Money Saving Hints About Inkjet
Printers And Refilling Cartridges


Jon Schweitzer
Revised 21 October 2013.

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1. INKJET PRINTERS YOU SHOULD BE USING

2. WHERE TO PURCHASE INKJET PRINTERS AND SUPPLIES

3. CIS, CISS AND CFS OR BULK CONTINUOUS INKING SYSTEMS - THE SUPERIOR METHOD

4. MONEY SAVING SUGGESTIONS ABOUT REFILLING INKJET PRINTER CARTRIDGES

5. INKJET PRINTER CARTRIDGE CARE AND PROBLEMS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER REFILLING

6. PRINTING PROBLEMS

7. ARTICLES

8. OTHER THINGS

WARNING: Epson does it again and maybe other printer manufacturers!
For a long time people have been asking me if Epson has a way to get into their printers through the Internet and make them stop recognizing compatible cartridges. Epson has been releasing what they call firmware upgrades. These are software files which Epson owners have to download and install to the printer. So why does Epson want you to reach into a working printer and change things? A Epson printer suddenly stopped recognizing refillable cartridges after an upgrade. So I suggest that you not run firmware upgrades on your printers. It appears that all this does is prevent third party cartridges from working.

I also suggest that you NOT download printer drivers from the manufacturers websites when you install your printers and only obtain the drivers from the old or original printer installation CD or from a Internet website that has an old version date for the driver.
1. INKJET PRINTERS YOU SHOULD BE USING
The best money-saving way to use inkjet printers is to have 3 different resolution printers connected to your computer system and refill the inkjet cartridges OR the superior method of filling and using CIS, CISS or CFS or Bulk Continuous Inking Systems. See 3. below. The CIS systems are made for a few Epson, Canon and HP printers. Search eBay to do the research.

I am now using the CIS method for all my printers. I now use the CIS method on my Epson C84, Epson C86 and Epson C88.

An introduction to the CIS, CFS or Bulk Continuous Inking systems is at https://www.inksupply.com/cobra.cfm See more about the CIS systems at 3. below.

The main or default printer will be mainly for only black ink printing. It will be used about 95% of the time. It should also be the cheapest printer to maintain and replace.
The second printer should have a mid range resolution and color.
The third printer should have a high resolution for quality color photos using pigment ink.

Because you can have problems with printers, I suggest that you need three printers so you can always have an operating printer.

Examples of the three resolution printers:
Epson C84 mainly for only low resolution black dye ink printing as the default printer
Epson C86 that uses dye ink for the mid range resolution color printer
Epson C88 that uses pigment ink for the highest resolution color photo printer

You should buy the printers that cost the least to replace, repair, supply with ink, ink cartridges and printheads. They should also have the easiest cartridges to refill.

If you buy a new model printer you might have to buy a 6 or 8 cartridge printer - NOT the 4 cartridge printer like the Epson C86. The newer model will cost you more to maintain.

You have to determine if you need a printer that uses PIGMENT ink for good long life prints or DYE ink for everyday CHEAP printing jobs that might fade in the light.

Printers To Avoid
With 20-20 hindsight, I have made mistakes buying printers. One mistake is buying a printer with tiny ink reservoirs.

The old Canon BJC-5100 is one good example of a problem printer. The black and color ink cartridges are very tiny and are always running out of ink and ruining a printing job. The photo cartridge is also too small.
Another problem is the requirement to switch cartridges for more black ink capacity or to print a photo.

Another printer mistake is the old Canon S450 because it requires a semi-permanent printhead that does not last very long, is hard to find on eBay and is also expensive. Another problem is the requirement to exchange the black cartridge with the photo cartridges for printing a photo.

Which Printer To Use
When you have a printing job, select the best printer for the job.
Examples:
Black ink text: Epson C84 printer
Color text and simple graphics: the Epson C86 printer
Color photo: the Epson C88 printer

If you buy a printer that uses a single cartridge with more than one color the chances are greatly reduced that after you refill it all the colors will test OK.

If you have problems with color(s) in the cartridges or printhead, you can keep using the printer as a black ink ONLY spare printer by changing the printer settings to "Black Ink Only" and filling only the black ink cartridge.

Most used printers for sale with built-in printheads are JUNK with clogged printheads. Don't waste your money until you can try them before you buy or only buy a new one in a sealed box. People call printers "NEW" if they used it three times one year ago and now it will not print anything on the paper because the ink has dried up in the printhead.

