FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ISSUES
General Refilling Questions
Printer cartridges can be refilled multiple times without any significant loss in print quality. Typically HP cartridges can be refilled 5 – 6 times. Canon cartridges may be refilled 3 – 4 times.
If you take care of your cartridges and refill them when print quality starts to get streaky rather than allowing them to go completely dry, it will extend the life of the cartridges.
No, print quality is almost always either the same or better than original manufacturer cartridges. Additionally, we use only high quality inks that are very closely matched to the original manufacturer ink formulations. This assures that colour reproduction will be virtually identical or better.
With regard to resolution, in all printers, print resolution is controlled by the number of tiny mechanical nozzles located on the print-head. When a cartridge is refilled, only the ink is replaced therefore the mechanical printer resolution will not be changed.
The cost of refilling is usually 50% – 60% less than the cost of purchasing a new cartridge. For several cartridges, savings may be as high as 70% – 80% off the price of original store bought cartridges.
If you do not see your cartridge model listed on the pricing sheet, please call the InkStation location nearest you and we would be happy to check to see if your model can be refilled. Please note however that while we refill all major brands of cartridges, it may not be cost effective to refill a very small number of models.
No, just remove your cartridge from the printer as you would if you were replacing it with a new one. Be careful not to touch the electronic ribbon or printhead. Place your cartridge in a plastic bag and take it to the nearest INKstation location to be refilled.
The INKstation kiosk is computer controlled, allowing for most cartridges to professionally refilled in less than 5 minutes.
You may wait in-store for your cartridges to be refilled, however, sometimes store staff may be diverted from refilling in order to assist other customers or to answer the phone. Typically, it can be easier if you drop off you cartridges and pick them up in less than an hour or later in the day.
If your cartridge is not printing and you have not used your printer for several weeks, it is possible that the cartridge may be dried out. Printer ink formulations allow for quick drying and for this reason, ink jet cartridges can become dry over extended periods if not used. If you are unsure, bring your cartridge to the nearest INKstation location and store staff can quickly test the cartridge and determine if it can be refilled.
No, toner or laser cartridges can only safely be refilled in an industrial setting with proper ventilation to capture toner particles. Only inkjet cartridges are refilled at INKstation locations.
Cartridge Installation Tips
- Remove the plastic refill transport clip from the cartridge if it has been placed on your cartridge to protect the printhead and prevent drying out.
- Open the cartridge replacement door on the printer as required.
- Typically the printer cartridge carriage will align for easy access.
- Replace the cartridge in the appropriate slot in the carriage / Black or Colour.
- Make sure the cartridge is seated properly.
- Close the cartridge replacement access door.
Assure that the cartridge printhead is facing downward when holding, storing, or transporting your cartridge. This will maintain the flow of ink toward the printhead. If the cartridge is transported with the printhead facing up, ink will migrate away from the printhead and the cartridge will will not print until reprimed.
As noted in your cartridge installation instruction sheet, it is always a good practice to run a printhead cleaning cycle after reinstalling a refilled cartridge. This can help to assure that the cartridge is fully primed and will draw ink uniformly across the printhead. Performing too many cleaning cycles however, is not recommended as your cartridge may be prematurely depleted of ink.
If you are not sure how to complete a cartridge printhead cleaning cycle, refer to your printer manual for the correct procedure.
After your cartridge has been refilled you will be provided with a Cartridge Installation Instructions sheet for the particular model refilled. It is important to read and follow the instructions prior to installing your refilled cartridge. Additional cartridge care and troubleshooting information is provided on the back of this sheet.
Cartridge Care Tips
Avoid touching the electronic film or electrical contacts on the cartridge as this can damage the electronics and lead to printing errors. Similarly, touching the cartridge printhead should also be avoided.
After removing the cartridge from the printer for refilling you may reuse the plastic transport clip which protects both the electronics and printhead. If a clip is unavailable carefully place the cartridge in a plastic bag for transport. After the cartridge has been refilled the store will provide a transport clip.
NEVER use adhesive tape to try to protect the printhead and electronics during transport, as the adhesive can clog the tiny print nozzles and impede printing.
Printing frequently will assure that the ink at the cartridge printhead does not dry out. Printing at least every 1 -2 weeks is recommended. If extended periods of time pass between print functions, ink can harden in the nozzles and the cartridge will appear to malfunction or be empty as the flow of ink will be impeded. If this occurs, remove the cartridge and place on a damp paper towel for several minutes. Often this will soften the clogged ink and allow printing to resume.
Never allow your cartridges to be removed from the printer for extended periods without covering the printhead or the cartridge will dry out. After removing your cartridges from the printer affix the plastic transport clip provided when the cartridge was refilled.
Solutions to Common Printing Issues
- Assure that the plastic transport clip was removed from the cartridge prior to placing the cartridge back in the printer.
- Assure that the correct colour cartridge is inserted into each printer slot.
- Often cartridges must be snapped into place. Assure that cartridges are inserted and snapped in place correctly. Refer to the printer manual for ink cartridge installation.
If your printouts were previously not streaky and start to become streaky, this may be an indication that the ink is starting to deplete and the cartridge should be refilled again. If you experience streaks through your printouts soon after the cartridge was refilled with minimal prints completed, try completing a cartridge printhead cleaning cycle to help to re-prime the cartridge. Alternatively, remove the cartridge and place on a damp paper towel until you notice the ink starts to wick into the towel. Replace and initiate printing. If the above does not rectify the issue, bring the cartridge back to the INKstation location and store staff will top up and refill the cartridge free of charge.
Typically, if there is a problem with blurry print or text that appears to have a shadow this is a mechanical alignment issue with the printer. It is possible that when removing or replacing the cartridges that the carriage was slightly nudged off-line. Simply run a printer alignment function to remedy this problem. Refer to your printer manual for instructions on how to complete an alignment.
For some cartridges that have low ink volumes, it is often a good idea to allow the cartridge to sit for a few hours in the printer, or overnight. This allows time for all of the ink to flow down to the printhead. Try printing.
If you require printing immediately, try placing the print cartridge on a damp paper towel for a few minutes until you notice ink starting to wick into the paper towel. Fequently this step will help to quickly draw the ink down to the printhead. Try printing. If the cartridge still does not print bring it back to the INKstation location where it was refilled.