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Solving over 95% of all INKJET CARTRIDGE issues: Print Quality or Cartridge not Recognized or Leaking Issues

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2014 11:49AM PDT
TROUBLESHOOTING REMANUFACTURED/COMPATIBLE CARTRIDGES
 
Thank you for purchasing your remanufactured/compatible inkjet cartridges from us! We sincerely appreciate our customers like you so we’d like to give you some helpful hints for using your perfectly usable and extremely economical new cartridges – at times it can be tricky!

There are 3 types of issues that cover over 95% of all inkjet cartridge issues. Here is how to identify and solve almost all of them:
Issue Symptom(s)
Print Quality

Colors are not coming out correctly, or
There are lines/streaks on the page

Click Here for Troubleshooting
 
 Cartridge Recognition
The printer is giving an error / warning message, or
The printer is stating the cartridge is low / out of ink

Click Here for Troubleshooting
 
 
Leaking Cartridge

Cartridge is visibly leaking

Click here for Troubleshooting

 
 
Please see below for suggestions on how you can resolve almost all of the above issues. We hope these helpful hints work for you, but if not please look up your specific cartridge model at this support website, which provides specific support instructions by cartridge model: http://cartridge-support.com, or feel free to contact our customer service directly from our product website by using the “CONTACT US” link at the bottom of the page to email, chat, or call us.
We hope your enjoy your compatible/remanufactured inkjet cartridges from us and we hope to have the pleasure of supplying you again the next time you are in need of ink!

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How you can resolve most Print Quality issues:

First, run a nozzle test:
Every printer has what is commonly referred to as a “nozzle test”, and instructions on how to run a nozzle test on your specific printer will be located in your printer’s menu, maintenance options (via the printer or via the computer), and in your printer’s manual. The results of the nozzle test sometimes look like the image below. If you see breaks in the lines, then some of the nozzles in your print-heads are clogged.

 
Next, clean your printhead:
If your print-head is in the printer*, your printer will have a menu option to “clean” the print-heads. This is typically referred to on different printers simply as “cleaning” or “print-head cleaning”. Running 1 or more cleaning cycles will prompt your printer to self-clean, after which you can run a new nozzle test and see if the clog(s) have been resolved. You may need to run more than 1 cleaning cycle, or run “deep cleaning” (available on some models).
If your print-head is on the cartridge*, your cartridge will look similar to the image below, on the right. In this case, you can clean your print-head by placing it to sit vertically in a cup that has about ¼ inch deep alcohol, hot water, or our print-head-cleaning solution (that comes with our Universal™ ink refill kits or sold separately and is more potent than hot water or alcohol). The solution will help unclog any dried ink in the nozzles of your print-head and help get the ink to flow again. After soaking the print-head for a few minutes (may require up to an hour for severe clogs), you should wick the print-head on a damp paper towel to help get the ink to flow.


* What is a print-head?
A print-head is a component (or part) in the printer (or sometimes on the cartridge) that has tiny nozzles or pores, through which ink flows before it gets deposited to the paper. There are 2 types of print-heads (those inside the printer, and those on the cartridge, as shown by these examples):

 

Why do print-heads clog?

Print-heads can clog due to ink droplets drying up beneath the cartridges. Ink droplets can dry up and clog the nozzles in the print-heads if the printer is idle (low print usage), or if the printer and/or cartridges are exposed to large temperature fluctuations. Keeping the printer and cartridges at room temperature, and printing at least 2-3 pages per week, will help keep the ink flowing through the print-heads and minimize clogs. Even turning the printer off and on a couple of times a week can help, as the printer “primes” itself when it is switched on, this can also minimize the chance of clogs. Clogs can happen with OEM (original brand) cartridges, or compatible/remanufactured cartridges.
NEW: we are releasing power cleaning systems from Universal Inkjet™, which give you the ability to thoroughly and definitively clean even the most severe of clogs. These can be found on our website by searching for “printhead flush system” or just “flush system”. As of May 2014, we have 3 “printhead flush systems” with more in development:
- For Canon (this works on ALL Canon inkjet printers for which print-heads are in the printer)
- For Epson (this works on ALL Epson inkjet printers)
- For HP 950 / 951

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How you can resolve most Cartridge Recognition issues:
 
Some printer models accept using remanufactured and compatible cartridges very easily but some are particularly finicky when it comes to using these cartridges. They often try to scare you by giving messages like; the cartridge is not an original product, or your printing system is not functioning, or sometimes they don’t report accurate ink levels and instead just give you an error message that your cartridge is low or out of ink (when it is not).
If your printer is not accepting your new cartridge(s), one of the following 2 simple procedures will resolve most issues:
Option 1:
1) Remove all cartridges, and with the cartridges out of the printer, turn off the printer then turn it back on
2) Now install your cartridges
3) Over-ride any warnings about low or out of ink levels or warnings about using non original (OEM) cartridges, etc. by pressing “OK” or “IGNORE” or “NEXT” to any such warnings
4) Then without turning off the printer using the on/off switch, simply unplug it - this will cut off all power and force the printer to reboot when you plug it in again.
5) Plug in your printer, give it a moment to reboot, & then again override any other warnings, if any
Option 2 (if Option 1 does not work):
1) Remove all cartridges, and with the cartridges out of the printer, turn off the printer then turn it back on
2) Now install just the black cartridge and close the lid of the printer. Follow any on-printer prompts and press “OK” or “IGNORE” or “NEXT” to any warnings. Your printer should fail to recognize the color cartridge(s).
3) Open the lid of the printer and insert the next cartridge. Close the lid and follow all prompts.
4) Repeat the process until all cartridges are installed.
 
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How you can resolve most Leaking Cartridge issues:
 
If your cartridge appears to be leaking, please keep in mind that all of our cartridges have been examined and tested and then sealed before shipping, so the likelihood of having a defective cartridge is extremely low, even if it is leaking. Rarely, but possibly, a small amount of ink can leak from either the nozzle or the breathing hole. This can look messy and more of a problem than it really is. Printer ink is pretty durable, but it can slightly expand if exposed to excessive heat or pressure (this may occur during shipping).  To use the cartridge, simply wipe the excessive ink off with a damp paper towel or cotton swap and then press the nozzle side down against several folds of paper towel and give a very gently squeeze to release any excess ink.  Your cartridge should be fine now and ready to use. Excess ink will not affect your printer.
 
 
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