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Old Mar 4, 2006, 11:10 AM   #1
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I have problem refilling ink cartridge for my Canon Pixma ip4000. Is there any site out there that showed detail and photo on how to refill the ip4000 cartridge? I'm using refilling kits from Print-Rite. I refill my cartridge like this:

1. I drill a hole on top of empty cartridge. (Not on top of the sponge, on the ink space).

2. I insert the needle and fill the ink very slowly. Drop by drop.

But it seems that there is unstoppable drop from the outlet.I try touse the needle to suck the ink inside cartridge, then put it back to the refill bottle.Then iinsert empty needle back into the hole again and i suck the air inside. This make the ink from the cotton came out filling the ink space.

I've seen my friend refill the cartridge from the outlet by inserting drop by drop until the cotton is full. This wont make the ink space full, only the cotton side.

I afraid the unstoppable drop because before this i use Canon BJC-210SP.After i refill the ink cartridge, i try to printa document. The ink spread on the paper! Then when i take out and look at the outlet, there is unstoppable leakage! (drop by drop).

My english is not too good but i have try my best to explain my prob. I hope somone can help me with this. I would appreciate if someone can show the instruction with real illustration. Thanks again and God bless.
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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To freninchrist,

I also refill the Canon ip4000---and I use a hobbicolor kit.

But quite a few sites have detailed instruction with photo's----you might try www.alotofthings.com
But the most people I know don't use a drop by drop method that might be great for some cartridges.
For Canon's using the BCI-3&6 cartridges its far more simple.

This is my basic method.---for a totally depleted OEM cartridge

1. You take an OEM cartridge that you have emptied by prior use--drill a hole into the original ink inlet
hole which is above the resevoir section of the cartridge. Now you must find some way to reseal that hole--its critical that it be resealed air tight--many use a stainless steel #6 self tapping pan head screw with a tight fitting O-ring.-----see numerous posts on the nifty stuff forums.

2. You cap the ink outlet hole---many use the original wing nut secured with rubber bands.

3. With the air vent above the sponge open---inject around 5ml of ink into the hole you made in the resevoir with the smaller BCI-6 colors--double that for the larger BCI-3ebk. At any rate of speed but not so fast the liquid ink foams. After some time---usually in less than a minute or so, the ink level in the resevoir will drop. And maybe totally empty. As the ink in the resevoir is absorbed into the sponge.---you are looking for the point at which the sponge is almost but not totally saturated with color---80-90%---with at least the top10% of the sponge showing uncolored white.---if the initial 5 ml did not do it inject another 1 ml of ink---if the initial 5 ml threatens to more than saturate the sponge--immediately place your thumb or a piece of scotch tape over the air vent above the sponge. And the air vent being sealed will prevent more ink from being absorbed into the sponge.

4. Once you have the air vent sealed and the sponge section 80-90 % saturated, fill the resevoir up to 80-90% full. Then simply seal the ink inlet hole with the screw and o-ring.-----place cartridge aside for later use with air vent up.

5. When the cartridge is to be used-----remove the tape above the air vent----remove the cap from the ink outlet hole. Examine cartridge from side view----no liquid ink should show in top 10% of sponge---at least top 10%
of ink resevoir should be air----no dripping should show from ink outlet hole after some light blotting with a kleenex or paper towel. A very slight squeeze should get ink dripping from ink outlet hole--and the dripping should persist for a few seconds and then stop within 10 seconds. Place cartridge in printer and run nozzle check. I am assuming at the cartridge examination stage you are over something that will prevent any squeezed out ink from making a mess.

The main dangers of refilling are either overfilling a cartridge----or having the hole you created over the ink resevoir and then sealed being defective in that it leaks some air--in which case ink will slowly drip from the cartridge from the ink outlet hole and into the printer. Its also better to refill when the resevoir reaches about 10-15 % empty rather than wait for low ink.

Rule of thumb----even when cartridge totally quits printing---3.5 ml of ink is still in sponge on BCI-6---and about 7 ml in larger text black--------so never inject more than 10.5 ml into a BCI-6 or more than 20 ml into the larger text black.---or you are sure to exceed OEM levels of 14ML and 27 ML respectively.

Also be aware that you can't fill a given cartridge an infinite number of times--six is a good guess max--sooner or later the sponge breaks down or develops feeding problems. Many buy empty blanks to replace the Canon OEM cartridges, These are available at a number of sites---but you might also check www.hobbicolors.com---they have them cheap and with an already created threaded hole easy refilling.------or they come with their refill kits.--sadly the hobbicolor web site isn't quite ready but just use the conatct us link
and ask your questions.----------you will likely be surpised how fast they get back with you.
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 7:59 PM   #3
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I've been refilling fornearly 3years using cartridge bodies and ink from InkJetGoodies, started off with an i550 and now onto an ip4000, ip6000D and an ip8500.

