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Protecting printer cartridges?

Protecting printer cartridges?

Old Jan 25, 11, 10:05 am
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Protecting printer cartridges?

I won't be home for three weeks and thus not using my printer. Is it necessary to protect my cartridges so they won't dry up and, if so, how should it be done?
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Old Jan 25, 11, 10:30 am
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Your printer will take care of the cleaning process, and since they have already been opened, they'll be better off in the printer than outside.

On your next print job, it'll just do a cleaning cycle to get them back to life.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Your printer will take care of the cleaning process, and since they have already been opened, they'll be better off in the printer than outside.

On your next print job, it'll just do a cleaning cycle to get them back to life.
Thanks, Scott.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 11:15 am
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It depends on the printer and the conditions in which it is stored. Epson is notorious for its printer heads clogging well beyond the capability of the cleaning cycle to restore them to working condition. Indeed, I just threw away an Epson Stylus 80 that hadn't been used for a few months and no amount of either manual cleaning or repeating the cleaning cycle would fix it.

If it's an Epson, I'd recommend put a moist towel underneath the print heads. If your home is dry, I'd also recommend wrapping the printer in plastic to keep the inside humidified.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 11:16 am
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It's an HP Officejet 4500 wireless.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 6:50 pm
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I had a HP printer that I bought about 4 years ago and I would use it during the school year then store it over the summers. I had no problems coming back to it after the summer, at worse the first page was a little dried out though then it bounced right back. 3 weeks should not be a problem IMHO. I finally got rid of it when I saw one of the new HP eprinters that works with iOS 4.0 was the same price, more or less, than replacing the ink in my old one.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 6:52 pm
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I think it may be OK as is. I have a HP Deskjet 955 (yes I know OLD!) and while I'm not sure if the technology of the cartridges are the same as your 4500, it can go weeks between printing and still print. (It may need a cleaning cycle at the beginning)
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Old Jan 25, 11, 8:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
It's an HP Officejet 4500 wireless.
I have no problems with my HP printer after staying dormant for a long period of time.

There should be a feature where you can clean the print cartridges if you wish. However, I think the actual need to do it is unlikely.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 10:30 pm
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For OP's 3 week trip, turn off the printer properly via the power button and maybe put on a cover to keep dust out. The printer needs to park the print head to protect it from drying ink. Unplugging the power cord or switching off the power strip while the printer is still on would be bad.

The biggest threat to inkjets is ink drying in the print head or the pipeline causing clogs. My rule with inkjets: Do not remove the cartridges except to replace them immediately. An empty cartridge installed will prevent the print head from drying out better than having no cartridge installed.

Laser printers are the opposite. It is recommended that the toner cartridge be removed and placed in original bag before moving or storing a laser printer. Toner spill in the printer will ruin the machine.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 11:17 pm
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Let the printer have it's power so it can clean them periodically.

I lost a Brother printer last year because I ignored it complaining about an empty cartridge when I wasn't using it. Oops--empty cartridge = can't clean that head.

For occasional use laser is much better, toner won't dry out like ink will. (And for frequent use laser is much cheaper. The only reason to even consider inkjet is photo printing.)
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Old Jan 26, 11, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
It's an HP Officejet 4500 wireless.
CarlaJ's (you met her in Boca) HP inkjet often goes three weeks with no use. Never a problem.
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