People create their own problems with the printers mainly because they don't print often enough and the ink dries in the printhead. Then they think the printer is no good and buy another printer and have the same problem. Print at least one page in black and all colors at least once a week. If you have purchased a new computer or will be buying a new computer in the near future, you might have to buy a printer that will work with your new operating system.

Buying a new computer with the newest operating system might make all or some of your hardware (printer) and programs obsolete.

See the "Buying a Computer" website at: http://www.encinojon.com/buycomputer/

If you do not need the latest operating system, have a computer made for you with an operating system that will minimize or not make obsolete your hardware and programs.

Make an inventory of all of your programs and hardware and their operating system requirements.

The true cost of buying a new computer is not just price of the computer.

The true cost of the new computer is:
1. Cost of computer
2. Replacing obsolete programs
3. Replacing obsolete hardware
4. Setup and installing all programs and hardware

I have older buying guides below because you might be buying older printers on eBay or Craigslist.

Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, erotic services, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums on various topics. There are no fees and normally there are no shipping costs because you go to pick the printer up locally. You search for what you want, email the person, drive to examine the printer and pay for it. Go to the following link and choose your community. http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html

See the 2005 "Personal Printers: The Essential Buying Guide" at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1584125,00.asp

See the 2005 review of most types of printers at http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,1874,10,00.asp

See the 2005 review of personal Ink Jets at http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,1874,1638938,00.asp

The 2012 Top Ten Printers are at http://printers.toptenreviews.com/inkjet/

A Web site that explains the general technical details of all types of printers is at http://www.pctechguide.com/53Inkjets.htm

Use the following web site to browse for all the makes of cartridges and printer compatibility and commonality. Click on the make of printer at the top of page at http://www.page-net.com/

I think the best all around color printers are in the Epson C series with "build-in" long lasting printheads that are ideal to use the CIS system as explained in Section 3.

My Printers
I have used and tested 15 different makes and models of printers and I now have only 3 connected to my computer. They are a Epson C84, Epson C86 and Epson C88 that all have the CIS systems installed.

Five printers from the past are shown HERE. A Epson C86 with a CIS is HERE.

Printers - General Notes
If your printer is capable of giving you monitor screen warnings that a cartridge is low or out of ink, you must have a IEEE or bi-directional cable connecting your printer to your computer.

If you don't receive the warning and your cartridge runs out of ink, you might damage the printhead.

Printhead Types
Permanent - Examples are the Epson C84, C86 and C88
Semi-Permanent - An example is the Canon S450
Disposable - An example is the Hewlett Packard 970cxi

Canon Printers
The CIS systems are made for some Canon printers. Search eBay to do the research.

Download drivers and user guides are at http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/home under "DOWNLOADS".

Canon Web site http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/home

HP or Hewlett Packard Printers
The CIS systems are made for some HP printers. Search eBay to do the research.

The HP or Hewlett Packard Professional Series has excellent printers. The HP Professional Series printers are much more trouble free than the Canon printers and have large black and color ink cartridges that last a long time. The one minor disadvantage is that the pigmented black refill ink is more expensive and the color cartridges can be very hard to refill and be successful.
If you can obtain the empty (virgin) cartridges for $3 to $5 and can master the refilling problems which is mainly trapped air, the HP professional series printers are the best printers to use for the least problems and lowest cost.
A great site for information about all the HP printers, compatibility chart for cartridges and repair parts is at http://www.printerworks.com/

If you want to have the problems refilling cartridges, I suggest that you buy only the old HP 900 series Professional Series printers. An example is the HP DeskJet 970cxi.

Before you buy an HP printer research the following web site to make sure that the printer uses the "big" cartridges such as the black ink 6615 (No. 15), 51645 (No. 45) and C6578 (No. 78). The web site is http://www.page-net.com/

Download HP drivers and manuals at http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html

Research the printers at the Hewlett-Packard Web site http://www.hp.com/

Epson Printers
I suggest that newer Epsons are the printers of choice because most of the CIS systems are made for the Epsons and they are quickly installed.
See the CIS section in 3. below.