I've only had 1 problem with a cartridge leaking and I refill (on average) about every 3 weeks. The cartridges have small rubber plugs for the fill hole and clip on covers with neoprene seals for the bottom. High quality cartridge bodies, excellent ink and a pleasure to deal with, 100% recommended :-)

I have no connection with the company, I'mjust a very happy customer :-)
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 9:41 PM   #4
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Can't disagree with phaedra1106 who prefers rubber plugs--if I have a bias toward screws and O-rings its partly due to personal bias that I trust them more--its also worth noting some prefer hot melt glue and other methods
to seal the created ink inlet hole. Bottom line lesson is that many use variants and maybe no two refillers do it exactly the same. So checking a large number of posts and vendor websites is always better than just checking one.

But the other line is that, in my humble opinion, the Canon BCI-3&6 cartridge line are the easiest inkjet cartridges to refill. Its not rocket science or incantations, its just flat out easy.--and better yet saves you a pile of money.

The other disclaimer I liked about from phaedra1106 was the notice that there is no site affiliation motivating the post---something important---as these forums and other forums can rarely attract posters who attempt to steer some to a given web site.---although there is no acid test to detect these fake posters---when large numbers of diffreent satisfied users tout a given web site--and cite positives and negatives in regard to a given vendor those posts gain credability.-------but I would refer you again to the nifty stuff forums---another web site that is very ink jet refilling oriented. And covers vendors in perhaps more detail than this site. There are some bad vendors out there and to bolster phaedra1106's credability, I can't recall anything negative said about inkjetgoodies.

But when it comes to a vendor, you want great customer service, good prices, and lots of happy campers. Why buy a pig in the poke when so many great vendors have been reviewed and not found wanting.
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Old Mar 5, 2006, 11:51 AM   #5
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I started filling over 10 years ago with a Canon A610 I think it was. It was difficult – probably because I didn't know what I was doing. I filled HPs for quite a few years. The black HP tanks were actually easier than the current Canon tanks but the HP color was tricky. A hint on another board solved all my problems with the HP color though.

I've been filling Canons for about 3 years now and have had no problems. I am currently filling both a S9000 and iP4000. When I got the S9000, Inkjet Goodies ink was highly recommended over on dpreview and I bought a batch of their ink. I've since reverted back to my standard MIS ink and really see no difference between them – both are quite good.

On the iP4000, whenever I get a low ink warning for a color I pull all the small tanks and refill them. I don't use Osage's level of sophistication. I find that if I pull them immediately after a low ink warning I can just fill the tank, let them settle for a minute or so and top them off. I've never had internal leaking or any problems. I don't put a lot of pressure on the syringe, but I don't baby the ink in drop by drop either. I agree you just need a rate that avoids foaming.

Even with a rubber band the wing nut doesn't seem to seal the sponge outlet sufficiently. Many sites recommend electrical tape, but that isn't 100% either. I have some carpet tape that is very pliable and sticky without the backing and that seems to do a perfect job.

Someone from Australia who posted on this board for a while said he manufactured aftermarket inkjet ink. He recommended some polymer putty to seal the hole. The particular brand was hard to find in the US, but I found some stuff called Handi-Tak made by Super Glue that I think is the same thing. It works great and I have found a lot more uses for it.

I was planning to try the screw and o-ring with my next set of cartridges. I used something similar with the HP black cartridge and liked it. Either the putty or screw is superior to the tiny rubber balls IMO. I guess I shouldn't say that since I haven't used the screw and o-ring, but enough people are having success with it that I'm guessing it works fine. The little rubber balls are a nuisance.

I buy my black pigmented ink by the pint and have gone through several pints over the years. If you parlay that into savings you are probably talking well over a thousand dollars when combined with the colors. I like the MIS pigmented black better than the original Canon ink. But both Inkjet Goodies and MIS color fade a little faster displayed in bright light than the Canon ink does.

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Old Mar 5, 2006, 12:25 PM   #6
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For me, the really fun part is to cost out the savings. You start out with one of the Canon printers using the BCI-3&6 cartridge line. Which always costs out as the most economical printer when compared to any other printer using OEM cartridges.

I figure you can save up to around 7x over OEM using readily available third party prefilled Canon cartridges. For the refiller buying very high quality ink in bulk, I figure the savings as up to 45x over Canon OEM cartridges.

