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Old Feb 2, 2007, 1:58 AM   #1
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Ok the problem is over the past three years I have binned an Epson, a Lexmark and a HP printer all because I didnt print anything for a while, couldnt unblock the print heads and after tryuing everything to unblock the heads had to bin the printers. For over a year now Ive owned a pixma ip5200. I have gone stints where Ive printed nothing for 3-4 months, went to print and got flawless results. The problem now is Ive been getting low ink warnings about the last 3 prints that I performed, not large images. The cartridges are like I said original and for the last three times i pressed the button that forces the print anyway. After reading an eight page topic on this forum mainly to do with resetting/refilling the cartridges and the chip reset problem Im starting to get worried because my last print I forced through printed the magenta very light. Im worried after reading someone say that if air is forced through instead of ink the print heads could clog and be useless. This will be my first ink change. The ink started running low about 2 months ago.

Should I be worried. I plan on getting replacements cli-8's like I have at present although was considering the chromalife ones.

Any advice would be great, and hopefully piece of mind. I dont want to have to get another printer. This ones been great and hassle free.

Thanks
Tom

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Old Feb 2, 2007, 8:26 AM   #2
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I waited too long to refill ink in my color cartridge and the print head burned out from printing. As for the ink drying out print a page a month and you should have no probs.

The print heads are usually built into the ink cartridge so you shouldn't have to throw them out(bin?) if you change the ink.
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Old Feb 2, 2007, 10:06 AM   #3
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I tend to leave my printer (IP4200) on all the time. Like yourself, I don't really do a lot of printing, and leaving it on lets it do its own cleaning cycles when it feels the need, which is not very often. It might well be worth printing out a full colour test sheet every couple of weeks, just to keep things ticking over.

If your carts are like mine, with chips on, you can still re-fill them very easily. Just get a re-fill kit from somewhere like hobbicolors for about $18 / £9 inc delivery!
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Old Feb 2, 2007, 10:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys. I did actually make the effort to print when I really didnt need to just be sure but have found the printer great. Im just worrying if leaving ink that is running low and at least one color seems to have almost totally run out, does it mean that replacing this cartridge is a matter of urgency even if Im not planning on printing anything. The problem being it could be a month before I get the new cartridges. Im not at my house right now but I could have sworn my printer has heads seperate from the ink tanks. The inks have just a bit of circular sponge showing which clip into and align with the head which is seperate. Im pretty sure thats the way my printer works. Anway maybe Im unduly worrying its just when I saw somewone comment about forcing your printer to go through with the print when ink is low and the jets pushing air instead of ink causing the heads to dry quickly and clog. The magenta is definately very faint. Until I buy new ink shouldI leave the cartridge in? Take it out? Do anything else to safe guard against a head becoming clogged?

Thanks for the advice so far guys, much appreciated. I realise I shouldhave posted this in the ink/paper section. Oops!


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Old Feb 2, 2007, 10:52 AM   #5
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Yes you should be worried about running the printer with the magenta ink empty. Either refill or replace the empty cartridges. There is a lot of ink available in the sponge after you get a low ink warning, but you should refill or replace the cartridge at the first indication of weak color. Canon uses a thermal process that boils the ink out onto the paper and the heads can be damaged if you run it with no ink.

It is unusual to have problems with HP consumer printers clogging from non-use unless the power is removed before the heads dock. I had one in storage for a couple of years with the ink tanks installed and it still printed perfectly when I gave it away.

Epson and Canon are a different matter. I'm on my third Canon with two currently operational (S9000 and iP4300) and manage to keep them unclogged by running a nozzle check at least once a month if I haven't done any color printing. The nozzle check uses very little ink and exercises all of the heads. Grayscale printing also uses all of the colors for images but not for text on printers like the iP5200.

Maybe the iP4200 is different, but you can leave a S9000, iP4000 or iP4300 turned on for five years and it will never run a cleaning cycle if you don't print something. It will clean the color heads if you print a black only text page, and it will run a cleaning cycle if you turn it on after being plugged in but off for a while. My iP4000 was hooked up to a computer that had a processor failure. I left it turned on while I did all kinds of troubleshooting, but by the time I finally determined that the computer was toast the heads had clogged – about 3 months. I soaked them in both hot water and ammonia, but I couldn't get them cleared.


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Old Feb 2, 2007, 11:20 AM   #6
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Actually I could be mistaken about the heads on the HP. It did start banding when printing and no matter what I did it stayed that way. Ive had 2 epsons and for heads clogging I have to say the worst Ive come across. In saying that 4 printers doesnt make me an expert, but if I didnt print something quite regular with my epson, the banding started to appear fairly quickly. With my Canon at present I just didnt have the need to print anything for a good few months and had neglected to do some maintence prints. I was impressed to say the least when it printed perfectly after months of no use at all. Im just hoping that last print I did hasnt forced the heads into a quick drying out procedure as I just dont have the cash to replace the inks right now. In sayin that when i remove the cartridges and touch the sponge with my fingertips I get a pretty solid circle of colour. I really dont want to lose this printer. Its the best one Ive had by far. Any idead about the new cli-8 100 chromalife cartridges. I assume they are for all the CLI-8 pixma range and not just the newer pixmas as it was hard to find on google any comments of these new inks being used with the 5200. I know they are technically the same except the colour steadfastness and resistance to fading through ewxposure to light is much better, and when you consider on Amazon they are priced the same as the non chromalife ones I see no reason not to go for these type cartridges. As for refills forget it. I just make a hell of a mess, dont seal the cartridge airtight or something stupid and would end up having to replace the printer. Besides at around £4.70 per cartridge for orriginal Canons I think that justifies spending the extra over the generic ones although I know theres a massive saving to be had refilling your own. Im just too messy/disorganised to pull it off.
I also read something about the new chromalife cartridges recording the firing of the ink throughj the nozzles more accurate hence giving a more reliable display of current ink levels.


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