Can an Ink Cartridge explode in your printer?

Here at Ink & Toner Solutions we hear this all the time: “my inkjet cartridge exploded in my printer and there’s ink all over the place!”

Can an inkjet cartridge “explode in a printer”? The simple answer is No. Period. It’s just not possible. Let’s start with the way a print head is built:

A print head is the part of a printer that actually deposits the ink on to the paper.  In some printer models the print head is integrated as part of the ink cartridge, on others, the cartridges sit inside the print head as a separate unit and feed ink to it. So let’s take the integrated print head style cartridge. Most of them have a sponge inside to hold the ink, there are a few that have a foil bag inside that holds the ink like the HP #15 and #45 black ink cartridges. None of these cartridges have any kind of internal pressure that would cause them to “explode”.

So how does ink “leak out” of the cartridge? Let’s first start with the guy that doesn’t know what he is doing and attempts to refill one of these. He may go online, buy a universal ink because it’s the best price around, finds some seemingly easy instructions online and goes ahead and starts filling. Takes out the needle that came with the ink refilling kit and pumps in enough ink to kill a horse, ink spills out the top, he wipes it up and figures he’s good to go. Now if that universal ink does not have the right viscosity for the cartridge he is filling, well it might very well leak out the print head because it’s too thin. Explode? No, but you will get ink all over the place. If the ink is too thick, no ink will come out and you have the opposite problem, you don’t get ink leaking all over the place, you just don’t get any ink at all, on the paper or anywhere else. This can happen with any product using so-called “universal” inks, from drug-store ink refill services, to those home kits.

The last thing that could happen if you see ink leaking out of your printer is that many manufactures put this little sponge at the bottom of the printer that sits under where the inkjet cartridges park themselves in the position where you can take them out. Have you ever heard your printer making all these cute little noises and you wonder what it’s doing? Well one of the things it’s doing is running a small mechanism under the ink jets that have rubber pads attached to it that wipes any excess ink off the bottom of the print head. Where do you think that excess ink goes? Yup, drips down onto that sponge set in the bottom of the printer. I have seen these sponges get so loaded with ink that after a while it actually spills out through the seams in the printer. This video clip will clearly show what I’m talking about. Of course when this happens and the person is using remanufactured ink jets they blame the after-market product, when in fact this has nothing to do with the cartridge but rather with the design of the printer and happens using the original or the remanufactured brand.

It’s like any other product, if you buy a well-made product that has been manufactured under stringent controls and tested to make sure it works the way it should, you won’t have any problems. Buy from a reputable dealer that stands behind what they sell and you will be fine. A proper dealer has inks that match up as close as possible to the original inks for each individual printer and cartridge type. Trust businesses who have devoted years into quality control and customer services. Have your brother or aunt fill your ink jets for you because they found this really cool refill kit and tells you they can refill your cartridges for next to nothing, and you can expect problems.

Check out Ink & Toner Solutions in Northampton, MA and see what quality really is and give us a call, we love to answer your questions about ink jets and toners.

Do you have a story about buying some really cheap ink or refill kit online that turned out to be less than perfect? Share it with us.

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One thought on “Can an Ink Cartridge explode in your printer?

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