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Epson is making you throw away your ink cartridges with 20% of the ink still in them.

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First time I've heard about this was today on the LTT channel and I thought I share it here.

It seems that the printers are reporting the ink cartridges empty despite of them still having about 20% ink left in them.
Bellevue Fine Art has contacted Epson about this issue "many times," even sending cartridges to the company for examination. So far, though, they have "always been ignored, or told that we were just wrong."
The company is hoping that the video demonstrating the issue, which has gathered some 500,000 views in the last few days, will finally get Epson to respond.


source:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015...ost-2500-for-a-set-are-still-20-percent-full/
 

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Unfortunately this is a common trick from printer manufacturers. HP and Canon do the same and it's how they sell the printers for cheap in the first place by overcharging for ink. It's not surrprising that Epson are not responding and hoping this company just go away.
 

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I've always been curious about this. I don't have an inkjet anywhere close to that big but the little cartridges my brother printer uses seems to be sucked pretty dry by the time we dispose it. I'm more concerned about toner because those containers are always opaque.
 

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I,ve known it for a long time, shaking apparently empty cartidges is all the proof you need.
The software wont even allow you to use the last bit in the cartridge thats what pisses me off the most.

I just buy cheap ink nowadays.
 
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but the little cartridges my brother printer uses seems to be sucked pretty dry by the time we dispose it
Yeah it seems the smaller ones work better but the smaller ones like the one I have only have a sponge inside of them. I just drilled a hole on top of it and filled them up my self (at least the black color) It worked for a couple of years but since I hardly use it anymore it has clogged up. Oh yeah I don't have a Epson I have a canon MP 210 printer
 

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I think the problem might be that these particular printers aren't capable of creating a vacuum inside the bag. If it could, there wouldn't be much ink left. They probably run out when the ink level falls below the intake. It's a poor, cheap design so the best solution is to simply stop buying the models that aren't equipped to better utilize ink. Epson will get the message when their sales plummet.

I really wish Underwriters Laboratories, Consumer Reports, or some other organization would test and rate printers for ink/toner cost/use. If consumers could easily see what printers cost the least per page, they would quickly become the best sellers.
 

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Well, Epson is making a product shift to cartridge-less printing.
They are now charging more for the printer and giving you tank printing and supplying enough ink for about a 2 years (depending on your printer usage).

EcoTank Supertank Printers

I am sure the others will follow this lead, if the sales go well.
I plan on trying one.
Just waiting for a good sale somewhere.

Edit:
A couple of decent reads:

First look: Epson Workforce ET-4550

Older article from 2013; however, it still applies:
The High Cost of Wasted Printer Ink
It’s pricey, yet tests show much of it may never hit the page
 
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That's ridiculously expensive just for tanks. XD

But yeah, I bet printer sales have declined sharply so they're trying a feature that should have been standard decades ago to lure some buyers in.
 

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got a HP All in one haven't printed a thing in the last 10 years just use it as a flatbed scanner
Its so old its not XP compatible with out software update
to Replace the ink cartridges in it would cost to much
in fact i could just buy two NEW cheap printers for the price HP want for replacement ink cartridges.
and then there is the dubious fact that they are chipped and if the printer thinks they are date expired they wont work even if they are FULL and a NEW Retail Purchase
If memory serves me this was a Reported Scandal a few years ago
People found out about this when using Refilled Replacments
 

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Epson has always been shit with ink, it is why I won't buy their printers. Their old home printers used to not even let you put in a used cartridge. If you put it in the printer, immediately pulled it out, even if you never even used it, never even made one print with it, the printer would reject the cartridge and not let you use it.

Now, most inkjet printers put the ink outlet from the cartridge on the bottom, obviously to get as much ink out of the cartridge as possible. However, with the 9900 they are using in the video, that is a special case. The ink output is on the side. So as FordGT90Concept put out, there will be a point where the printer just can't pick up any more ink from the cartridge, even with ink still in it. The printer use pressure to determine the amount of ink left in the cartridge. The more ink in the cartridge, the higher the ink level in the bag, the more pressure on the outlet. Once the pressure reaches 0, the ink level is at the level of the outlet, and the cartridge reads at out of ink.

