Check Those Cartridge Expiration Dates!

Check Those Cartridge Expiration Dates!

Ink Cartridge Expiration Dates

For a long time, our advice to customers with InkJet printers has been to keep an extra ink cartridge or two on hand to avoid running out during a print job. We have considered it a smart practice to order an extra cartridge for stock when replacing an empty cartridge. However, Hewlett Packard’s new InkJet cartridge chip technology has caused us to rethink that advice. HP’s new ink printers have the ability to read the expiration date of the cartridge and will shut down the printer once the date has been reached.

Now we advise you to be aware of about how long it takes you to use up an ink cartridge. Then, when you buy a new one, check the expiration date to be sure it will not go out of date before you can use it. You don’t want to have spare ink on hand only to find out you can’t use it. Also, out of date cartridges cannot be refunded.

Toner Cartridges for Laser Printers

Fortunately, toner cartridges keep much better than ink cartridges. Manufacturers tell us that toners have a one-year shelf life, but it has been our experience that they are good for much longer. On occasion we have seen chip errors where the printer indicates “Non HP toner detected”. This is easily remedied by pressing the Checkmark or Go button. However, some toner cartridges have chips which can cause problems. Dennis J. Kosterman, Liberty Parts Team Technical Support, has seen a few other problems arise. He states:

“To my knowledge, most laser printers will keep on printing after cartridge expiration. They will keep nagging you about getting a new cartridge, and print quality may deteriorate, but they won’t stop printing. However, there are some exceptions:

  1. Color printers will often stop printing when a cartridge expires, unless you put the printer into “monochrome only mode”.
  2. We had a Lexmark MS810, and when the printer reached a certain page count with that cartridge, it started printing blank pages. It didn’t refuse to print, but the prints had nothing on them. It was a bit weird. There was no gradual deterioration in print quality. It went right from printing perfect pages to printing blank pages as soon as it reached that count. There may be other newer Lexmark printers that act this way. I haven’t seen it on any of the HP models.”

So keeping extra laser printer cartridges on hand should not pose any problems, especially if you have a monochrome laser printer.

by Laser Technology Service Manager Andy Work