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How Printer Ink Cartridges Are Affected By Photo Printing Jobs

2011-09-04

Inkjet printers are easily compromised by the condition of the ink cartridges inside. Certain printing applications tend to cause wear to a machine more quickly than others; printing photos is one of those applications. Photo printing jobs are very demanding on the internal parts of a printer for several reasons. Here are three ways in which printer ink cartridges are affected by photo printing jobs.

Dry Print Heads Can Abrupt the Flow of Ink

Printing photos in an inkjet demands significantly more ink than printing text documents. The printer heads send ink to the paper and depend on proper ink flow, which might become hindered if ink dries on the printing heads. Photo printing contributes to ink drying on the head since photos require a significant amount of ink compared to printing text. Print heads can be located in the printer or on the cartridge itself, and printers with a built in head can be permanently damaged.

Low ink and failure to use the printer regularly can cause the ink to dry at the head and possibly damage the cartridges, or can cause low quality images when printing. Isopropyl alcohol can be used to clean ink that has dried on the head, by using a cotton swab to wipe the heads gently.

Built-in Cartridge Heads are Prone to Quicker Wear

Ink acts as a cooling solution within printers by protecting the print head's metal plate, which contains heating elements. Low or depleted ink contributes to premature wear of the heating element in thermal inkjets. Since photo printing demands such a large quantity of ink, the cartridges should be filled or immediately replaced when ink runs low. Failure to keep the ink levels relatively high will eventually cause damage to the cartridge heads due to overheating.

As many modern printers use disposable cartridges that have built in heads, replacing the printer ink cartridges replaces the heads as well. Many modern printers are equipped with an LCD panel that warns when the cartridge needs to be replaced. Older printers may need to be physically opened and inspected to check for low ink, while many begin to print with color inaccuracies as ink becomes scarce.

In summary, there are various ways to extend the life of printer inkjet cartridges when printing photos. Paying close attention to the amount of ink present in the printer will ensure the print heads wear normally and print accurately. Cleaning the ink that has dried on the heads will help to prevent premature head failure caused by excessive heat buildup. Lastly, the use of genuine ink cartridges will help to guarantee that the correct ink is being used every time.

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