Installation & Troubleshooting

Installation Instructions

Here are some helpful tips to solve common problems when installing a new ink cartridge.

It is not possible to list every printer that the cartridge fits on the box and the compatible cartridges may look slightly different to the original cartridge. Keeping this in mind, if you are unsure that you have the correct cartridge, please contact us with your printer model and we can confirm that you do have the correct cartridge.

1. Keep your fingers away from the shiny metal chip as static from your fingers can damage the chip.

2. Remove any outer packaging, yellow tape and orange plastic caps from new ink cartridge. Some cartridges have a black plastic cover that protects the chip and ink outlet This must be unclipped and removed before installing the cartridge.

3. Change the cartridge immediately, never leave your printer without a cartridge. The ink thickens up if left exposed to the air. An empty cartridge in your printer is better than no cartridge at all.

4. Check ink cartridges are seated securely in place, press firmly to ensure they are locked in.

5. If you receive an error message “cartridge is incompatible or cannot be recognised” the most common problems are poor contact with the chip on the cartridge.

Take the cartridge out of the printer and rub the chip with a pencil rubber to remove any static and clean the contacts. Reinstall again and ensure the contact points on the cartridge and on the print, head are aligned.

If this does not work then try installing the cartridge with the PC switched off, then once the cartridge is installed simply switch the PC back on.

If the message still reappears, turn the printer off (physically unplug it for 3-5 minutes – do not just switch off) and then back on again. You may then get the warning asking if you want to continue using a non-original cartridge. Click Yes and carry on with the normal printing procedure.

These solutions solve over 95% of all reported problems when installing cartridges.

6. If printer prints unusual colours or blank lines or blank pages after installing a new cartridge, check that there are no empty cartridges and then run a clean cycle. The clean cycle is in the printer's setup or maintenance menu accessed on the printer itself. This will clean out any dried or thickened ink.

If your printer has not been used for some time you may have to repeat this procedure more than once and it is a good idea to leave the ink cartridge in the printer overnight with the printer turned off. The next day, run the cleaning process again. The dried ink will soften, making it easier for the printer to clean.

7. If your cartridge is not printing or printing poorly, it is possible that the cartridge is not getting air into it or you have an air bubble in the exit tube of your cartridge. Remember that the absence of ink is the same as an air bubble. This usually occurs after printing 1 or 2 good pages (A vacuum is being created in the cartridge as no air is getting into the cartridge and this can expand the air bubble, which blocks the flow of ink to the print head). You can confirm that this is the problem if the print head cleaning routine makes the problem worse.

To solve this problem check that the tape with pull on it has been removed completely from the breather hole and then let the printer sit without printing for several minutes, while tapping on the top of the cartridge. This may get the air bubble to move to the top of the cartridge, but it may not. If it does not, remove the cartridge and try again. If the problem persists, please contact us for a replacement cartridge.

8. If you have replaced more than one cartridge, try installing the old cartridges again and then install the new cartridges one at a time to identify which cartridge is causing the problem.

9. If you have any further trouble after following these steps, please contact us and we will replace any faulty cartridges as soon as possible.



--Consistent or Repeated Marks on Page

If you have evenly spaced marks, vertical lines or splotches that consistently appear on the same side of the page then generally your drum needs to be replaced. Ask yourself - how old is the drum? If you have printed more than 10,000 pages, then chances are the drum does need replacing. However, cleaning may help - the drum can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and a lint free cloth but take care not to touch it with your hands or exposing the drum to light for more than a few minutes. Wait 15 minutes to dry.

--Random black vertical lines

A dirty cartridge corona wire is the most likely cause of random black vertical lines. To solve this, clean the wire with the tools that came with your printer - usually a built in "tab" cleaner or a brush supplied. Check your printer manual. If the vertical lines do not go away, it is possible an electrical charge is jumping across the corona wires. The cartridge needs to be replaced.

--Variable Print Density

This is a common problem and is usually a sign that your toner cartridge is nearly empty. Replace the toner.

--Random Splotches

This means the printer is dirty and needs cleaning. Possibly the cartridge waste bin is overfilling and is dumping toner back onto the drum.

Problem Printing Graphics or Duplex (double sided)

If your laser printer is very slow printing graphics or doesn't print the final part of the page, the memory of your printer may be too low. The memory required for duplex printing is also much higher than usual.


--Horizontal Lines Appearing

For Epson Inkjet troubleshooting go to Troubleshooting Epson Inkjets.

If horizontal lines start appearing, especially over lines of text, the ink carriage may need to be cleaned. The carriage is the assembly into which the ink cartridges are mounted that moves from side to side. After much use, ink builds upon the bottom of this assembly and drags marks across the paper as it is printing, leaving streaks or lines across the paper.

To clean, move the carriage into the cartridge replacing position (on most printers this is achieved by simply lifting the cover). Remove the cartridge(s) and use cotton swabs with a mild cleaning solution to thoroughly wipe the bottom of the carriage frame, especially towards the rear of the printer, until no more ink is removed. Replace ink cartridges and close the cover.

--Printer acts like its printing but nothing is printing onto the Paper

If you have used the cartridge for some time, this usually means the cartridge is out of ink. If you have just refilled a cartridge, possibly the cartridge has not been equalised properly. Repeat the instructions that came with the refill.

Colours look strange. For example, some greens look yellow, reds look purple.

The cartridge has one or more of its colours running out of ink. Try a new cartridge.

--Nothing happens when trying to print

Check the printer is on and that the cable hasn't become disconnected. Another possibility is that the selection for colour vs grayscale is incorrect. Select File Print from your application and check the printer properties are set up according to the type of cartridge you are using.

--Shutting Off the Printer

Most models of inkjet printers clean and park the printhead after if prints and when it is turned off. This operation can be heard as the head moves to it's "parking spot" and often takes up to 20 seconds to complete. The reason it does this is to seal the printhead from exposure to air to prevent it from drying out. If power to the printer is cut off before this operation is complete, the unsealed printhead may dry out causing blockages or streaking.

To avoid this, be sure to let the printer complete its routine before shutting the power off to the printer.


--Curling Photocopier Paper

This is usually caused by moisture in high humidity conditions, but the level of curling may depend on the quality of the paper used. Try a fresh ream as the wrapping of each ream is designed to keep the moisture out. If this doesn't work, try a higher quality of paper such as Reflex or Canon General Purpose