A great site to research the Epson printers that use the cartridges with "chips" and how to "get around" or "reset" the "chip" problem is at http://www.printerfillingstation.com/Ink_Refills/Epson-refill.htm under "Accessories for Refilling". The CIS systems use cartridges that have auto reset chips.

There is free Epson "chip" reset and waste reset (2 red flashing lights) software available free to download at http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml

The Epson chip "resetter" may be purchased on eBay for as little as $3.95 plus shipping or under $9 total. Because their printheads are permanent, the Epson Printers are very good choices for installing and using the continuous ink system (CIS) or continuous flow system (CFS) that has large 100 ml tanks of ink on the right hand side of the printer and plastic tubes connecting the ink tank to the individual colors in the cartridges. Look at these systems at http://www.inksupply.com/cobra.cfm

NEW You can reset the following newer Epson cartridges to use the remaining 10 to 20% of ink by using a paper clip shown HERE.
The Epson cartridges are T0691, T0692, T0693, T0694, T0781, T0782, T0783, T0784, T0785, T0786, T0791, T0792, T0793, T0794, T0795 & T0796.
Do not try to refill the above cartridges.

NEW Another way to reset the cartridges is to reset the printer as follows:
1. Remove all ink cartridges from the printer, both black and color, new or refilled.
2. Turn the printer off by pressing the Power button.
Let the printer stay off for 20 seconds.
3. Turn the printer back on. Allow the printer to go through
the usual start-up process and recognize there are no cartridges installed. 4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the printer has been turned on and off five times. This process resets and removes the last five ink cartridge IDs used from the printer's memory, allowing the printer to believe the refilled ink cartridge is new.
5. Replace the ink cartridges and attempt to print.

Obtain drivers, setups, guides and manuals under Printers and Drivers... or Manuals... at http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/SupportIndex.jsp

The Epson Printers Web site is at http://www.epson.com/

Buy only new or refurbished Epson printers because most used printers for sale have plugged printheads that can not be unplugged!

Epson inkjet printers have a BIG problem with clogged/plugged printheads. See solutions for unplugging the printheads at http://www.inkmagic.com/epson_clogged_printhead.htm

One more solution for unplugging printheads is trying to buy "cleaning cartridges" on eBay OR obtain empty compatible (after market) cartridges OR empty them and fill them with printhead cleaner and run many cleaning cycles.

Epson printers
PROS: 1. Very good for photos 2. Can use the CIS
CONS: 1. Noisy 2. Uses the cleaning operation automatically too often 3. Printheads plug up too often 4. Too much ink is wasted with each cleaning operation.

Other Printers
Don't even consider them.

Printer Connections
If you have problems running short of parallel ports in your computer, you may use a printer switch to select the printer.
The older printers will allow only parallel connections to your computer.
The newer printers allow parallel and USB connections.
Some Epson printers like the 740i have a serial connection. The newer printers require bi-directional (IEEE) cables. I have been using some of my printers without the bi-directional cables and possibly have had fewer problems because the printers cannot communicate with the computer and shut down the printing when I refill the cartridges.
You may also add a 1 or 2 port parallel card to your computer to increase your parallel connections.
If you have the USB computer capability, you can obtain a parallel to USB converter to connect your parallel printer to a USB port. The cost is about $10 plus shipping on eBay.
You may also obtain a 2 or 4 port "hub" which will allow you to connect more USB printers to a single computer USB port. Don't use more than 2 of the 4 ports in a 4 port "hub" if you have a "power" and/or problems.
You may also add a USB card to your computer if you do not have the USB computer capability or if you want more USB ports.
You have a choice of many printer switches and many combinations of the following types:
Manual
Automatic
Non-directional
Bi-directional
reversible
Note: To the best of my knowledge, a 2 or 4 way automatic printer switch to connect 2 or 4 printers to one computer must be a reversible switch.
A REVERSIBLE AUTOSWITCH IS NOT AUTOMATIC!
Try to find a Bidirectional (IEEE) Reversible Autoswitch.
Buy your switch on eBay for as little as $5 plus shipping. Use "autoswitch" or "printer switch" for your search. Because the demand is so low for this item, you might not have anyone bidding against you.

MAC Computer i.e. Powerbook
If your MAC only has a serial printer connection you can buy one of two types of the converter "PowerPrint" as seen on http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/utilities/powerprint-serial-to-parallel/ and the manufacturer might be out of business. There is a least one printer that have a serial connector or interface and it is the Epson 740i.
If your need a serial-to-parallel converter look on eBay for as little as $5 plus shipping. Use "powerprint" for your search. Because the demand is so low for this item, you might not have anyone bidding against you.

