Canon ink expiration date

Paloma

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Hi. I bought a Canon GI-190 BK bottle of ink for a Canon G2100 printer. This would be my first refilling.

1) EXPIRATION DATE

The sticker on the box says the expiration date is April 2020. So, according to this, it has already expired.

The seller told me that it was still working fine, but offered me to reimburse me the money. I told him that I took the product, but that I was going to ask.

So… is this expiration date meaningful?

I don’t use the printer too much, and I usually print in draft mode, so I want an ink that lasts a couple of years.

2) WHEN TO REFILL

Do I have to wait until the remaining ink is finished?

The remaining ink is just on the lower limit indicator.

Or are we supposed to mix the new ink with the old one, when we refill?

canon bottle.JPG
 

stratman

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The sticker on the box says the expiration date is April 2020.
This is probably a "sell by date", not an expiration date. It probably is fine, depending on how it was stored. However, since you have no idea, if you can return for full refund then do.

It looks like you peeled the sticker back to see what was underneath. What did you see?

It is an odd looking sticker. Have all your retail bottles come in packages with stickers on them? My Maxify cartridges have dates printed/etched on the package box itself, there is no sticker.

2) WHEN TO REFILL
Your manual for the printer explains what to do. Read both pages of the following link from your manual:

https://ugp01.c-ij.com/ij/webmanual/Manual/All/G2000 series/EN/BG/bg-ink.html

In a nutshell, when one of the inks has an ink level near the lower limit then you refill ALL the inks. After that you reset the ink level monitoring. Do not print when an ink level is below the lower limit. Do not reset ink level monitoring until all inks are refilled.
 

Paloma

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Hi @stratman

Thank you for your reply.

It is an expiration date. The seller told me that they put that label because Canon is compelled to do that, but that the expiration date “doesn’t mind”, but maybe he was lying.

Also, the seller told me that this bottle was part of an old stock (I don’t know when they received the bottle). And that they weren’t receiving them right now.

I accepted the bottle because I have already paid, the price was good, and it is true that it was not easy to get an original Canon in my city (that was last week, but this week I think there are available, a bit more expensive). But I can return it if I want.

There isn’t anything under the sticker!

Okay, so I have to mix the new ink with the old one.

In my case, I have to refill only the black one. I guess I can do that? There is still a lot of the color ones.
 

stratman

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In my case, I have to refill only the black one. I guess I can do that? There is still a lot of the color ones.
Canon does not advise that. Thoroughly read the link I posted as the two pages answer your questions (which I summarized in my post).

In the end, it is up to you if want proper ink level monitoring or not and whether you value your print head or not.
 

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@stratman

Thanks again.

Thank you for the recommendation. I read the links and I think I now understand. Though I don’t clearly understand how the automatic ink alarm works.

But the fact is I print much more in black and white, and most probably I use another, a second black bottle before the levels of color inks are close to the low limit.

So, I think I am going to refill just the black ink, and turn off the automatic alarm. Though, again, I don’t know how it works, and it is already turned off by the way. Probably it was turned off when it displayed the error some months ago, when the ink level was far from reaching the line, so I guess the system is far from perfect.
 

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Probably it was turned off when it displayed the error some months ago, when the ink level was far from reaching the line
The plot thickens but I have no idea what it entails.

Are you saying you cannot reset ink level monitoring? There are instructions in the link on how to do this, but you should refill ALL ink colors to their fill line before resetting monitoring.

You do not have to enable ink level monitoring. You can visually watch for ink as the level drops and refill at any time it appears, though this increases the risk of causing print head damage if you miss too low a level of ink and keep printing. Canon inkjet printer's nozzles heat up the ink and then spit it out onto the page. The print head relies on the ink to cool the nozzles at the same time. No ink results no cooling results in burned out nozzles.

If ink level monitoring IS to be enabled, meaning reset to all tanks being filled, then you have to refill ALL inks to their fill level at the same time before resetting monitoring. Otherwise you may run out of ink before the monitor warns and you could damage the print head.

In other words, ink level monitoring is probably determined by the printer tallying the number of sprays of ink based on a predetermined volume per spray. The system has no active monitoring of the level by volume in the storage tank.

BTW, there is a link to the error codes and what they mean in the Refilling Ink Tanks page. It's in the Note at the top. Can you recall the error code?
 

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@stratman

I just bought the black one and I think I am going to be okay with that. If I had the color bottles, I would fill all the tanks. But in my case that is not possible.

I just have one printer, at home. I print regularly, but not too much really. Printing is not out of control. I think I can use the printer responsibly, looking if the ink reaches the low limit.

About the expiration date, today I asked a couple of sellers who distribute Canon products. They told me that using the “expired” ink should’t cause any problems.

I think the bottles are air-tight sealed, aren’t they? Also, I read somewhere that “Canon inks don’t expire”, though I couldn’t confirm this.

So, I guess I will just use this bottle I already have.

Thank you!
 

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Inks can go bad over time, such as due to desiccation (thickened and potential clogs) or biological contaminants (bacteria, fungus). There is always the specter of color shift with old ink.

The general consensus is up to 2 years for inkjet ink, such as bulk ink opened but not completely used after first refill. Storage conditions and handling affect longevity - cool dry location away from sunlight with the lid securely fastened to prevent premature desiccation or introduction of biological contaminants.

A Canon tech once told me to use within two years from purchase of an ink cartridge. This was years before your printer was available, so longevity may be different for different ink formulations.

That said, I and at least one other on the forum have used inks older that 2 years old to good effect but do not recommend it as it is not best practices and can cause problems. YMMV.

If you can get a non-expired ink from the seller then do it. You paid for non-expired ink and should have it. If you cannot get reimbursed or swapped, Leave negative feedback for the seller for deceptive and bad business practices and then use it as long as you believe it to be appropriate look, viscosity and smell. If in doubt then throw it out. Cheaper to buy new ink then a new print head or printer. That's what I would do based on what you have posted.

Let us know how things go.

Happy printing!
 

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@stratman

I refilled the black tank with the “install before 4-2020” bottle and it works fine for the moment.

By the way, the tank was seemingly empty. I thought it was at the lower indicator, because the plastic is not so transparent, and there is a mark that confused me.

So, it is good to respect Canon's advice, but if for some reason you go a bit beyond the indicator, it is okay. The last days I just printed 5-10 pages documents, nothing too demanding for the head.
 

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Sounds like you are on your way. Good job.

I imagine Canon builds in a little headroom with the ink level which worked in your favor. Still, good to refill when the ink level gets near the fill line, or earlier if you are not use the automatic monitoring system.

Happy printing!
 
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