Furthermore, this is a professional printer. It uses pumps to actually move the ink from the cartridge to the printer. You do not want these pumps running dry. I've had to set up printers like this, to prime and purge the system when it is dry takes forever. And worse case, if it was to run out during a print, if they just let it run constantly and suck all the ink possible, it is entirely possible to burn out one of those pumps.

This printer costs, roughly, $6,000. They are bitching about maybe $20-40 wasted in ink per cartridge that epson uses to make absolutely sure the printer doesn't die. Deal with it.
 
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This is a common problem that goes back many years. I note this 2008 PCWorld article (the video does not work) reports as much as 40% ink is left when the printer reports it is out. Note it also says aftermarket or third-party cartridges were worse than OEMs.

But I don't think it is an intentional "trick" by the printer makers to get us to buy more ink. I think it is just poor programming and inconsistencies in manufacturing of the cheap cartridges. Some printers get confused when you remove a cartridge that is not yet empty (perhaps to shake it to see if empty). Or the chip/sensor is bad.

The problem is there is a reason to not let the ink run out. If that stuff dries, it will ruin the heads. So there must be some liquid ink left to keep the pump primed, if you will.

I don't know how all printers behave today but on the last 2 HPs I've own, even though the control panel yells and warns of low, or out of ink conditions, the printer keeps printing. :) So I replace when I see the printouts are faded or missing colors, etc.

That was not the case many years ago when, as reported in that 2008 article, the printers refused to keep printing. :( And that was how my older HPs were too.
 

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Epson has always been shit with ink, it is why I won't buy their printers. Their old home printers used to not even let you put in a used cartridge. If you put it in the printer, immediately pulled it out, even if you never even used it, never even made one print with it, the printer would reject the cartridge and not let you use it.

Now, most inkjet printers put the ink outlet from the cartridge on the bottom, obviously to get as much ink out of the cartridge as possible. However, with the 9900 they are using in the video, that is a special case. The ink output is on the side. So as FordGT90Concept put out, there will be a point where the printer just can't pick up any more ink from the cartridge, even with ink still in it. The printer use pressure to determine the amount of ink left in the cartridge. The more ink in the cartridge, the higher the ink level in the bag, the more pressure on the outlet. Once the pressure reaches 0, the ink level is at the level of the outlet, and the cartridge reads at out of ink.

Furthermore, this is a professional printer. It uses pumps to actually move the ink from the cartridge to the printer. You do not want these pumps running dry. I've had to set up printers like this, to prime and purge the system when it is dry takes forever. And worse case, if it was to run out during a print, if they just let it run constantly and suck all the ink possible, it is entirely possible to burn out one of those pumps.

This printer costs, roughly, $6,000. They are bitching about maybe $20-40 wasted in ink per cartridge that epson uses to make absolutely sure the printer doesn't die. Deal with it.
Which begs the question why they aren't using self-priming pumps or a closed loop like Brother where it literally sucks it dry. I'm sure there is no solution for the printers at hand but I would certainly call it a design flaw.

Of my two printers currently, only the laser HL-2170W will flat out refuse to print if the toner is empty. The ink jet doesn't care.
 

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I have an HP laser P1102W it will refuse to print if the toner runs out. My epson inkjet however doesn't care and will print happily. The flip is that the HP lets me drop in $12 toner cartridges, my epson will not take after market ink. it just blinks red at me.
 

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Which begs the question why they aren't using self-priming pumps or a closed loop like Brother where it literally sucks it dry. I'm sure there is no solution for the printers at hand but I would certainly call it a design flaw.

Of my two printers currently, only the laser HL-2170W will flat out refuse to print if the toner is empty. The ink jet doesn't care.

Even a self priming pump will burn up if it runs too long without any fluid going through it.

I definitely agree, it is a design flaw on epson's side. But the video makes it sound like it is just a simple software fix in the way the ink level is read, and it likely isn't. It would require a major hardware change of the printer.
 
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Whats even funnier is you can often times buy a printer for the same cost as it's own ink. So you can literally just keep buying new printers every time you run out of ink. Really wish more attention would be brought to some of this waste. No one seems to bat an eye about e-waste and companies continue to make their products cheaper and cheaper, designing them to break down within 2yrs so you have to buy a new one.