Printer Consumables
The printer manufacturers are determined to sell their printers at the lowest possible prices to entrap the owners into buying their over-priced ink cartridges/printheads.

This high operation cost makes it a requirement that you refill your cartridges or better yet use the CIS (see 3. below).

If the printer uses separate cartridges (tanks) and printheads, you can refill or replace the cartridges (tanks) but then the printheads don't last very long except the Epsons.

Most manufacturers have designed the cartridges and printheads to have a very limited life.

Epson has permanent printheads that have long lives.

Some of the newer and better HP printers (900 series) recognize a previously installed cartridge that has been refilled and will prevent printing. If you have 2 more identical cartridges for the printer and install these ahead of the refilled cartridge, you will fool the recognition circuit in the printer.

Recently some manufacturers have added "smart chips" to the cartridge/printheads that makes it harder to make the cartridge/printhead work in the printer after it's been refilled.

Suggest you research the printer cartridges (mainly Epson) that are using the "smart chips" to restrict refilling at the "chat room" at http://www.printerfillingstation.com/Ink_Refills/Epson-refill.htm
There is free Epson "chip" reset and MORE software available free to download at http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml

Lists Of All Cartridges Used In All Printers
http://www.ocp-online.com/index.php/component/content/article/229
2. WHERE TO PURCHASE INKJET PRINTERS AND SUPPLIES
Inkjet Printers
Used printers may be purchased using a local Recycler or similar type publication.

The best buys and biggest selection for the printers will be on eBay for as little as a total of $15 for a used printer. Buy a 2nd used printer for a backup. The other printers may be purchased new or used. See the "eBay Buying Hints" Web page at http://www.encinojon.com/eBay/

The used Epson C84, C86 or C88 color printer - total cost used on eBay is under $55. New the cost is under $100.

NEVER BUY A USED PRINTER THAT HAS A BUILD-IN PRINTHEAD UNLESS YOU CAN VERIFY THAT IT PRODUCES A PERFECT "NOZZLE CHECK". Most of the used printers for sale, with build-in printheads, have dried up ink in the printheads that makes them JUNK or worthless. If the cartridges are not in printer - don't buy it. If it hasn't been used for more than 4 weeks - don't buy it. Also look for printers on Craigslist. Go to the following link and choose your community at http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html

An Inkjet Product List / Compatibility Guide is at http://www.image-specialists.com/Compatibility_guide.asp

Inkjet Cartridges
You may also buy your new cartridges that are genuine or compatible, refilled cartridges and printheads on eBay.

Cartridges are: new - in date, new - out of "date", virgin (filled once and empty), empty and non-virgin (refilled one time or more and empty). Used or virgin or empty cartridges are for sale on eBay using the examples "HP empty" or "HP virgin" in the search. Buy a lot of at least 5 to save on shipping costs.

A VERY GOOD source of empty cartridges is at http://www.emptiesnowonline.com/

Another source of many suppliers is at http://www.tonernews.com/

New empty (never refilled with ink) compatible cartridges without printheads that are called empties or "blanks" for some Canon and Epson printers may be obtained from http://www.inkjetwarehouse.com/ shown under "Empties for Manufacturers".

Ink Supplies
Buy inkjet cartridge ink refills at a discount stationary supply store or Fry's or for odd printers from American Ribbon Co. in Florida. Call them at 800-327-1013 and ask them about price and availability for your inkjet cartridge refills. With the refills you will get refill instructions.

I suggest that you make up a business name that you can use when you buy from ink manufacturers - i.e. XYZ InkJet.

A BETTER BUY for bulk refill ink is from a local supplier such as Ink 2000 Corp., 9701 Canoga Ave., Canoga Park, CA, 818-882-0168 or 800-433-2786 toll free. This business will sell you the black ink for about 8 to 10 refills for about $13.00 for 4 oz. and $2.00 for an injector. They also have the colors bulk refill kits. Their Web site is http://www.ink2000.com/ This business also has a low priced Epson multi-cartridge "chip" resetting device.

