Refilling Cartridges - Epsons

Refilling Cartridges - Epsons

Post by John » Mon, 04 Dec 2000 04:00:00

Firstly I would recommend refilling to anyone. I have been doing this myself
for 3 years and not only for myself but for many other people at work,
friends and recommendations. New cartridges are a rip off, you can pay up to
30. Buying ink in cost a fraction of that. Sure you need a steady hand and
a bit of skill but for those who don't and know me I do it for about one
quarter of the cost of a new cartridge & they are extremely happy.

If you do a lot of photo work then you can save a fortune. I am more than
happy with the prints I produce. Colours look realistic and they have not
faded yet.

However I would advise anyone to avoid the Epson printers that have
'chipped' cartridges as they cannot be refilled and the chip reset to
'full'. I might have gone for the 870 but opted for the cheaper 760 model
because of this. Besides having compared the 870 and 760 I could see
negligible difference in quality (both excellent). Epson cartridges are easy
top fill though sometimes require 2 or 3 nozzle cleans to get working

The only other problem with the Epson printers is that wet photo paper is
made to run under a series of rollers and small toothed wheels which can
leave trails of dots in the surface, visible under certain conditions.
Epson's own paper is better than most but at a price. Some cheaper paper,
though producing fine colour and detail, has softer surface more easily
marked until it dries


1. Refilling an Epson 1270 cartridge (long).

In my interest to test alternative inks in my 1270, I refilled my
with mediastreet Plug-N-Play inks.  I first tried to remove all the ink
could from the old cartridge by using a syringe, and then refilled and
removed the new ink three times in order to flush out the cartridge.  I
printed some test prints on the original PGPP for testing the orange
The printer worked perfectly, and any color changes with the new ink
minimal.  After five weeks in a place where prints with the OEM ink turn

obviously orange in three days, there was at most a very slight fading
and a
a tiny shift to orange only visible when I compared it to a fresh print.

Thus the new ink is vastly more resistant to the orange shift than the

However, I worried about how much contamination there was of the OEM ink

despite my flushing.  It could be that all of the very slight orange
was due to OEM contamination.  Since I couldn't find a virgin 1270
cartridge, I cut off the top of my old one, removed the sponges, cleaned
dried them, and put the cartridge back together.  I sealed the top with
narrow piece of closed-cell foam weather stripping.  Now I had a
cartridge.  (If people are interested, I can give more details on what I

did.  I read somewhere on a web page about doing this, but I can't find
web page again!)  I discovered that it took more than twice as much ink
fill the renewed cartridge as refilling one where I had tried to remove
old ink as much as possible.  I conclude from this that even three
followed by ink extraction still leaves a significant amount of the
ink in the mixture, and thus my test of the mediastreet  ink clearly had

some amount of OEM ink in it.  Those sponges really hold on to ink!
like the solera system if you are familiar with how Sherry is made.  As
aside, I also discovered  that there could have been a tiny bit of cross

contamination of inks when I did the original refilling.  As you fill
the syringe from the top, it's likely that you will overflow one or more
the compartments, and it is important to be extremely careful to
this possibility.  I now can refill the cartridge by removing the
top (it's held on by tape) so I can see what I am doing.  An entire
procedure only takes about 15 minutes.  I could save doing all this by
purchasing a CIS system, but since I don't print a large amount, the 15
minute refill every month or two is just fine.

If you want to use a different ink in an old cartridge, you will have to

thoroughly clean out the old ink before installing the new if you want
new ink to be pure.  I am re-testing the mediastreet ink with the pure
sample, but it is already clear that these inks are very highly
and perhaps immune to the orange shift.  More later.


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