Printer Ink and Toner Cartridge Questions
Educate yourself! This page is designed to give you a quick overview of common printer errors some experience when using inkjet cartridges and how to navigate through them quickly. It’s amazing how quickly you can become an expert once you have the right information! We hope this will guide you on your way to becoming an expert!
Why does my printer say my cartridge is empty?
In most cases, the printer will show that the cartridge is empty or low on ink. This is completely normal and happens because the original cartridge has been reused. The cartridge will still work and last just as long as the original (in most cases longer) and may simply require that a box be checked, a button be pressed and/or the ink level warning be ignored.
Will a remanufactured cartridge void my printer warranty by the manufacturer?
It is illegal for a printer manufacturer to require you to use or purchase a particular brand of supply, just as it is illegal for your car dealer to require only original parts be used to fix your car. An OEM cannot void your warranty unless they can conclusively prove that other brands of supplies will damage your machine. To enforce a policy such as this is in direct violation of the Sherman & Clayton Antitrust Acts.
The cartridge won’t fit. What should I do?
Confirm that you have the correct cartridge for your printer by consulting your printer manual or this website. If there was a transportation clip attached to the cartridge, it will need to be removed. If the clip is still on the cartridge, you will not be able to see the copper contacts.
How will I know when the cartridge is truly low on ink?
When the print quality begins to change (light print, half print, streaking, etc), that is an indication that it is time to change the cartridge.
I have heard bad things about remanufactured cartridges. What should I look for in a remanufactured cartridge?
Each cartridge should be tested for defects prior to being remanufactured. The ink should be removed from the cartridge prior to refilling, and the inks used should be specially formulated for each type of cartridge. There should be processes in place to ensure consistent and accurate filling. The cartridge should be print-tested after refilling to ensure that the colors match and to make sure there is no smearing or streaking.
What is the difference between a compatible and a remanufactured cartridge?
A remanufactured cartridge is one that has been refilled using the OEM (genuine) empty cartridge while a compatible cartridge is made of brand new (non-genuine) components. Remanufactured cartridges are very similar in appearance to OEM cartridges while compatible cartridges may look different.
I can’t find my printer’s User Manual. What can I do?
Most User Manuals can be found on the Manufacturer’s website.
I see ink in my printer. Is this normal?
All inkjet printers contain a spittoon (sometimes called a reservoir) that collects the ink that is removed from the cartridge when the inkjet is primed. This spittoon can be either a plastic tray or a piece of foam that absorbs the excess ink. Some of the ink can dry (which makes the foam not absorb as well), and the ink that isn’t absorbed sits in the bottom of the printer. This is how ALL inkjet printers work, which is why it is never a good idea to move an inkjet printer as there will more than likely be ink in the bottom (especially older printers or printers that are used a lot).
This is not a common occurrence but will happen eventually and is not the fault of the cartridge but rather a result of the printer performing its job. If you notice this in your printer, you may need to have it serviced.
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