An EXCELLENT BUY is after you buy a refill kit is to purchase in quantity of 8 lbs. or 1 gallon of bulk black dye inkjet ink for about $50 plus shipping from Formulabs but NOW with a new name of Sensient Imaging Technologies since 2001. Minimum buy is 1 gallon. Their address is 529 West 4th Ave., Escondido, CA 92025 and phone 800-642-2345 toll free or 760-741-2345. The web site is http://www.sensient-tech.com/corporate/formulabs.htm

The 2nd VERY BEST BUY for bulk ink is from American Inkjets, 13 Alexander Rd., Billerica, MA 01821, phone 866-291-7777 toll free or 978-670-9200, email info@amjet.com The web site is http://www.americaninkjet.com/

The 1st VERY BEST BUY for bulk ink is to purchase 8 lbs. or 1 gallon of black inkjet dye ink for a total of about $36 plus shipping from International Ribbon Center at 2870 NW 72nd Ave., Miami, FL 33122-1310, phone 305-468-9667 and ask for Bestinko ink and Joseph. They also have colored and pigment inks. The web site is http://myribboncenter.com/

An ink conversion Web site for weight and volume is HERE

Sublimation Supplies
Sublimation is the process of combining heat and pressure to convert ink on special sublimation paper to gas(without converting it to liquid), and then impart the impression depicted on the paper onto the end product. In the simplest terms: heat+pressure+ink on sublimation paper will transfers the image on the paper to ceramic metal or other treated surface.

The end product receiving the image can be something that contains polyester, such as a T-shirt (the more polyester, the deeper the impression), or it might be metal or ceramic, such as a mug, and be coated with a special polymer coating that allows the design to permanently adhere to the final product.

Other Supplies and Items
You may also buy your inkjet photo paper on eBay.

Watch the newspaper ads for stationery stores that offer one case of paper free if you buy one or two cases of paper.

Save all your scrap paper to use in printing tests.
3. CIS, CISS AND CFS OR BULK CONTINUOUS INKING SYSTEMS - THE SUPERIOR METHOD
See many Epson instructions to install the CISs at http://www.ink2000.com/ under "PRODUCTS".

See a large selection of CIS, CISS, CFS or Bulk systems on eBay.

NOTE: If you want to use dye ink to save money in the newer Epson printers that are designed for pigmented ink, you could have problems with the printing if you select the wrong CIS. You should buy a CIS system with two "plugs" in each ink tank and one of them should be for a tube that goes down in the ink tank at least 3/4 of the way.

Look at these systems at http://www.inksupply.com/index.cfm?source=html/cobra.html If you buy the CIS directly from a manufacturer, you want to ask to buy 1 or more "SAMPLES" and they will give you a quantity price for one. An average price for a CIS with 4 ink tanks, 4 cartridges, for Epson or Canon, without ink, will be about $15 plus air shipping of about $20 from China.

A manufacturer in China that has a large selection of Epson CISs is http://cutemarket.ebigchina.com/sdp/307459/4/pl-1174350.html

Another manufacturer in China that has a large selection of Epson and Canon CISs http://szmicrotec.ebigchina.com/sdp/333434/4/pl-1444965.html

See this link for many manufacturers of CISs http://chinasuppliers.alibaba.com/search/china_products/CISS.html

NEW Shipping air from China by the supplier is very expensive if they use DSL for fast 3 to 5 day delivery. Consider having them use China Post or EMS for slower and cheaper shipping.

NEW A new item has been added to the CIS systems. "Dampers", which are one-way valves which are now installed in-line in the tubing runs. See in the sample of the damper at http://www.diytrade.com/china/pd/9397217/One_way_Damper.html. The dampers are used to improve the flow of ink to the cartridges and to prevent the ink from flowing back into the ink tanks. Most CIS systems will not have the dampers installed and you'll have to find them separately elsewhere.

Download and install the free "Autoprint" from http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/ramasubbiah-Auto-Print.shtml It will help prevent your printer with a continuous flow system (CFS) from dropping nozzles (not printing) or developing other problems caused by infrequent printing.


4. MONEY SAVING SUGGESTIONS ABOUT REFILLING INKJET PRINTER CARTRIDGES
In the past I refilled all the cartridges for my printers. I don't refill any cartridges now. I only use the SMART method now using CISs.

To protect against ink leaks under your printer from your refilled cartridges, lay down a large piece of aluminum foil with several paper towels on the foil.

