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Printer Ink Alerts Too Early

This may apply to you if you have a computer with a printer. Specifically a printer that warns you or "shows" you it is low or even out of ink. You should test how long you can use you printer before you are actually out of ink. Don't trust the program telling you about it. I have observed that the screen that pops up to tell me I am out of ink and offers to let me order more ink online has been misguiding. I have ignored this little screen for over a month now. I still am able to print. I print almost daily. The printer HAS NOT run out of ink. The printing has not even faded.


My printer has 2 cartridges - one color and one black. The color cartridge ran out almost two months ago and I am just starting to see some fading. Black is still going strong (which is what I print most of the time) and the "gauge" for the cartridge has told me it is empty for at least a month now, if not five weeks.

And just as an aside, if you need a printer or plan to replace a printer you have, make sure you get a printer that has multiple cartridges for color and black (some times they have three colors and a black). These printer are more cost effective because they do not mix of colors to make black. Printers that use one cartridge for everything run out faster and are, therefore, more costly.

By suntydt from Tazewell, TN

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February 2, 20110 found this helpful

Suntydt, I have found exactly the same thing. My cartridge just keeps plugging along, long after it claims it is empty.

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February 2, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Suntydt. I also do this and am so glad you are sharing here with others who probably don't know this! I will mention one thing here about when printing black that only black ink is used. I have a 4 cartridge printer (3 color/1 black) and, even when printing black only documents, the printer also uses yellow. Just thought I would mention that it most likely depends on the brand and model of printer you have :-) Thumbs up!

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February 2, 20110 found this helpful

My printer will not work if one of the four colors is out or low. I believe there are some that will work just on the black if one of the colors are out. I should have stock in printer cartridges. You buy a printer for say $129 and the price of two sets of cartridges about equals or exceeds the cost of the original printer! What a scam!

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February 3, 20110 found this helpful

I'd like to also add, if you print general documents for home use, you should check your printer settings to make sure that the printing default is not set to 600dpi or best quality, that is a waste of ink. I too ignore the 'low ink' alerts; that's just your printer's way of saying "Buy, Buy, Buy" [don't they realize that purchasing OEM ink over the internet via discount sources is way cheaper than buying from 'their store'?]

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February 3, 20110 found this helpful

The ink problem is one big reason I opted for a toner printer. I just don't do enough printing to keep the cartridge from drying out. Also, I've had this toner cartridge going on four years. I think it's set to "best quality," but don't quote me on that. I think it started to fade out a little a few months back. I removed the toner cartridge and gave it a good shake before replacing it. Voila! Good as ever.


I use a Brother MFC 7220 model printer. Almost four years ago it cost $199. I think the cartridge would be between $70-80, but since I haven't had to buy one yet, I don't suppose you can quote me on that, either. In short... if you rarely print, opt for a toner printer over ink.

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