Lexmark Z615 Refill Ink - Spuds?

  GrahamP 18:03 30 Jan 06
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I've had two attempts at refilling my black N16 Lexmark cartridge using JR Universal refill ink.

Both times the cartridge has dried up within a day. The first time I followed instructions and left the hole open. The second (different cartridge) I covered it with some electricians tape. When it dried up the second time I put a pinhole in the tape and got it going again by printing some black pages with Microsoft Paint. A few hours later it had dried up again.

Can anyone recommend a make of refill ink for Lexmark Z615's. Any hints on getting this to work for more than a day would be welcome.

Thanks.

  Wak 18:16 30 Jan 06

Hi Lots of places (PCWorld, Wilkinson's) sell Jet-Tec ink refills which, according to the labelling is made for Lexmarks.
I've refilled my Lexmark refills for over three years and in that time have only purchased 2 new colour cartridges and have just purchased my fourth black cartridge.
I would suggest that you don't switch your printer on unless you are going to use it as this leaves the cartridges out in the open where they will dry up.
Also, refill them as soon as they start to run empty.

  GrahamP 19:04 30 Jan 06

Hi Wak,

Many thanks for your comments. I think the last time we communicated was a couple of years ago when I was repiring an old Canon.

Yes the first time for sure the cartridge had been dry for a couple of days. This time I caught it when it was still printing. I'm not convinced on your other point though. I'm pretty sure the Lexmark, like most inkjets, parks the cartridge cradle and seals the heads when not printing.

I'll definitely give the Jet-Tec refill a try.

  spuds 19:19 30 Jan 06

It would appear as though you are trying to re-fill 'old' cartridges. If you leave empty cartridges for any length of time, they get to the point that trying to refill them becomes unsatisfactory. Best to re-fill as soon as they show signs of becoming empty, this keeps the inner working moist.

Regarding the vent,you will find on an original or compatible cartridge the vent is usually taped over. Installing in the printer, then the tape is usually removed, otherwise the cartridge will not print.

You may also find that some re-fill procedures may cause an airlock, and this will lead to signs that the cartridge as dried up.On some cartridges you can insert a little air after you have put in the ink to the specified amounts. InkTec provide a venting device with their kits, or they use to do.

Any brand type refill ink, like JR or InkTec will do.

Was the cartridges that you filled, originals or compatibles, because this can make a slight difference.New originals will take more refills, because they were new to begin with. Compatibles may have only had one previous refill, and not knowing the manufacturers refill procedures can make a difference.Some refill companies, clean the old ink away before putting new ink as a replacement. Some manufacturers cut corners and can afford to perhaps sell cheaper.

  GrahamP 13:12 01 Feb 06

Thanks for replying Spuds.

Each time the cartridge was a new (and different) Lexmark original. In the first case it had been dry for some time so that could be the explanation. In the second case I refilled as soon as the print quality started to deteriorate but got the same results ie printed perfectly for a couple of hours (so the new ink was getting through) then dried out.

The hole in this case is the one that the JR instructions ask me to widen to accomodate the syringe. It's on top of the cartridge and not covered by the tape when new. The original hole is tiny. However after the refill it is syringe-sized. I'm guessing that leaving this open (JR's instructions again) allows it to dry out. So my theory was that sealing this with electricians tape and then making a pinhole should reproduce the original conditions.

The air-lock sounds interesting but I imagine if that were the case I wouldn't have been able to get it printing again by continually printing all black pages.

I will have another go when this one runs out but I'm still flummoxed. Any more thoughts would be welcome.

  Wak 14:52 01 Feb 06

Hi Graham, You could be right about the Lexmarks parking until actually printing but I seem to remember my old Canon leaving them out to dry.
Maybe some do and some don't?
However, the holes in the top of my carts are relatively large and don't appear to make any difference whether sealed over or not although over-filling can sometimes make them bleed slightly at the print head until the ink level drops a bit.
I always make sure that there is no air in the needle by bleeding a tiny drop from the needle on to a tissue and I always point the needle towards the rear of the cart away from the print head just in case. This way, any possible air bubble won't interfere with the ink flow.
Leaving the cart in the printer for 24 hours can sometimes clear the air lock.
The instructions from Choicestationery always recommended filling very slowly (15 to 20 seconds?) in order to give the air a chance to dissipate.
I guess it's all trial and error until you find out which method suits both you and your cartridges.

  GrahamP 21:50 01 Feb 06

Thanks again Wak,

I desperately needed to print again so I've put another brand new cartridge in. But I will buy another refill kit for the next time and try again.

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