Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Great Printer Mystery

I’ve been an HP printer fan for a long time. My wife has one hooked up to her computer. I like them for the ease in refilling the print cartridges. Typically I could refill a cartridge three, four, sometimes more times before the quality of the printing degraded.  But a few years back, I saw a great price on an Epson Workforce 520. Only $49.99.  I was looking for a printer for my computer. This one was a 3-in-1. Did everything. Even faxed, which was great if I had a telephone like to hook to it.  So I bought it.

I soon learned the print cartridges were trickier than my wife’s HP to fill, if not darn right impossible. To buy new cartridges would cost a fortune.  First I’d need a dual pack of black as the printer needs two. That costs $31.45. And I’d need the color pack which costs $35.49. For a whopping $66.99, which is $15 more than I paid for the machine, I could replace the entire set of five cartridges or throw away the printer and start over.

I opted for plan B and bought refillable ink cartridges for $33.95 and the ink for $49.95 for a grand total of $83.90.  A bit of an investment, but considering how many times I can refill the cartridges, this can pay for itself in no time.  I have been using this plan for about two years, until a month ago when suddenly the printer no longer recognizes the yellow cartridge. Now the printer refuses to print anything, even only with blank ink. Very clever!

I am not sure how a cartridge that has been in service suddenly goes bad after two years. I tried all the tricks. Cleaning contacts. Removing and reseating the cartridge. Power down and force a complete reset. Nada.  It’s not coming back from the dead.

I have an email in to Ink Owl and see what they think. Maybe I can buy just a yellow cartridges. Hey! Perhaps this thing has a lifetime warranty…probably not. I am considering scrapping the whole plan and buying third party cartridges, (IF Epson is the first party, who’s number 2?) while hoping the printer is not the fault.  Or go to plan C?

What’s a good Cannon printer model?

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