Can Compatible Cartridges Damage My Printer?

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The Same, but Different

There is concern over whether compatible cartridges can damage your printer. In fact there is very little that can go wrong with compatibles that can’t with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridge. Most compatible cartridges are manufactured according to the OEM specifications. This means that you can use them exactly the same way as OEM products. Because they are technically the same, the same precautions need to be taken when installing, storing or replacing the cartridge.

The Dangers of Printing

Some common faults are caused by incorrect use of the printer such as powering down your printer at the wall socket, leaving you printer off for weeks at a time, storing your used printer without cartridges inserted or incorrect installation of cartridges. All modern printers have a cleaning cycle option and this should be done after any lengthy storage or time without use. Possibly the most common problem is due to blocked ink heads, caused by ink drying inside the mechanism. Regardless as to whether you are using compatible or OEM products the same problems are possible and the method for fixing these issues should be carried out as per the manufactures instructions.

Ink Absorber Pads

Another issue (and again this goes for either compatible or OEM) is the waste ink absorber pads becoming full. These pads are built into your printer. Excess ink is directed into these pads to avoid it ending up messing up your print job. When the pad gets full the printer or your computer will display an error message and stop printing. Unfortunately the easiest option when this happens is to buy a new printer. This is not a manufacturing defect and is unlikely to be covered by your warranty. You could send your printer away to have the pads replaced, but the cost to do so would heavily outweigh the cost of a new printer. Alternatively you can try searching online for how to clean them yourself, however this is not recommended.

Better Safe Than Sorry

There are many suppliers of compatible ink cartridges and not all are the same. Before you buy you can check that your ink cartridges are manufactured to ISO-9001 standard. This is an internationally recognized organization of quality control and is used by both OEM and compatible cartridge manufactures. Also when buying online, most distributors will have a comments/feedback section of some description where you can view the results other people have been getting.