How Long Will My Cartridge Last?          

Jetpak General Information & Ordering
Cartridges That Can Be Refilled With Jetpak      How Long Will My Cartridge Last?      
Who will refill my cartridge? Jetpak Warranty
Fixing Common Print Problems How Inkjet Cartridges Work
New and Recycled Inkjet Cartridges Printer and Typewriter Ribbons

To understand how long ink jet cartridges last, it is helpful to understand how ink jet cartridges work.

The heaters or resistors on most ink jet cartridges will continue to fire until they either burn out completely or weaken significantly. On average, that happens from the third to fifth time the cartridge is filled.

Tri-color cartridges have three ink chambers (cyan, magenta, & yellow). One chamber will run out before the others. If the cartridge is used after one chamber is empty, there will be no ink to cool that strip of jets and likely cause that strip of jets to fail. If this happens, the cartridge can't be recycled.

How many times a cartridge can be recycled varies from cartridge to cartridge. Up to 5% of all cartridges can't be recycled even once, and many cartridges can be recycled more than five times. In fact, the only thing that is predictable is that all ink jet cartridges will eventually wear out, and it probably won't happen at the same time your cartridge runs out of ink.

Since all ink jet cartridges will fail eventually, your dealer can't be expected to replace your cartridge when it wears out anymore than you would expect your car dealer to replace your car when it wears out. Jetpak will allow you to recycle another cartridge at no cost if your cartridge fails and it is not more than 75% used. See Jetpak warranty. So, even when your cartridge quits, you don't lose. The warranties on most ink jet cartridges have a time limit, both new and recycled, because ink jets can be harmed when removed from the printer for an extended time.

Once you decide to start recycling your ink jet cartridges, keep in mind you'll eventually have to buy new cartridges. Ink jet recycling doesn't mean you'll never have to buy a new cartridge. It just means you can save money for several cycles until your cartridge needs replacing. Each time you do recycle, you'll see those savings mount.

So what are the signs that your cartridge is getting worn out? Print characters may appear incomplete and fill on graphics will show areas with no-fill. If a jet in your cartridge is "burned out", you will see horizontal bands or white streaks in your print. A word of caution, these white streaks can also be caused by other problems, so don't assume your cartridge is gone when you see them. Some of the things that can cause the white streaks are fixable.

Another sign that your cartridge may be nearing it's useful life is the appearance of dramatically lighter than normal print. This can mean the heaters are weakened and putting less ink on the page. Again, this can be caused by other "fixable" problems.

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