Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why Didn't Someone Tell Me?

I bought the Epson 4000 printer and carted it off to Mexico. I knew I'd need more inks for it so I have a box of 110 ml and 220 ml cartridges sitting on the shelf ready to be used. Over the weekend in the Yahoo group for the 4000, I found a file that included instructions on setting up and using the printer. Mine is set up and running but I flip through the PDF pages and suddenly something catches my eye....A HINT that says always have an extra waste ink tank available because when it is full, the printer will not operate until replaced. Why didn't someone tell me before I headed off to Mexico? It isn't like I can run over to Microcenter and pick one up. Yes I can still order it via the internet but now I'll have to wait longer and pay duty on it.

What can I do? At some point I'll have to have it. I get on the internet to look for the replacement. I go to several sites that sell Epson printers. I can find printers and papers but no reference for a waste ink tank. Finally I find it at the Epson store for $40, then finally at B&H but only by a specific word search. Same price. Since it is a needed consumable why is it so hard to find? Add shipping, duties and handling and I'm sure this "consumable" will cost $60. And what is sad about it, is that this tank is holding the very expensive Epson inks that have been "wasted" with start-ups and cleaning cycles. Now on top of the cost of the inks, I need to pay for an expensive tank to collect the "waste."

I'm complaining to my friend Chuck, who lives in San Miguel too. He also has a large format Epson printer, although not the 4000. He tells me that there is a way to over ride the printer software that stops the printer when it determines that the tank is full. At least this works on his wide format printer. In fact he says that the software stops the printer long before the tank is actually full so you can over ride the warning and continue with the same tank. In addition, he opens the used tank, throws out the pads, replaces them with tampons, closes it up and uses it again like new....no problems.

I may order one replacement tank, but when the old one comes out, I will definitely be checking it out to see if it is a candidate for tampon refurbishment.


Anonymous said...

I HATE those darn feminine hygiene commercials on TV and now this - yikes.

This is how great Mexican ingenuity is - necessity is the mother of invention ;-)

Hi Billie,
Calypso John

Tommy Williams said...

How much are you printing? I thought that it takes a while for those waste ink tanks to fill up, even at print-shop levels.

On my 2400, the waste ink tank isn't user replaceable, but at the rate I print it should be years before it needs to be replaced.

BillieS said...

Tommy, I'm printing quite a bit and soon I'll start printing for a show. However, I've been told that the software on the printer thinks that the air that is pushed out of the tubes on the initial charge of the system is INK, so it is showing about 60% full already. After I get past this initial replacement, I don't think I will have to do it very often...maybe once a year UNLESS I am plagued with clogged nozzles.