A remanufactured cartridge is a cartridge originally sold by manufacturers, such as HP, Epson, etc. , which has been tested, repaired, and cleaned, before being resold to consumers. The cartridge is disassembled and every part inspected; print heads and worn parts are replaced; all others are cleaned and re-conditioned. The cartridge is then filled and tested to ensure the highest quality cartridge. Those cartridges that do not pass are discarded while those that passed are packaged up and sold.
A remanufactured cartridge is filled with either a pigment- based ink (water and sunlight resistant) or dye- based ink (water-soluble).
Remanufactured cartridges are comparable to OEM cartridge quality, similar in page yields, shelf-life, and coloring.
The page yield of a remanufactured cartridge will differ between printers, but will match OEM cartridges. The standard page yield is based on a 5% coverage, which is approximately a one page printed document. However, printing pictures, graphics, or larger sheets of paper, will cause the page yield to drop significantly.
The shelf life of a remanufactured cartridge in a cool, dry location in its original packaging is approximately 12 months. However, ink will dry out once the original seal has been broken and cartridge installed, generally around two years.
Not only will there be a cost savings benefit as remanufactures are cheaper than OEM cartridges, without having to sacrifice quality, but the purchase of remanufactured cartridges will help save the environment by recycling the plastic that would take 1,000 years to decompose.
Remanufactured cartridges should be handled with care:
• Do not touch the print head with any type of material that could scratch
• Use extreme care when installing the cartridges in the printer
• Do not let the print head contact any surface other than the printer
• Do not try to print with an empty ink cartridge, it may cause damage to your printer
Troubleshooting Common Problems During Setup
Because each remanufactured cartridge can fit many different printers, it is sometimes impossible to list every printer a cartridge is compatible with.
Some cartridges may be shipped with protective “clips” along the sides of a cartridge protecting the cartridge during shipment. This “clip” will make a cartridge appear bigger. Please be sure to carefully remove the “clip,” any “tape” covering the print head, and any plastic tabs sealing the ink reservoir of inkjet cartridges, before installing.
There are several possible reasons a printer may not recognize a newly- installed, remanufactured cartridge.
• Protective clips, tape, or tabs are still in place. Please remove all clips, tape, and tabs from the cartridge before installing.
• Printer needs to be reset. Turn the printer off for five minutes and then turn the printer on. If this does not work, remove all the ink cartridges and try again. If you are installing more than one cartridge, be sure to only install one cartridge until the printer recognizes it, and then continue installing the next one.
• Contacts on the cartridge may be dirty. Gently clean the contacts on the cartridge with a cotton swab and a drop of alcohol, or general purpose cleaner, in a circular motion. Once it dries, re-insert cartridge in the printer and begin installation.
• Inaccurate ink sensor. The sensor may incorrectly read the ink level preventing the cartridge from being installed. Begin resetting the printer: (1) remove ALL cartridges or toner, (2) turn the printer off, (3) unplug the printer and wait 5 minutes, (4) plug the printer back in, (5) turn the printer on, and (6) install the cartridges, one at a time, or the toner.
Be sure all shipping tape has been removed from cartridges and toners. Begin resetting the printer: (1) remove ALL cartridges or toner, (2) turn the printer off, (3) unplug the printer and wait 5 minutes, (4) plug the printer back in, (5) turn the printer on, and (6) install the cartridges, one at a time, or the toner. Some OEM companies may have software that prohibits remanufactured cartridges from reading the correct ink level. If the printer still prints, disregard the low ink level indicator. This is another strategy of the OEM company to stifle the remanufacturing industry.
Be sure all the shipping tape has been removed. Proceed by performing the “Cleaning Print Head” function under printer maintenance to ensure no air bubbles formed around the print head. Run a test print. If the ink still does not show, leave the cartridge in the printer for one hour releasing any air bubbles inside the cartridge. Run another test print. If this does not work, the cartridge may be faulty and will need to be replaced.
Many companies use “advertisements” stating remanufactures/compatible cartridges will cause damage in order to get customers to only purchase OEM cartridges. This advertisement can be turned off so it does not appear with every new installation.
Troubleshooting Common Problems After Setup
If the cartridge originally functioned but no longer prints and ink is still in the reservoir, it is likely the problem is caused by a clogged jet. Perform the “Clean Print Head” function under printer maintenance. This may need to be done more than once to fully dissolve the clog.
Some printers have been pre-set to the amount of pages to print before requiring the cartridge to be changed and the page counter may not have reset during installation. This will cause a warning to appear before the ink is out. To fix this you will need to restart the printer and re-install the cartridges by: (1) remove the cartridge triggering the warning, (2) turn the printer off, (3) wait five minutes, (4) turn the printer on, and (6) return the cartridge to the appropriate spot in the printer. This process should reset the page counter. If it does not work, you will need to bypass the warning.
Run the “Clean Print Head” function under printer maintenance. This may need to be done more than once depending on how much ink has dried. To keep this from occurring again, be sure to print using both the black and color cartridges at least once a week.
This is probably caused by a clogged print head. Run the “Clean Print Head” function under printer maintenance. Print a test page. If the print is still coming out too light or spotty, run the “Clean Print Head” function again. Print a test page again.
This is probably caused by a small clog in the print head. Run the “Clean Print Head” function under printer maintenance. Print a test page. If problem is not fixed, remove the cartridge and dab the print head with a damp paper towel.
If you are using a toner, remove the toner and gently shake it from side to side. This should mix the toner inside and level it within the reservoir. Run a test print.
If you have followed the trouble shooting guidelines and the prints continue to come out too light and/or streaky, the cartridge will need to be replaced.