Inkjet printheads drying out: prevent or just buy a new printer?

By RobStow ยท 7 replies
Mar 12, 2017
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  1. I have an old Dell V105 printer that is adequate for my printing needs primarily because I don't print very much anymore. However, because I don't print much, when I do need to print the damned thing won't work because the print heads on the ink cartridges (1 black, 1 colour) have clogged up with dried ink. Thus it usually costs me $35 to buy new cartridges, print a few pages, ... and then the printer goes back to sitting unused for a month or more.

    I have tried removing the cartridges and putting them in plastic bags with all the air squeezed out. That works for a couple of weeks, but not a whole month. And when I do put the cartridges back in I can't just print my document ... I have to go through that annoying print a test page/check print head alignment routine that makes me want to throw my printer at the wall because sometimes I just don't have time for that crap. I kid you not when I say I have considered just putting the whole damned printer in a big plastic bag to try to stop the print heads from drying out but obviously there would be far to much air in the bag.

    If I could do without colour I would go with an laser printer because they can allegedly go unused for a few months and print my occasional documents ... but then I would need a second printer cluttering up the place for things like colour-coded blueprints, maps, etc. It would be nice to hear from someone other than a salesman that laserjet toner cartridges can indeed survive a month or more without drying up.

    Any tips on keeping my print heads from drying out or recommendations for a new inkjet printer that is more suitable for only occasional use?

    Afterthought: any ideas for a way to make my current or replacement printer automatically crank out a page of gibberish every few days just to keep a little fresh ink flowing through the print heads? I never remember to do this manually because printing is the least important part of my day/week/month ... until I need the damned thing to work.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    These are low cost devices and parts+repairs almost always exceed a purchase price - - just replace it.
  3. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,004   +656

    Color laser.
    Spykezxp likes this.
  4. Spykezxp

    Spykezxp TS Addict Posts: 294   +73

    I agree with Cycloid on this one. Get yourself a Color Laserjet printer. I bought one about 7 years ago and I have only replaced the cartridges once (and that was because I had bought the returned/refurbished model from the store for a discount). I only print a few pages but 2 to 3 times a year, and every time the prints come out perfect. The price range may be slightly more expensive then inkjet printers, but in the long run you will save money by not having to purchase as many cartridges.
  5. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    I'd phase it out as the cartridge costs are horrendous and getting compatibles may not be possible. Maybe you could once a week open Printer Properties and under Maintenance print off a test page just to keep it working. That's possible with printers that I've owned. You can use up your expensive ink cartridges while looking for a replacement printer more suited to your needs.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    and these are anything but cheap. certainly better quality and $/page compared to ink-jet
  7. RobStow

    RobStow TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 45   +9

    Thanks for all the replies so far, guys.

    True enough jobeard, but it's the cartridge costs that are killing me because they are drying out all the time. Replacing the printer doesn't do anything about that issue unless someone has put an inkjet printer on the market specifically for people like me who have long intervals between there printings.

    Something like that is always my intention after every cartridge replacement but I just never remember to do it and end up with more dried up print heads. I need a way to automate that so it doesn't matter if I remember or not.

    Cycloid Torus and a few others suggest a colour laser. I think that is the route I'm going to take - I'll see if I can find a good used one on Kijiji instead of buying new. As well, some of the computer vendors sell refurbished computers at good prices ... maybe they do the same with printers?
  8. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    "Something like that is always my intention after every cartridge replacement but I just never remember to do it and end up with more dried up print heads. I need a way to automate that so it doesn't matter if I remember or not."

    Sticky Post It notes! These are low tech and highly visible. You just need to plan the best position. Screen, Keyboard, printer, calendar or all of them maybe. :) Just get a routine started.

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