess when trying to
    refill the cartridges. I know of someone that ruined a very nice rug, and
    stained a very expensive table top with this procedure.

    If you don't need to have a colour printer for every day use, it would be
    best to invest in a low cost laser printer, or a high end rebuilt one. There
    are rebuilt printers that come with a warranty, and are done by reputable
    printer rebuilding places.

    A B&W laser printer will cost only a few pennies per page to use, while a
    typical ink jet printer can work out to about 50 cents a page just for a non
    colour page.

    If you need basic colour printing that is of not high end photo quality, a
    low cost laser colour printer would be ideal. The toner cartridges can sit
    for years, and there is no drying out problem. The drawback is that the
    colour laser printers are very expensive to refill. But, for occasional use,
    it will last a long time.

    Another thing you can do is send out all your colour print jobs. Over here
    it is cheaper to do that, than to print the pages at home or in a small
    office that does low volumes of print jobs.

    Personally I like the HP printers. When the toner cartridge is changed, the
    drum is also inside the cartridge. This is a better system, even though the
    replacement cartridges are more costly.

    In the HP inkjet printers, when a new cartridge is put in, there is a new
    set of jets built in to the cartridge. This helps keep the printing quality
    up. But, the added quality comes at an expense.
  8. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    I've had very hit and miss luck with inkjets and no one brand is always
    good, some of them just dry up constantly, others don't. Lately it seems the
    HP printers seem fairly good about not drying, though I'm itching to get a
    color laser eventually.
  9. tempus fugit

    tempus fugit Guest

    I had the same problem with the color cartridges - use em once every few
    months, and they are dead. As for the black and white, I always have success
    filling them several times. Initially (i.e. the 1st few pages) the print
    quality is bad, or doesn't work that well. However, I just print a few test
    pages and they're ok after that. It also seems to help if you leave them
    overnite before printing.
  10. The usual reason (IMHO) is ink in the head drying out through lack of use
    and clogging it. And although it's basically water soluble when wet, after
    drying it ain't. Things like IPA or ammonia are likely to shift it - but
    you'll have to remove the head and soak it in it. More desperate measures
    involve forcing IPA through the head with a syringe type device. The
    squeezy bottles some replacement inks come in are ideal for this - use
    some sleeving as a tube to join them.

    You could try doing a search on your printer. I easily found instructions
    on how to remove the heads on mine.
  11. Dan

    Dan Guest

    I had an HP inkjet for about 10 years, mostly used the black which I was
    able to refill multiple times before the printer crapped out
    mechanically (paper feed issues). If you need mostly black, these days
    you can get a new mono laser printer for ~$200. I have a Brother HL5140
    which is about a year old, had good reviews when I got it, goes for
    about $200 now At
    these prices it doesn't make sense to fool with inkjets for B&W.
    Inkjets sell cheap & they make their money peddling cartridges, not
    printers, also some of the newer cartridges are dated and actually
    EXPIRE (all to protect your printer and to maintain optimum print
    quality, you understand. Uh-huh) so if you buy several to have on hand
    when one runs out (since most are so damned SMALL) the last one(s) on
    the shelf may not work even though it has never been out of the package,
    not because it's defective, but because it's expired. This can also be
    a factor if you refill the same cartridge repeatedly.

  12. none

    none Guest

    What we need in the consumer end of things is a inkjet printer with an
    ink reservoir where all you have to do is just pour ink in and close
    the lid.
    I have a commercial inkjet plotter that has just that, ink tanks with
    flip up lids.
    Problem is the cost of such a printer is too high for someone who just
    needs a low cost reliable printer for occasional use.(Mine cost me
    2,300 bucks US. But then we do graphic pre-press and need a reliable
    plotter for doing proofs.)
    Back in the mid 90's we got bent over more than once by sales reps
    from Epson buying their so called "professional" inkjet printers.(I
    have a closet full of Epson high end printers just collecting dust. A
    stylus pro XL, a 1500, a 3200 colorado and a couple of their
    photo-printers. ALL junk!)
    I've given some of the other brands a try for use around the office on
    various stations and have gravitated to Canon BJC-100's since most of
    the internal stuff is just B&W anyway.
    I can pick these units up at garage sales or goodwill for a couple of
    bucks and by buying new blank generic cartridge blanks and filling
    them myself can get by for the least amount of outlay.(I usually get
    3-5 refills out of each cartridge before they fry out.)
    Not since the days of snake oil salesmen have we seen such blatant and
    obscene crookery.
    Inkjet salespersons should be required to slither up to you on their
    bellies as you enter the store.
  13. NSM

    NSM Guest

    I've seen after market kits like that (on eBay?) with big external tanks and
    thin hoses.
  14. none

    none Guest

    Do they make them for any of the Epsons?
    I might be interested in ressurecting some of that damn expensive
    Epson "pro" junk I've got filling up my storage space if so.
  15. Bill Jeffrey

    Bill Jeffrey Guest

    I installed one on a B&W HP printer a few years back. Didn't like it
    much, and returned it to the store (Wal Mart or one of the CompUSA-type
    places, as I recall). ISTR that the hose either wasn't flexible enough,
    causing head misalignment, or dragged on something, with the same
    result. Today's units might be better.

  16. NSM

    NSM Guest

    I'd suspect you'd need silicone rubber tubing.
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