I knew about the Epson ink problem before I got mine. It gave me a low tank warning when mine was about 20%. Then finally recently gave me a 2nd warning that it was almost out. Haven't taken it out to check but I don't think I got a whole lot of pages out of it. Course I was using only grayscale printing so I wouldn't sap the color ink dry as fast. Leveraged the black more.
 

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Whats even funnier is you can often times buy a printer for the same cost as it's own ink. So you can literally just keep buying new printers every time you run out of ink.

They've gotten smart about that, almost all printers come with starter cartridges that are only half full. Though there are plenty of people that still go out and just buy a new printer not realizing this.
 

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Cheapskates still use dot matrix printers and resoak the black ribbon in india ink

thats Ghetto and it works (only good for letters and ascnti artwork)

Nothing wrong with that................apart from the incessant noise :)
 

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Cheapskates still use dot matrix printers and resoak the black ribbon in india ink

thats Ghetto and it works (only good for letters and ascnti artwork)

Nothing wrong with that................apart from the incessant noise :)

I had a call to an office one with fax issues. I walked in and it was a step back to the 1980s. Probably 30 dot matrix printers, okidatas, and some lexmarks iirc. The belts had snapped so they were using twine to drive the shafts. the noise was almost unbearable.
 
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We throw the whole printer if something happens to the print head because usually the print head costs more than the printer. Ink is the least and yes they are doing it for decades.

From an environmental point of view, the companies that make printers are the worst.
 

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learn to open cartridges.... buy ink refill with syringe.... done.

I have just recently been doing this for my mom and it works well.
 

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learn to open cartridges.... buy ink refill with syringe.... done.

I have just recently been doing this for my mom and it works well.

We throw the whole printer if something happens to the print head because usually the print head costs more than the printer.

You all do realize we are talking about a $6,000 printer, right?

The cartridges cost $200 a piece, the generic refurbished ones are $90 each. And even then, I doubt they are about to void the warranty on their $6,000 printer by using refurbished or refilled cartridges...
 
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The printer use pressure to determine the amount of ink left in the cartridge. The more ink in the cartridge, the higher the ink level in the bag, the more pressure on the outlet. Once the pressure reaches 0, the ink level is at the level of the outlet, and the cartridge reads at out of ink.

On this particular printer maybe, but consumer grade printers use 'counter' chips to keep track of how much ink it has used. There was a class action against Epson a few years ago over how the chips were 'undercalibrated' and left significant amounts of ink in cartridges that the printer deemed empty. I noticed that subsequent cartridges that I bought after that settlement no longer sloshed when "empty" - so either they put less ink in them or raised the drop count that each chip allows. Now that Monoprice carries refilled high-capacity cartridges for it for $4 apiece I don't care anymore.

Furthermore, this is a professional printer. It uses pumps to actually move the ink from the cartridge to the printer. You do not want these pumps running dry. I've had to set up printers like this, to prime and purge the system when it is dry takes forever. And worse case, if it was to run out during a print, if they just let it run constantly and suck all the ink possible, it is entirely possible to burn out one of those pumps.

This printer costs, roughly, $6,000. They are bitching about maybe $20-40 wasted in ink per cartridge that epson uses to make absolutely sure the printer doesn't die. Deal with it.

I'm sure they could put a protection algorithm in the firmware that would shut off a pump if it ran for more than x seconds trying to prime. But to waste $500 worth of ink out of every $3,000 cartridge set (11 colors) is pretty ridiculous. If your company goes through two sets a month that's $10,000 a year in profit right there that you've just pissed away.

You all do realize we are talking about a $6,000 printer, right?

The cartridges cost $200 a piece, the generic refurbished ones are $90 each. And even then, I doubt they are about to void the warranty on their $6,000 printer by using refurbished or refilled cartridges...

The Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits that very situation. The manufacturer is not allowed to dictate that you only use a specific brand of consumable as a condition of warranty.
 
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Ink has always been expensive. I have a Canon Pixma MP470 printer scanner combo and its ink last me quite a long time.
 
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This issue has stopped me from buying a laser printer for my brother. Everything just counts pages, and then demands a new toner cartridge even if it's still half full. It's hard to figure out which printers have magic button sequences that reset the counter.
 
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