Don't allow the cartridges to run completely out of ink. Don't over fill the cartridges. Suggest you fill the cartridges many times with small amounts of ink. REFILL THE CARTRIDGES VERY SLOWLY.

After X number of refills, an ink cartridge with foam in it and with or without a printhead will become defective. You may buy empty cartridges with printheads for a few dollars and then refill them by looking for them on eBay.

Web sites with cartridge refill instructions are at http://www.oddparts.com/ink/help.htm
and http://www.stratitec.com/support.php

Refill Tools
To refill ONLY the large foam filled HP COLOR cartridges, you need the hard to get 4 inch needles to insert to the printhead. You can buy them at MIS Associates Inc. under accessories at http://www.inksupply.com/

The HP big tri-color and other cartridges are hard to fill successfully without air becoming trapped near the printhead.

The "Air-Balancing Clip" holds the cartridge and syringes are used to refill through the holes AND then a syringe is used to draw out some ink and any trapped air from the printhead. It does a fair job.
You can not buy the "Air-Balancing Clip" tool separately and you must buy a refill kit with ink to obtain the tool and small syringe. Look for your cartridge at http://www.inkjetcartridge.com/ or http://www.inksell.com/ and buy the required compete refill kit.

You might need a small vacuum pump to "suck" out the trapped air or ink from the printheads that have printing and ink flow problems. Buy your vacuum pump at a surplus military supply house, surplus equipment supply house, laboratory equipment supply house, Grainger Wholesale Supply or eBay. You must be very careful with the vacuum pump so that you do not "suck" too much ink out from the printhead.

The very best refill method is to fill the HP 51645A (HP no. 45), 51645D (HP no. 45) cartridges is using the "hole" at the bottom of the cartridge. Pry out the ball from the hole. Refilled the cartridge. Depress the sides of the cartridge as hard as you can and place a "cut" 1/4" long section that has been cut from a large diameter O ring purchased from a hardware or plumbing supply store and seal around the section of O-ring into the hole and seal with contact cement or silicone rubber. Then you can let go of the sides of the cartridge. Set the cartridge aside with the printhead facing up for at least 6 hours.

Suggest you buy a small quantity of printhead tape from http://www.inksupply.com/ under Accessories or a large roll at http://www.global-inks.com/bulkinks.htm

High volume refilling equipment is at http://www.cbr-sme.com/indexPage.asp

Cartridges Weights
To completely fill the cartridges, buy a scale and use the cartridges weights for 4 Epson cartridges HERE and the weights empty and full of HP, Lexmark, Canon and Others at http://www.inksell.com/ipd-inkvolumes.html

Canon Cartridges
Warning for cartridges that have foam inside such as CANON BC-02. To avoid clogging the inkjet head when making the hole in your cartridge to refill it, you MUST NOT USE A DRILL BIT to enlarge the fill hole in the cartridge. When I refill a Canon BC-02 (for Canon Model BJ-200 printer) ink cartridge, I chose a nail slightly larger in diameter then the refill needle. I then use a burner of a gas cook top to heat the nail, held with pliers, to medium-hot, to enlarge the air hole opening. I then cool the nail and refill the cartridge. If the print results are bad, trying using a ballpoint pen body and blowing into the fill hole of the cartridge until many drops of the ink come out of the printhead onto some toilet paper. You may also place only the printhead in a pan of very hot water for a few minutes. You may also over-fill the cartridge/printhead and it might leak for a while when printing and it can make a mess. Print, stop printing and clean the printhead, repeat until the leaking stops.

Cartridge Suppliers
Cartridges are: virgin (filled once and empty), empty (virgin), new but out of "date" and non-virgin (refilled one time or more and empty).

New empty (never filled with ink) compatible cartridges without printheads that are called empties or "blanks" for some Canon and Epson printers can be obtained from http://www.inkjetwarehouse.com/ and are listed under "Empties for Refillers".

Buy virgin (empty) cartridges with printheads in quantities of 6 or more at MB Sales, toll free phone 877-998-6637, phone 818-710-0000, fax 818-710-9770. Their web site is at http://www.mbsalesusa.com/

The Recharger is the magazine for the refilling industry. You can find it at http://www.rechargermag.com/ Look hard for the ink suppliers in the many sections.


