HP Ink Cartridge Refill Problems


Refilling your HP ink cartridges not only saves you money, but also eliminates the hassle of visiting your local retail center or office supply store to purchase new cartridges. A refill kit can usually be purchased for much less than a new cartridge and it can be used a number of times. But problems may arise when refilling your HP ink cartridges, including streaks on printouts and leaking cartridges.

Filling Ink Cartridges Too Quickly

  • One problem with refilled HP ink cartridges is the failure to release ink. This is due to refilling the cartridge with ink too quickly and air getting caught in the sponge inside the cartridge. You must refill the ink cartridge slowly to push out any air. Also, inject the air from the bottom of the cartridge. This will force the air to the top of the cartridge. Then tap the side of the cartridge with your fingers for several minutes to push any remaining air bubbles to the top. Let the ink cartridge set overnight before installing.

Leaking Ink Cartridge

  • Another problem after refilling HP ink cartridges is leakage. If your cartridge is leaking, it is from not properly sealing the cartridge after refilling. HP ink cartridges are vacuum-retained and require an air-tight seal placed over the refill hole. If the seal is not present, ink will leak from the hole. To solve this problem, use a small screw, hot wax/glue or silicone rubber to seal the refill hole. Squeeze the cartridge before sealing to the set the vacuum first. You will notice some leakage until the vacuum is stabilized. If the cartridge continues to leak, wipe the surface clean, refill if needed and reseal.

Color Cartridge Problems

  • One problem associated with color HP ink cartridges is cross contamination. You may notice the colors are off or printing dirty. If refilling a color cartridge and you see a large amount of ink coming from the unit, stop refilling and seal the cartridge immediately. This cartridge could be overfilled and in turn cause leakage on to your paper when printing or the wrong colors to appear. You may have to let some of the ink flow out before sealing. The key is to watch the cartridge closely and not overfill it. Once reinstalled, print something containing that color to work out some of the ink and clear up the wrong colors.

Ink Cartridge Stops Printing on Long Horizontal Lines

  • This problem is related to the HP print head not getting enough ink, common among refilled HP 51645A cartridges. These specific cartridges are prone to foam generating at the exit filter just above the print head. The foam is mixed with air and causes the printer to stop printing and then start again. Usually this problem will pass when you refill the cartridge again. Shaking the ink cartridge to try and remove any air bubbles may help.

Ink Cartridge Prints With Streaks

  • Streaks printing and letters missing while using a refilled HP ink cartridge is a sign of a clogged print head. Use the HP's printer cleaning routine to solve this problem. It is located within the printer's software or via "Printers and Faxes" if you are using Windows. Click on "Start" then "Printers and Faxes." Right click on the HP printer icon and select "Properties" then look for a tab labeled "Maintenance" or similar wording. Run the cleanup routine and test the printer. If the problem is still present, soak the bottom of the ink cartridge for a few minutes in a mixture of water with 50 percent ammonia added. Dry with a paper towel. Install and test. If this fails, replace the cartridge with a new one.

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