Today, we will be going over how to refill sublimation ink cartridges for converted Epson Workforce Printers. It’s super easy but I wanted to write this up and add in a few ink notes for those just starting out with converted Workforce printers. Recently, I ran into my first ink clog so I added some troubleshooting tips for ink cartridges and clog fixes!
Sublimation Ink – I’m using Cosmos Ink
10 mL Syringes – these came with my Cosmos Ink conversion kit
One thing that I really appreciate with Cosmos Ink, is that you can buy it by individual colors. You will probably use black faster than other colors and it is wasteful to buy all four colors when you only need one. If you buy the conversion kit, be sure to save your syringes for future refills! Also, the Workforce printers and EcoTank printers use different types of ink and are not interchangeable. Make sure to buy the proper ink for your printer!
How to Refill Sublimation Ink Cartridges
First, go to the printer and scroll all the way to the right for the Settings menu. Next, go down to the fourth option: Maintenance. In the Maintenance menu, select “Ink Cartridge(s) Replacement.” Lift the scanner lid and WAIT for the carriage to move and return to the right. Once it has stopped, pop the lid open and remove the cartridges.
Prep your syringes with their needles and set aside. I like to start with the black cartridge and work my way to the right. Remove the plug for the ink reservoir. Next, open the ink bottle and fill the syringe. Transfer the ink into the cartridge until it is full. Lastly, replace the plug and put back in the printer’s carriage. Make sure you fully seat the cartridge in and hear the click. Repeat for all of the colors.
Here is a view of which cartridge hole to use for filling vs the vent. After refilling the ink, make sure you put the plug back into the ink hole. Leave the vent hole open and do not plug. These vent holes also be used to prime the ink cartridges, but we’ll get to that in the troubleshooting ink clogs section down below.
Close the printer’s scanner lid and let it initialize the ink. Next, print a Print Head Nozzle Check sheet. This is found from the printer home screen: Settings -> Maintenance -> Print Head Nozzle Check. I print these on normal copy paper, not sublimation transfer paper. How does it look? My first one had a few missing chunks so I let the printer sit for a few minutes and then printed another nozzle check sheet. It looked normal on the second print. Don’t run a print head cleaning unless you really need to and this is not one of those times you should need to.
Rinse the syringes in water and lay out to dry. I mark mine with the color they were used with, but this isn’t necessary because they’re clean. I just like to minimize my contamination risk. Once dry, pack these away with the remaining ink for another refill day! Store your ink out of direct sunlight or in a dark area.
I just refilled the ink, why doesn’t the ink status show them as full?
Because these are 3rd party ink cartridges, the Epson printer will not accurately ready the ink levels. It’s important to try not to run the cartridges dry. I manually check them periodically and refill when they’re about 25% full. Do NOT rely on the printer to tell you when they are running low!
I removed the cartridge and now the printer won’t recognize it.
First, try the classic remove the cartridge and put it back in trick. Sometimes this needs to be done a few times. The 3rd party cartridges do not have Epson chips, which confuses the printer sometimes. You can purchase a chip resetter on Amazon. I haven’t had to use mine yet, but I have it ready on standby! I have also read that there is a chipless code floating around the interwebs that may tell the printer it doesn’t need the chip, but I have not verified…so use at your own risk.
One of my ink colors is not printing, what do I do?
I just ran into this for the first time this week! It was scary! I tried a print head cleaning or two and it did not help. After worrying the printer was broken, I worked up the courage to try priming the ink. I instantly felt silly for worrying about the printer. It was such an easy fix and my black was flowing again in under 5 minutes!
How to Prime an Ink Cartridge
To prime a color, go into the Ink Cartridge(s) Replacement menu, just like you’re replacing the cartridges. While it’s moving around, unplug the printer. This allows you to freely move the carriage without damaging the printer. Move it to the far right and remove the cover over the cartridges. It should pop out at its hinge point.
Next, fold a paper towel into thirds and lay it over the black area to the left of the cartridge. Slide the carriage over the paper towel. You should see paper towel on each side of the carriage, not bunched up under the carriage. Grab one of the clean, dry, refill syringes. Fill the syringe with air only. Put the end into the vent hole of the cartridge (leave the ink fill hole plugged). Slowly press down and hold for 5 seconds. Remove it without moving the plunger on the syringe. For a clogged color, you may have to press down most of the way on the plunger. For an only slightly clogged color, maybe about half a syringe (5mL).
This forces air through and breaks out the clog of dried ink. Ink will flow out of the cartridge and onto the paper towel. Slide the carriage back to the right and remove the paper towel. Next, pop the cover back on the carriage.
Run a Print Head Nozzle Check and see how it looks. You may need to repeat the priming. If there are only a few small sections missing, I would let the printer sit for 30 minutes or even overnight before running another one. Remember, purge pages are your friend as well. Try printing all, or just your problem color, before running a print head cleaning. Find the purge page downloads here. I admit, I ran a print head cleaning and immediately regretted it. Don’t be like me. Instead, learn from me.
How to Prevent Ink from Clogging
Run Print Head Nozzle Checks every couple of days to keep the ink from drying out. If you are planning to be out of town, check out this post for how to remotely prevent ink clogs.
I hope you found this guide to refill sublimation ink cartridges and troubleshooting clogs helpful! Good luck with your ink cartridges!
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