5. INKJET PRINTER PRINTHEAD/CARTRIDGE CARE AND PROBLEMS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER REFILLING
A forum for inkjet problems is at http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/

The ink in an inkjet printhead dries out very quickly if not used and will give you many problems.

Print something at least once a week to keep the ink from drying in the printhead.

If you allow the cartridge to run out of ink and print with a dry cartridge it might damage the "heaters" or "resistors" inside the printhead and the printhead will be permanently damaged.

If you store a used or open cartridge without a printhead, you must immediately place a piece of electrical vinyl tape over all of the cartridge openings.

If you store a used or open black ink cartridge with a printhead for more than 3 days, you must place a piece of electrical vinyl tape over the tiny breathing hole(s) and the printhead. Do not use vinyl tape on the printhead of color cartridges because the colors might mix.

Suggest you buy a small quantity of printhead tape from http://www.inksupply.com/ or a large roll at http://www.global-inks.com/bulkinks.htm

Refill the cartridge and perform a printing test per the instructions for your printer.

If you have poor printing, tries the methods below.
Use the "printhead cleaning" function in your printer. Test. Repeat "cleaning" as required.

Cartridges With Printheads
Soak only the printhead in very hot water for a few minutes and then dry with toilet paper. Test.

Steam the printhead for 20 minutes and then rest on absorbent paper to draw the ink out. Test.

CAUTION WITH THE NEXT METHOD - keep the tray away from open flames and sparks. Place the tray outdoors.
Make a small tray made out of aluminum foil and pour about 3/8 inch of alcohol into the tray and soak only the printhead in 91% alcohol (about $1.50 from Sav-On) for five hours and then dry with toilet paper. Test.

Use a ball point pen body and blow into the fill hole of the cartridge until many drops and ink come out of the printhead onto some toilet paper. Test.

Print until most of the ink is out of a cartridge. Fill the cartridge with 91% alcohol and print until the results are OK or blow out the alcohol with the ballpoint pen body and refill with ink. Test.

Use the "Air-Balancing Clip" tool to remove trapped air as described in "Refill Tools" in 3. above. Test.

You might need a small vacuum pump to "suck" out the trapped air or ink from the printheads that have printing and ink flow problems.

Soak the printhead in printhead cleaner that you can buy from one of the ink suppliers under 2. above.

Soak only the printhead in 75% water and 25% glass cleaner WARM solution for a no more than 10 minutes and then dry with toilet paper. This solution may damage some printheads. Test.

Printheads Only
Soak only the printhead in very hot distilled water for 60 minutes and then dry with toilet paper. Test.

Steam the printhead for 20 minutes and then rest on absorbent paper to draw the ink out. Test.

CAUTION WITH THE NEXT METHOD - keep the tray away from open flames and sparks. Place the tray outdoors.
Make a tray made out of aluminum foil and pour about 3/8 inch alcohol into the tray and soak only the printhead in 91% alcohol (about $1.50 from Sav-On) for five hours and then dry with toilet paper. Test.

Soak only the printhead in 75% water and 25% glass cleaner WARM solution for a no more than 10 minutes and then dry with toilet paper. This solution may damage some printheads. Test..

This method works best if you have a near empty cartridge with a printhead that is printing poorly. Inject a large quantity of head cleaner into the cartridge and print until the printing improves and until the cleaner is out of the cartridge. Refill cartridge with ink.

Cartridges Without Printheads
Fill an empty cartridge with alcohol or cleaning solution and print 50 pages of heavy copy. Remove the alcohol or cleaning solution filled cartridge and replace with the normal cartridge. Test.

Epson Printhead Plugged Up
You need to have printhead cleaning solution that you can buy in a BIG bottle from one of the ink suppliers. See the information and web sites under 2. above.

The fastest method is to place a folded up paper towel under the printhead. Attach a short piece of plastic tubing to a syringe with printhead cleaning solution. Remove the cartridges and place the plastic tubing over each of printhead inlet "tubes" and slowly inject the cleaning solution into the printhead. Allow the cleaning solution in the printhead for at least 1 hour. Reinstall cartridges and test or a nozzle check. If required, repeat the injecting of the cleaning solution in the printhead and allow to remain in the printhead for 8 hours.

Another method is pouring some cleaning solution on a paper towel and then shoved it underneath the printhead so the cleaning solution will come into direct contact for 4 hours with the printhead.

