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How to keep inkjet printer working
#1
Many people are throwing away their inkjet printers complaining printer stopped working or prints poorly.

I think the reputation is little undeserved and it's issue of ignorance. If someone wants a care-free printer, they should get a laser printer.

The trick is:

Inkjet printer needs to be used almost constantly

My business printers we keep using daily never dried up when keeping inked and in use. But when dried up, it is real pain or outright impossible to revive.

Inkjet printer needs to keep tubes primed and ink flowing. Even when sleeping, it occasionally wakes up and performs self maintenance, so do not remove it's cord from the socket. This self-maintenance causes ink to be wasted, however when printing, the ink flows and self-maintenance countdown is reset. If you store it improperly, or let the ink run out, printer will dry up.

Rule of thumb, print at least one full photo per week. Do your Test Print and if any dots are missing, do a cleaning. But if your printer is not working after 3rd clean, your print-head needs to be cleaned manually or printer needs to be re-primed (or time to buy new one).

Keep it primed

When you buy new inkjet printer, it comes pre-primed from factory, sealed in plastic bag, so there is very limited drying.

Even though the ink tubes are closed systems, there is more drying when unpacked, that's why I said above to test print at least once a week.

Even when printer claims the ink is low, there is usually plenty of it. You can fool the sensor with a small non-transparent sticker. Unfortunately you may not get second warning and when printer runs out of ink, it may be too late as the tubes became filled with air and may need to be re-primed.

Most printers today use non-integrated cartridges, which is basically just plastic tank with ink. Non-OEM re-manufactured ink cartridges cost 10x less than originals. Using them will not void your printer warranty as often claimed by manufacturers in order to sell you their own overpriced coloured water. I usually buy them off Ebay or Amazon and the cost for my Brother printers is around $2/ea and it makes it not worth dealing with refilling myself, however I keep some inks on hand in case I forget reorder, which happens.

You can refill even "non-refillable" container by the needle through the bottom outlet while opening/releasing the air vent (usually on top or top front), however some brands may prevent you in reusing the container this way via included chip (e.g. HP). Just make sure your cartridge is not damaged from the refill and leaking when set in the place.
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#2
Hi Roman, 
Great information in this post. I have an old Brother MFC that must be 7 years old. I picked a few up for friends and family and still have a small stock of ink. This printer owes me nothing; when it quits it will be taken apart and made into something else...maybe that is why it keeps going? The MFC sees all my other parts and pieces around the bench and it doesn't want to be re-purposed!
I also had a similar Brother MFC that needed to be cleaned and aligned . It  took a while, but it did align and is still working great.
Bob D
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