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Sponge degradation=ink leaking. Is this common?

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by Artur5, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Sep 6, 2018
    Artur5

    Artur5 Fan of Printing

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    Much has been talked about ink starvation due to dried ink in the sponge blocking the flow but, what about the contrary, sponge not able to retain ink ?
    I have experienced this issue three times and always with the black pigment (Canon OEM PGI-5 or BCI-3ebk cartridges). All of a sudden, black ink starts to leak and forms a small pool below the printhead, contaminating the other colors and even preventing black color being ejected into the paper, because there’s a layer of ink covering the black pigment nozzles. When this happens, you think that the refill plug is not making a good seal. You check it and looks perfectly fitted. In fact, the problem is that the sponge has lost the capacity of holding ink properly, for some reason,
    One easy way to find out is to remove refill plug and orange clip and let the ink drip from the outlet port. On a healthy cartridge, when the liquid chamber reaches empty, dripping stops almost at once, When the sponge is in bad shape, dripping continues steadily for some time until there’s practically no ink in there.
    Of course, with the plug installed, dripping isn’t so fast and it takes quite a while to form a droplet beneath the printhead. Therefore, the problem appears clearly when the printer has been idle for some hours. You print a nozzle check and the CMY colors are greyish, while the black lines may or may not appear, depending on the amount of ink covering the black nozzles. The problem is momentarily solved removing the carts and printhead, wiping carefully the bottom plate and reinstalling everything, Now the nozzle check is fine and you can print normally for a while. Let the machine sit idle some time and the issue reappears. As far as I can see, there’s no remedy for this and the cartridge is kaput.
    I wonder if some of you guys have experienced this issue too. I can’t recall reading about it, so maybe the problem resides in the black pigment ink that I currently use, Something in the formula degrading the sponge. Notwithstanding, it has happened only three times in a period of ten years aprox. Most of my black carts never had this problem and the ink hasn’t changed, so I don’t know what to think.
     
  2. Sep 6, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    I reckon you barking up the wrong tree, the sponge is the sponge and it does what a sponge does best and that’s hold ink, if it failed it will shrivel up half its size and become very noticeable.

    If you have a problem with ink leakage, then clearly there is something wrong with your setup, the refill hole is always the culprit in this situation, and the only exception to that rule is when the cartridge body itself starts to disintegrate when one or more of the sidewall welds fail.

    Your best option is to use another cartridge, because if it is the cartridge welds that are failing, then it’s a messy affair to find the location, one way is to seal the cartridge refill hole and the ink outlet tightly, then blow slowly, hard and constant into the air maze and the leak will make itself apparent.

    If you think it’s worth perusing, then go for it but one way or the other your going to need a cartridge replacement, failures rarely happen to OEM cartridges, but you’ve got to remember they were never meant to be refilled in the first place...
     
    stratman likes this.
  3. Sep 6, 2018
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    Besides The Hat's recommendations, especially the one to just get a new cartridge and be done, you can try flushing the cartridge to see if the restored sponge now retains and lets ink flow through properly. Also, instead of a silicone plug for the refill hole you could try hot glue. Of course, if there is a seam weld that has weakened, as The Hat suggested, then none of this will help.

    You say you are using Canon OEM cartridges for refilling. What ink are you using? It is possible that an ink with markedly different chemical properties than OEM ink may be more likely to leak. Doubtful this is the case, and may only occur in concert with a poorly functioning sponge, but it is a theoretical consideration nonetheless at this point.
     
    The Hat and PeterBJ like this.

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