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by Izzy Goodman
Note: The solutions offered here assume you are using our compatible Epson ink cartridges or genuine Epson cartridges. If you are using another brand, there may actually be a compatibility issue. Periodically, Epson changes the way their printers access the chip on the cartridge. Depending on the manufacture date of the printer or the date of the last firmware upgrade, a cartridge may or may not work.
Why do ours work better than most compatibles?
A lot of time passes from when the manufacturer perfects and tests their chips, makes the cartridge, ships to the master wholesaler who ships to the smaller distributor who ships to the dealer. By the time the customer gets it months later, Epson may have changed the programming on their new printer or released another firmware upgrade and the older chip used in the cartridge is no longer compatible. We have found a way to cut that lag time considerably so you get the latest chip with your cartridges. Our manufacturer makes the chips as the final stage of the process, to ensure that the latest design has been incorporated. We get these cartridges direct from the manufacturer. They reach us within weeks of manufacture - not months like some other dealers. Cartridges purchased off ebay and Amazon are something of a hit-or-miss proposition. Some of the sellers buy out the unsold stock of dealers - cartridges which are being dumped because they contain older chips which don't work in the newer printers. Some even sell refilled and remanufactured cartridges. Using these is the best way to destroy your printer. Read our article on refilling Epson cartridges.
There are several reasons for this problem. First, now that Epson has a near-monopoly on ink cartridges, they have drastically reduced the amount of ink supplied. It used to be about 20ml. Now it's as little as 7ml. If you don't grasp how little 7 ml is, it's 7/1000ths of a liter. It takes over 130 of these to make a liter and about 500 to make a gallon. Yet Epson is charging $20 for this. This means printer ink is about $10,000 a gallon! And you thought gas was high!
So you can understand why it seems your new cartridges are running out of ink too quickly. Our standard cartridges give you about 50% more ink than Epson (and at a price about 75% less). Our reusable and refillable cartridges give you about DOUBLE the ink of a genuine Epson. However, Epson printers do not accurately measure the remaining ink and use an estimate. To prevent having the printer operate on an empty cartridge (which would damage the head), the printer errs on the side of caution and reports the cartridge empty when it still contains ink. The fault lies with the printer, not the cartridge. You can read this PC World article, How Much Ink Is Left In That Dead Cartridge?
When you run a printer head cleaning, it uses a signifcant amount of ink. Whenever you replace a cartridge, it automatically runs a cleaning on ALL the cartridges. So you should understand why a new cartridge can suddenly appear to have lost a good deal of ink. When you turn the printer on, it often runs a cleaning. That is why you should never turn your printer off. Printers don't use much power in idle mode and the electricity you save turning it off is less than the ink you lose turning it back on. Ink also has a tendency to coagulate. Otherwise, it would never dry on paper. If you don't print for several days, your print heads can get clogged by dry ink. So it's a good idea to leave the printer on. It forces out a minscule amount of ink every so often to prevent clogging. If you leave your printer idle, print a test page every few days just to keep the ink circulating and prevent your print heads from getting clogged.
Once the printer says a cartridge is completely out of ink, it is too late to solve the problem. The new cartridges manufactured after 2007 have chips which "self-destruct" when the cartridges report empty. They can not be reset by a chip resetter. This is done to prevent refilling, which is never a good idea. Our reusable and refillable cartridges use a completely redesigned chip which automatically resets to full.
Symptoms: 1) At random times, the printer will complain about a different cartridge not being recognized. You take it out and put it back in and it works. Then some time later the printer will complain about a different cartridge. 2) You print a photo and it looks good. You print another photo and it looks washed out, with some color missing.
The printer does not print directly from the cartridge. It prints from a small reservoir of ink which is replenished by the cartridge. What is happening here is the the printer is using the ink faster than the reservoir is being replenished. Photos can take a lot of ink. When the printer doesn't get enough ink, it often reports 'cartridge not recognized' instead of 'low ink.' Set your printer to the slowest setting. Turn off high speed (and bidirectional printing if your printer has this option). Photos will take longer to print but the quality will be much better.
Microsoft rushed out their Windows 10 operating system without making it clear that: 1) the first version (and even the second) of most Microsoft products has numerous problems. 2) drivers for devices such as printers must match the operating system. This means that many people discovered after upgrading that their printers no longer work or don't work properly. If this has happened to you, your options are to go to the manufacturer's site to see if they have released a windows 10 driver. If not, restore your previous operating system.