Most cartridges can be filled several times, but you should be aware that the lifespan of the cartridge can be extended to almost double the expected by following a few simple rules of cartridge maintenance.
- Indications of ink running out or jets becoming blocked are:-
- parts of printed characters will have lines of missing print area appearing through them or in extreme cases there will be almost no sign of print on the page or in the case of printing colour photographs a sudden change of colour may occur. As soon as you observe any print defects occurring, immediately cease printing and carry out the print head cleaning procedure for one or two cycles.
- Carry out a nozzle or print test and repeat the clean cycle and print test, if the first attempt is unsatisfactory.
- Refer to your printer operation manual for full details on how to carry out these functions.
- Should you still not obtain satisfactory results, the cartridge is most probably empty.
We can tell if a cartridge is empty by testing its weight on very accurate scales. Note, with a colour cartridge, one colour usually runs out before the others. Do not continue printing with the remaining colours, as the jets of the one that has run out, will probably burn out. In all cases of unresolved print defects, remove the cartridge and have it refilled or replace with a new one.
There are basically three types of inkjet cartridge.
1. The print head and ink reservoir are combined to form an integrated module that can be readily removed, cleaned, refilled and replaced.
2. The print head and ink reservoir are separate, however the print head module with reservoir can be readily removed from the printer to facilitate changing of black and colour print heads.
3. Black and colour print heads are both permanently fixed to the carriage assembly in the printer. Only the user can replace the ink reservoirs.
Care of inkjet Cartridges
Whilst most inkjet cartridges are reasonably resilient to handling, care should be taken to only unpack a new or refilled cartridge immediately prior to replacing it in the printer. When a cartridge has been refilled it may have a seal placed over the print head in the form of a plastic adhesive strip. This strip has a special adhesive that does not affect the print head..
Do not use any adhesive such as, packaging or standard sticking tape, as the chemical composition of the adhesive is harmful to the print heads.
Colour cartridges can become contaminated if left for long periods with tape across the heads or left unused for long periods in the printer. Capillary action causes colours to mix.
Do not carry or leave cartridges on the seat or dashboard of vehicles, even on a relatively cool day. Heat build-up will cause the cartridge to leak. Place them in the glove box and remove as soon as possible. In cold weather do not place on the car floor as the heater may also cause the cartridge to leak.
Note - even with a seal, the cartridge can leak. When a cartridge has run out and there is a time delay in being able to have it refilled, place it in its carry case and store in a cool place. Alternatively, if a case is not available, simply wrap it in cling film or place it in a small plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator. The success rate of refilling cartridges rises considerably if the cartridge still has a small amount of ink left in it. This particularly applies to cartridges that do not have a sponge type reservoir.
Sometimes a new refilled combined print head reservoir type cartridge does not print if it has been left for any length of time in the printer without printing. If the cleaning cycle does not improve the result to any extent, then remove the cartridge and place the print head surface onto a damp tissue. An elongated pattern of ink should appear on the tissue and in the case of a colour cartridge, all of the colours should show as spots on the tissue. In extreme cases, if the above procedure does not work, then place the cartridge, print head down, in the bottom of a saucer. Purchase some dead-head solution from a reputable ink refiller and stand in the solution for half an hour. - Make sure that there is no moisture on the electrical contact areas of the cartridge, if so, gently wipe clean with a soft tissue.
Wet contacts can cause serious damage to the printer electrics. - Do not use methylated spirits to clean print heads, the chemical composition is not compatible and can cause blockage problems.
If in doubt and you still cannot rectify the problem, take or post your cartridge to The Ink Lab store and we will do our best to help.