To ink refill, or not ink refill.

A year ago or so, when I was still using an Epson color printer, I had a universal ink refill kit. I gave up after about 3 or 4 uses, because even though I would put tape on the bottom of the cartridge, ink would still leak out, and the tape didn’t hold it in.
My Mom has a newer printer, with the ink cartridges that have the, oh, I guess they would be called circuits, on the side. She had an ink refill kit, I filled up her cartridge, and it seemed to leak too. I’m under the opinion that ink refill cartridges are from the devil, but she recently told me that her cartridge only leaked because I filled it too full. Although I’m sure I only put as much in as the instructions called for.
Anyway, now I have a HP DeskJet 5550, a fairly nice printer. I’m almost out of black ink, and I’d hate to spend $30 on a new one. Other than looking for cartridges on eBay, I’m almost considering giving the ink refill kit another chance, but I want your opinions first. Are there people here who use them sucessfully, or have those of you who tried them also not liked the results?

I watched a show on TV a while ago that dealt with refurbished cartridges, which I assume are just professionally refilled and repackaged. The net result was that the refurbs printed almost half as much as the official cartridge, and the quality in general was less. They recommended purchasing the official cartridge.

I have a hp 3320 right now with no printer cartridge at the monent , so i am networking one. But when the i brought the empty to the local kiosk that refills them, the cartridge was a 3 color , and brought it home ,did the self cleaning three times and it was printing entirely in green or yellow depending.

I am thinking that hp is jigging their printer cartrideges , so as not to lose money on the replacements.


Listen to your mother. She’s right.

I alternate. New cartridge one time, next time refill, next time new cartridge. When impoverished I sometimes refill twice in a row but yes, the quality does decline. But alternating every other time does not result in noticeable quality loss.

Actually, I’m talking about the refill kits where you refill the cartridges yourself. And if I bought any off of eBay, or anything like that, chances are, just like with the Epson cartridges, they’d be generics instead of the actual name brand product, as opposed to refurbished.

I refill. There is nothing we use the printer for that requires photo-grade prints, so quality isn’t a concern. As long as we can read the words, we’re happy. I think this has more to do with the printer than the ink cartridge, anyway.

The only leaking I ever got was on refill, and even the directions said that it was to be expected. You’re mom is right, it’s from overfill.

Despite this minimal amount of ink loss, the refill kits are totally worth it. The hardest part is opening the cartridge the first time, so as not to ruin it. Once it’s opened, I use athletic tape, and it’s all good.

Good luck.

I refill the black cartridge on my HP 952. I don’t put in all the ink they recommend because I do think it overfills the cartridge. I would give it a shot because the black ink is pretty cheap.

I refill. Why not? Ink is too expensive, and what’s the risk?

If you refill your cartridges before they get completely empty, use the right ink, and don’t overfill the cartridges, you won’t have any problems.

I’ve been doing this for 4 years. I’ve had problems.

I’ve had cartridges that I let run dry. They never work well after that. I’ve also ruined a cart by using water-based ink from a universal refill kit.

You can mess up your printer a bit if you overfill the cart. I’ve had carts leak inside of our printer–once so bad that the sticky ink glued the internal bits together. Even that wasn’t a real problem. It took half an hour and a bottle of rubbing alcohol to get it working again.

I’ve never permanently destroyed a printer, though I wouldn’t complain much if I had. Printers are cheap–my last Lexmark was nearly free after rebate. It doesn’t take too many successful refills to offset the cost of a new printer.

If you are going to refill your own carts, don’t forget to buy some rubber gloves. I don’t think the ink is bad for you, but it’s not easy to wash off. I spent three days last year with blue and red stains all over my hands–looked like I’d mugged a smurf.

I have a HP & I got an ink ket in ebay, four bottles of 4oz ink, that should last forever. Had to knock the top of the cart off as its glued on.

I only refill my Black cartridge but always purchase new color ones.If you plan to use the print outs for anything but photo quality stuff you are better off using refills.
A word of caution though- its ok to refill HP cartridges because apparently the printer head is attached to the cartridge and if something goes wrong you can always buy a new cartridge effectively getting a new printer head. I was told this by a technician when I had gone with a friend to get his printer repaired. Incidently my friend had an Epson whose printer head is not attached to the cartridge and was damaged due to poor quality refilled ink. BTW printer heads make up about 80% of the cost of the printer :eek:

I got two kits for my HP printer, one black, one color. (well, it came with 2 black, actually) I decided to experiment since I got them off of Ebay for a total of less than $12 (including shipping!), and it would cost over $60 for new carts. Black worked great, but I never got the color one to work despite following all the troubleshooting advice it came with. So I think I’ll keep refilling the black, and eventually get around to buying a new color cart. These were kits for my printer model, not universal ones, by the way, so that might make a difference.

I just bought two printers. (Yeah, I could go BROKE saving so much money.) The first is a NEC superscript 870. It’s (gosh!) 7 years old and a laser printer. It’s on it’s second toner cartridge in 3900 pages. If the second one lasts as long as the first, It’s cost me 10 cents a page ($350 + $80 / 4200 pages). Not bad for something that never dries up.

The other printer is an HP photosmart 7350. I bought it because my Lexmark printer needed both inks, and I needed a 6-in-1 car reader, and this printer was cheaper than buying both seperately.

Typically, I need photo printing in spurts. I’ll run throug a cartridge around Xmas, or Easter, or when the grand parents are out, then won’t open the next set of inks until the next photo bingin season.

I’ll be seriously interested in refilling them when the second set of cartridges is needed.

Well, next time I run out of black ink, I might just try the refill kit then. For now, I bought a two pack of black ink cartridges, because I need a new one soon, and I was still too worried about refilling it. The black ink cartridges for a HP DeskJet 5550 are pretty inexpensive compared to other brands, $20, and the two pack is $35, or $5 less than buying two black cartridges. And since these cartridges seem to last a long time it’ll be a while till I have to have to face this dilemma again, but since there’s a good number of you who have no problems with the refill kits, I probably will give it a try when I run out again.
Also, as for my mothers cartridge, I forget what brand she has, but her cartridge was pretty similar to mine, but I didn’t take off the top, as that seemed almost impossible, but instead, there was an area where I poke a hole and filled in the ink from there.
Anyway, thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.