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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Infrequent use of printer causes problems

    I have an ink jet printer that has infrequent use, several weeks between tasks. The problem is the cartriges dry out and, most of the time, cannot be recovered. I have two questions:

    Would a laser printer have the same problem?
    Is there any solution to the ink jet problem. I have tried removing the cartriges from the printer and storing them in a guard provided when they were bought.

    Thank you Bill

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Do you turn off the printer after each use. It used to be that turnning the printer to off set the print heads onto the area inside the printer that helped to prevent clogging print heads.

    I know I often have to clean print heads 2 or 3 times before I can get a clear print depending on how long it's been since last use. For those of us without heavy print needs this seems to be an on going problem, and printer ink gets costly!
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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    A laser printer does not have the same issue with print heads drying out and is more economical on a per page basis. I picked up an older HP laserjet for free two years ago and i haven't changed the toner yet.

    Some Inkjet printers are worse than others for the drying out problem. I have a multi function Canon that gets little use that I leave on all the time and the heads don't dry out. If you use third party cartridges, some are worse than others for this issue.

    As for turning off the printer between usages, I would read the owner's manual and follow their recommendation. Many inkjets waste a lot of ink recharging the printhead when you power on. Most Inkjets now go to a low power state when not in use when you leave them on.

    Jerry

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    My Canon does dry up, even with Canon cartridges. Perhaps there is a way of preventing this, but I have not found it yet. I have a Pixma MP620.

    What model do you have Jerry?
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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I have a Pixima MX892.

    Jerry

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Many times you can clear a dried ink issue by removing the print head an cleaning it with a moistened paper towel.
    Jerry

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    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I have used rubbing alcohol to clean clogged heads.

    I got so fed up with them clogging I bought a laser printer..

    To avoid the expense of toner refills I bought a refill kit and so far it works fine...
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    From post #1 I'm getting the impression, although information is lacking, that this is most likely an HP printer.

    In HP, Canon, and some other brands, the print head is on the bottom of the ink cart, that's why they are so expensive.
    When you replace a cart. you also are replacing the print head.

    On the other hand, EPSON has a print head that's built right into the print carriage and cannot normally be replaced.
    In times past, as an Epson printer tech, I have replaced many a messed up print head. That most often happened when the
    user would buy low-cost non-OEM ink that would foul the print head.

    I use only EPSON printers (I have several of them) and they still have a very high-tech print head that's a permanent part of the printer.
    Much care must be taken when using non-Epson ink. I buy all my ink from a company in Tx, called InkSell.com
    They also sell ink for other brands of printers.

    For inkjet printers that get little use, it's a good idea to set up a print test page and print it every few days, to keep the print heads from
    drying out. I used to know one guy who did that from a batch file in his Task Scheduler.

    As has been mentioned, a laser printer that uses Black toner is more economical than a Color Ink Jet, but it only prints in Black....NO COLOR.
    I have one, but don't use it because I really like COLOR in my prints.

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  10. #9
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I have been thinking of getting a black laser printer and use it with my color one.They are cheap..

    I also refill my HP toner cartridges so I save money that way..
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

  11. #10
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    lasers do not have that problem - at least b&w , not sure about color 'lasers' - there are several types of ink used

    get a canon
    never had one of them clog ever
    epsons are notorious for clogging problems

    turn the printer off when not in use
    most printers have a landing zone to keep the heads from drying out
    and they may do an initial start up priming when you turn it back on

    do not remove the cartridges
    that will make your problems worse

    are you using oem ink cartridges?
    many of the cheap replacements have drying problems beyond the normal issues that could happen

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    My Canon does dry up, even with Canon cartridges. Perhaps there is a way of preventing this, but I have not found it yet. I have a Pixma MP620.

    What model do you have Jerry?
    interesting
    first canon ever that i heard had a problem

    i have had several with no problems
    at the photo club no canon owners ever complain
    but the epson owners are frequently noting their problems

  13. #12
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    In HP, Canon, and some other brands, the print head is on the bottom of the ink cart, that's why they are so expensive.
    When you replace a cart. you also are replacing the print head
    With a lot of Canon inkjets (including mine), you replace the ink tanks only. The print head is in the printer like your Epson. You can buy cheap third party chipped cartridges for most Canon printers so you can avoid the mess of refilling. Like refill ink, third party cartridge quality varies and you can't go by price. If you get a bad one, the heads could clog. I read reviews of third party carts before I buy any of them. The same applies to toner refills or third party cartridges for Laser printers.

    Jerry

  14. #13
    3 Star Lounger
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    It would seem logical that manufacturers of inkjet printers in which the print head is part of the printer would sell cleaning cartridges just to solve this problem. I have never seen such an item listed for sale anywhere.

  15. #14
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Several third party vendors sell cleaning cartridges for Canon and Epson printers. An example is:
    http://www.meritline.com/canon-bci6b...--p-24187.aspx
    If you need one, do a Bing/Google search for your inkjet cartridge model number cleaning cartridge.

    Jerry

  16. #15
    Lounger rodsmine's Avatar
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    While it is true laser printer toner does not have the same issue, it does have an expiration date. If you do not replace the toner before the expiration date, you may encounter clumping of the toner - which can also occur if the toner is stored or used in very high humidity.

    I had an HP LJ 4M+ for over a decade and did encounter this problem once: about a year after the expiration date, text was poorly formed because it was missing black bits - to the point of being illegible.

    Just mentioning this so you will check the expiration date when you buy new toner... If you buy it only once every 4-5 years, the expiration date can be significant.

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