Types and Problems Associated with Epson Ink Cartridges

We’ve briefly looked at some of the common problems and questions regarding the installation and usage of ink cartridges, with specific attention to Epson ink cartridges to help you get back to printing as quickly as possible.

Should I buy a high-capacity ink cartridge?

Although more expensive than the normal Epson cartridges, this type of cartridge provides for more prints than the normal types that you can buy. Not all printers are able to handle these cartridges, so we suggest that you first check online if yours will. You will use it if you print large volumes every month.

I installed a refilled Epson ink cartridge, but the printer doesn’t recognise it – how do I solve the issue?

Epson printers often give the not recognised, non-genuine or replace ink cartridge error. If it is a refilled cartridge, you can return it to the store where you bought it if the problem is not solved, in order to have them re-programme the cartridge. If they have reprogrammed it in the past, then the problem can be with damage to the contact points. First, however, remove the cartridge from the printer and switch the printer off completely. Also remove it from the power socket in the wall. Leave it off for a few minutes and then switch it on to have the memory reset. Now carefully reinstall the cartridge after having checked if the chip on the cartridge isn’t perhaps damaged. People often leave the protective cover on. Remove if you have done so and reinstall. Use a lint-free damp cloth to clean the contact points and reinstall.

If you still get the not recognised or non-genuine cartridge error, you will need to bypass the printer control. To do this, press the OK button on the printer to ignore the alert. You can find the option when you scroll down if you have missed the initial alerting message.

Why do some cartridges state pigment and others dye-based?

Pigment and dye refer to the type of ink. Pigment is well suited for printing work where the ink has to stick to the printed surface, but a downside is that you have to compromise on the brightness of the print. With the dye type, the ink is absorbed by the print surface and although quality is good, the print normally fades when exposed to sunlight, and you often get bleeding – where the edges of the lettering are not sharp.

Why do I get streaks printed and don’t see some of the colours?

One or more of the ink cartridges may be empty or the nozzles may be dirty. To solve the problem of dirty nozzles, remove the cartridges and using a damp lint-free cloth or paper towel, wipe the nozzles clean. You can also leave the ink cartridges on a slightly damp paper towel for a minute, to have the ink start to flow. Gently shake the cartridges from side to side, and then reinstall. If the problem persists, it means one of the cartridges may be dry. Install one cartridge at a time and run the page test-print. This will help to identify which cartridge needs to be replaced. As an alternative, switch the printer on and go to the maintenance panel where you select the testing printing option, which will show which colour is empty.

If the cartridges all have ink and you have done the head cleaning twice, then you will need to flush the ports, as clogging may be the problem. To do this, remove the specific colour cartridge that gives a problem and put it on a paper towel. Slightly dampen the port with distilled water using an eyedropper. Reinstall the cartridge and conduct the test print after you did a head cleaning cycle. Only drop about one teaspoon of water onto the port with the eyedropper. You can repeat the process once or twice.

I always see single colour and tri-colour Epson ink cartridges – what’s the difference?

The tri-colour simply refers to a cartridge with three colours in one unit, which are usually cyan, magenta and yellow, whereas the single colour type has one colour per cartridge. The single colour type is always preferred because you only need to replace the colour that has run dry, instead of having to replace the entire cartridge because one colour is finished. The advantage of the tri-colour is that it makes it a bit cheaper to print many pages. With the single colour type you only have to replace the depleted one, but chances are that more than one colour becomes depleted at the same time, making it necessary to replace two or three cartridges at once.