I don't print enough to buy in that kind of bulk, but I no longer worry about ink consumable costs------the paper costs more than the ink.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 10:35 PM   #7
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Here's how I have been filling my Canon BCI-3eBK(and others of this series) for years, now, without so much as a drop of leaked ink:

Step 1: Drill a hole in the bottom of the cartridge (reservoirside) to accommodate your filling syringe. Don't be afraid to drill a hole a bit larger than the syringe tip.Doing sowill help to expel air as you shoot in the ink, thus greatly reducing (or eliminating) bubbling.

Step 2: Fill with proper amount of ink for cartridge type.

Step 3: Add a few (maybe 1 - 2 CCs) of ink directly onto the sponge pad tore-moisten it, if needed. Take your time doing this, else you will spend time cleaning up overflowed ink - yuck!

Step 4: Use a rectangular piece of aluminum metal tape (sold in those large home center do-it-yourself stores -- you should find it in the plumbing department with the heat ducting) to cover the drill hole well.After wiping dry thefill hole, apply the tape over the hole and press it down. This tape has a great glue that holds incredibly well, and is easy to remove when you want to refill again, leaving no glue residue behind to remove.

Step 5: Replace the orange plastic sponge guard, then use a length of plastic wrap (like saran wrap, for instance) and wrap it very tightly around the entire girth of the cartridge, pulling it tight as you go around about three times. This will force the orange cap tightly onto the sponge, keeping it from drying out until you use it.

Step 6: Place refilled cartridge in a plastic zip-close-type of bag.

Filling like this, I can refill a cartridge very quickly.

I hope this helps.

.... just2me ...
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 7:40 PM   #8
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I have a much simpler way that easily and quickly refills the cartridges in my Pixma i6000:

Step 1 - Open the printer cover and make sure the carriage is in the cartridge-exchange position, then unplug the printer.

Step2 - This step is for the initial refill only. When the main reservoir ofa tank and most, but not all, of the sponge is empty, carefully removeit from the printer and place it on a protective blotter of some kind. A piece of paper is OK because at this point the tank won't leak much if at all. Drill a hole near the front edge of the top of thetank (between the edge and the label) and PUT THE TANK BACK IN THE PRINTER.

Step 3 - Repeat this processas needed for the other tanks.

Step 4 - With the tanks back in the printer, insert the appropriate syringe carefully into the hole and slowly refill the tank. You may have to go back and fill some of them again as the sponge in the second compartment will absorb ink. The clear ink tanks make it very easy to see when the tanks are full, stop filling when the ink is about 3/8 of an inch from the top.

Step 4 - Very carefully insert the rubber plugs from the refill kit into the holes you have drilled, close the cover and plug the printer back in.In the case of my i6000, the optical ink-detection system automatically resets, on other printers some manual re-setting in the software may be necessary.

Step 5 - For subsequent refills, removing the tanks isn't necessary. Simply repeat Step 1 , remove the appropriate plug, refill the cartridge and replace the plug, then turn the printer back on.No fuss, no muss.

I know this isn't on topic, but the information might be helpful.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 2:01 PM   #9
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Osage wrote:
But the other line is that, in my humble opinion, the Canon BCI-3&6 cartridge line are the easiest inkjet cartridges to refill. Its not rocket science or incantations, its just flat out easy.--and better yet saves you a pile of money...
What is the advantage of refilling over buying a ready-to-use non-OEM ink cartridge? An 8-oz (240 mL) blank ink refill costs about $30? A ready-to-use black ink cartridge (30 mL) costs $1.38. Eight pieces (for a total of 240 mL) of those ready-to-use blank ink cartridge cost only $11.04.

I like ready-to-use non-OEM black ink cartridges (I use BCI-3)! They're a lot cheaper than buying the refill kits plus I don't have to spend time unplugging, plugging, injecting empty cartridges although I do go through this ritual when I prepare my cleaning cartridges.

BTW, using cleaning cartridges (filled with dilute isopropyl R-OH or ethanol; water is also good but use distilled water) is a lot lot more efficient (faster too) than letting the print head stand on wet paper towels, soaking, or leaving under running water. This i550 I rescued (I can't believe how many people just chuck out their printers when the print quality goes bad!) had >100 missing lineswhen I did an initial nozzle check. Now, there's no line missing!
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 3:19 PM   #10
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The reason I refill over buying the cartridges already filled is for ink quality. The inks I trust charge a lot more than that for filled cartridges and it is cheaper to get good ink filling yourself.

I don't think you will necessarily encounter clogging problems with cheap ink, but the colors aren't usually as close. You have to use ink specifically for the printer or the colors shift more than I care to compensate for. You can't use ink for the new Canon printers in the older models, and I'm not that sure the cheap refillers are that fastidious about getting the specific ink. I would be especially reluctant to use cheap refill ink in my new chromalife based printer.

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