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Computer Active Readers :: A quick intro to Waste ink.

Posted on 25th Jun 2019 @ 4:11:16 PM

Over the past week we've had a number of visitors who recently read the letters page of Computer Active (in the UK) and who have decided to ask what's available for their particular waste ink problem.

To help summarise things and save a little time I've put a few of the more frequent questions and answers together for anyone who is interested.


1. Waste Kit solutions for various printers

We are of course, responsible for the design, manufacture and sale of Printer Potty waste ink kits and numerous printer models are already covered by these. Unfortunately the majority are Epson brand printers so if you have a Canon, HP or Brother printer we are unlikely to have a direct solution to suit your needs.

HOWEVER, we do have a number of work-arounds, suggestions and a genuine interest in developing the appropriate resources, information and/or products to help provide a solution so if you are looking and can't find what you want, please read on below, check the FAQ links and contact us if you're still stuck. We'll do what we can to help.


2. Replacement waste pads, maintenance boxes and other waste ink solutions

Not all printers have a Printer Potty kit but that doesn't always mean that there's no hope. There are increasing numbers of printers that have a consumable unit known as a "maintenance box" or similar that already provides a replacement waste tank for the printer. Unfortunately not all of these units are promoted or even mentioned by the manufacturers support documents or support team. It's well worth looking to see if your printer model is associated with the term "maintenance box" or listed against one of our existing units in case.


3. Canon printers specific.

Canon printers are a difficult one to support due to the design of the printers. Some of the larger Pixma Pro models do have waste ink tubes that can be accessed and extended but smaller desktop printers tend to be more complex. A few resources do exist that can help with existing printers, best practice for reducing waste later on, etc... 

  • Getting the printer serviced or getting replacement waste pads
    If you're in the UK, the best place to head is CRC-Tasktron as the primary support contact for Canon in the UK. Waste pad replacement is not cheap but worth doing for the more expensive printers. We've always found them to be very helpful.

  • Replacing the printer with a compatible Spares/Repair machine, if the printhead works
    If you have a working printhead but the printer has reached its waste ink limit then you could think out of the box, and look for compatible printer units being sold as "Spares & Repair" on ebay, craigslist, etc.. Critically, look for units with minimal use, clogged printheads... avoid units that now fail to power up unless you know what you're doing. Transferring a working printhead to a printer that still works is a great sideways move and probably cheaper than waste pad replacement too.

  • Reducing waste ink as a pro-active measure
    If you refill your cartridges then the full-set-swap methodology is a great way to reduce the amount of ink waste you generate so worth reading this article: https://www.octoink.co.uk/kb/questions/219/


4. Other Solutions

Printer Potty was born out of an early desire to quit sending printers to landfill when there was nothing else wrong other than a wet nappy. To that end we're still working on projects that will reduce the ridiculous waste inherent in electronic devices like printers. If you have suggestions, a pet project or just want to chat about what we're trying to achieve then please drop us a line. Where time and finances allow we're always willing to help create more solutions rather than ignoring the problems.