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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Refilling Epson Ink Cartridges....Not!
Confessions from someone who tried and wouldn't recommend it. Where do we start?
1) Even though it is very easy to put a hole in the top of most Epson ink cartridges and insert the ink into the sponge (most Epson brand and Epson compatible ink cartridges use a sponge) there are problems with that. The first is that it appears that machine filled cartridges may be better at inserting the proper amount of ink, possibly they use pressurized systems to push ink into the sponge. Why is this important? Well, many Epson inkjet printers estimate the amount of ink in a cartridge and if the proper amount is not there this will throw off the ink level indicator and also potentially cause the cartridge to run out of ink before it's supposed to, thereby getting an air bubble in the ink line and causing printer quality problems. If you get air in the ink line be prepared to basically run the cleaning utility non stop to get it to print well again...i.e. 10 times or more possibly.
2) Most new Epson brand and Epson compatible print cartridges have chips on them which of course serve multiple functions but some people think these chips may make it difficult to refill a cartridge and reuse it. There are companies which sell "chip resetters" to help overcome this issue but then the resetters cost money and is another step in the process also.
3) Anyone who has refilled Epson cartridges will tell you that the process itself can result in lower print quality and also potentially damage your print head, which is generally part of the printer itself, not the cartridge. In other words if the print head goes, so goes the printer for many people as it often is not worth it to get the print head repaired for a $100 printer.

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