I suggest that you print a very short page of black and all colors each day or every other day so the printhead does not plug up and try leaving the printer on all the time so that you don't waste the tremendous amount of ink that the Epson printer spews out each time it does a cleaning operation when you turn the printer on. The ink is critical for the Epson and if you use a "BAD" refill ink you will have problems with the ink jelling in the printheads.

Unclogging Epson printheads http://www.inkmagic.com/epson_clogged_printhead.htm

HP Large 3 Color Cartridges
The air trapped problem in the No. 78 or C6578, No. 23 or C1823, No. 41 or 51641 and No.17 cartridges with printing problems may be solved using one or more of the following methods:
1. Use the upside down refill method at http://home.arcor.de/jackspage/rat78ne.html
2. Place the cartridge in a plastic bag and seal a vacuum cleaner hose nozzle in the bag and vacuum for 30 seconds.
3. Place the cartridge in a sealed plastic bag in your hand with the printhead pointing away from you and swing your arm.
4. Use a vacuum pump.
5. Over fill with ink - messy.

Get Ink Flowing, Clear Printhead And Check Printing
Use the following Websites to print "large" areas of  black and color to clear the printhead.
http://www.refillinstructions.com/black.htm
http://www.refillinstructions.com/color.htm
Use the following Websites to print "small" areas of  black and color to clear the printhead. http://www.encinojon.com/inkjet/testpageblack.html
http://www.encinojon.com/inkjet/testpagecolored.html
There are a few test patterns at http://www.oliser-global.com/patterns.asp

6. PRINTING PROBLEMS
Computer
If your computer is not communicating with your printer, check the following:

Check your cable connections and switch selection.

Check the computer's available "resources" and if necessary reboot your computer. Resources should be greater than 70%. This was a big problem with Windows 95 and 98.

Repairs - see Website http://www.fonerbooks.com/pcrepair.htm

USB - see Websites http://www.usb.org/about/faq/ and http://www.usbman.com/

Delete the printer and reinstall the printer.

Printer Problems
Read your printer manual or access the manufacturer's web site for the manual and/or information that describes the printer error lights. Print out and have on hand the list of printer error lights.

Remove the printer driver and install a new copy of the printer driver.

Obtain the newest printer driver from printer manufacturer's Website and remove the old driver and install the newest driver.

Repairs - see Web site http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/printfaq.htm

See how to repair most printers at http://repair4printer.org/printer_maintenance.html and http://www.inkguides.com/printer-repair.asp#printer-problem-guide-start and Epson printers at http://www.inkjetprinterhelp.us/epson.html Repair service manual on CD may be purchased on eBay for about $11 for HP Deskjets.

Consumables
Some of the newer and better HP printers (900 series) recognize a previously installed cartridge that has been refilled and will prevent printing. If you have 2 more identical cartridges for the printer and install these ahead of the refilled cartridge, you will fool the recognition circuit in the printer.

Recently some manufacturers have added "smart chips" to the cartridge/printheads that makes it harder to make the cartridge/printhead work in the printer after it's been refilled. Use a Epson "resetter" that you can buy on eBay for about $9 total.

If after working around the "chips" and other recognition things the printer is still not recognizing a cartridge/printhead, the heaters are usually defective in the printhead and the cartridge/printhead should be discarded.
7. ARTICLES
See the BIG article about the printer manufacturers' wars with refillers and "compatibles" at Cartridge Wars.

Also see HP's BIG BIG BIG printer ink profits at Black Gold.
8. OTHER THINGS
Waterproofing Paper
You can spray a lacquer or plastic from a spray can onto your paper. See samples in cans near the bottom of http://www.inksupply.com/accessory.cfm
Suggest you try some cheap spray cans from a discount store that have clear "flat" or "matte" finish for most papers and "gloss" finish for photos.
You want to only spray a very light mist on the paper.
Test first and then use unscented hair spray.

Printer Special Media
See them at www.cjenkinscompany.com/pindex.asp

Printing Utilities
See the Printing Utilities at http://www.snapfiles.com/freeware/system/fwprintertools.html

Download and install the free "Autoprint" from http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/ramasubbiah-Auto-Print.shtml It will help prevent your printer with a continuous flow system (CFS) from dropping nozzles (not printing) or developing other problems caused by infrequent printing.
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