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Can My Cartridge Be Refilled?

New styles of inkjet cartridges are entering the market all the time, faster than anybody can keep up with. It takes time for the remanufacturers to collect empties and tool up to refill them. Sometimes it could take many months for remanufactured or generic cartridges to hit the market. Bulk inks need to be developed or reverse engineered. For this reason we don't always have refill kits or bulk ink or cartridges right away for new printers.

What's a person to do? You ask, "Can my new cartridge be refilled while I'm waiting for the after market to catch up?". Thankfully the answer is a resounding YES! If the manufacturer got ink inside that bugger you can bet you can too. "What about the inks?", you ask.

Many new cartridges are just re-hashes of the old ones with minor variations. While you're waiting you can experiment with your old
cartridges and try to refill them with the ink you already have. There are some guidelines to follow here though because I don't condone a one ink fits all solution.

Generally Lexmark and HP inks are interchangeable. Likewise, Canon and Epson can be interchanged. There might be some color variations
but you should be able to compensate in the driver set up. Pigmented ink should not be used in a dye based cartridge, however, dye based ink can be used in a pigmented cartridge. An Example is the Canon BCI-3e black cartridge which uses pigmented ink and BCI-6 which uses dye based ink. You can use the BCI-6 black in the BCI-3 but not visa-versa.

Finding the right place to drill a cartridge may take some trial and error. If you proceed logically you should get it the first time. For instance if a cartridge has two chambers, one with a sponge and one without, drill in the reservoir side, not the sponge side. In a multi-chamber cartridge with several colors drill over the place where you suspect the first color is and use a toothpick to sample the color. The chambers will usually have some kind of dimple or air hole directly over each chamber.

Start by injecting a small amount as a test, like 2cc or 3cc for color cartridges and 8cc - 10cc for black cartridges. You can add more if the
test is successful. Try to avoid overfilling the cartridge to avoid cross chamber contamination.

Take notes in case you kill the cartridge somehow. Your next attempt won't be possible until you buy another set of cartridges and use them up. If you're like me I won't remember what I did in a few weeks. (or days for that matterFeature Articles, that's scary!)

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Barry Shultz is the author of Atlascopy News, and President of Atlascopy, Inc. Atlascopy specialized in affordable alternatives to the high cost of printer supplies. Sign up for the Atlascopy Newsletter and get 10% coupons every week in your email.
Go to Atlascopy to save a bundle on your printer and refilling supplies.

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