Saving Conserving Canon S900 S9000 Inkjet Printer Ink




I have had a Canon S900 for about three years and recently have
started using a lot of ink. I found that when I went to 100s pages/
month the inkjet heads started clogging occasionally and clearing with
a can of compressed air works.

However I have also found that more than 60% of the ink remains when
a cartridge is marked as empty and has to be replaced. I noticed that
if I turned off/on the printer, the replace ink cartridge message
disappeared for a time. Doing this several times allowed me to
continue printing in B/W without any noticeable fading (about 300
sheets on one B/W cartridge using the InkSaver program at about 60%
reduction before the empty cartridge message appeared, and about 170
more sheets after several off/on cycles with ink still to go). The
inkSaver program is a great utility and continues to save a lot of

I see that the cartridge is divided into two sections, a 33%
(roughly) ink well, and a 67% well with a sponge. The ink level sensor
appears to measure the 33% tank, and after this is empty there is
plenty of ink left in the sponge and the printer continues to print
very well.

However, with each off/on cycle more ink was lost from the colour ink
tanks, presumably due to a start up clearing routine, and the overall
effect was an alarming loss of ink from the five colour tanks that
almost certainly more that cancelled out the ink saved from extending
the use of the B/W tank.

Does anyone know why the sponge tank is so large, or even if a sponge
is neccessary ?
Why not have a sponge that is, e.g., 3mm high, rather than fill the
66% tank ?

I am ready to try the syringe refill technique since this will not
waste the ink in the sponge (it will carry across refills). It might
also be possible to squeeze the ink out of the sponge and draw it into
a syringe to refill another tank, however this seems like a lot of
work, messy if not done carefully, and of no advantage over the
regular syringe refill method.

Does anyone know of a S900 or driver modification that would allow
the empty tank message to be ignored (currently printing cannot
continue until the tank is replaced, the printer cycled off/on, or the
print job cancelled and restarted which also results in more ink loss
from a start up cycle) ? The quality of print can be used to determine
when to replace a cartridge.

Note, other interesting experiences include forgetting to remove a
label at the top of a cartridge which meant that the ink faded after a
while when air could not be drawn in, and finding that a magenta
replacement cartridge was in fact filled with cyan or photo cyan ink.

Thank you,



The sponge side does not hold as much ink as the empty side. It
absorbs the ink and allows it to go out slowly. That is how most ink
tanks work. You just can't see them in most of the tanks because they
aren't clear.

Yes, you can still print a bit when it says it is low. But you really
don;t want it to run out completely as that can cause the print head
to dry out.

If you are going to refill, you really don't want the sponge to get
dry either, or worse, get moldy. I let a few go, and they got mold in
them. Ideally, you want to fill them while there is still a little in
the bottom of the empty side.

I get my ink from www.printerfillingstation. They are really good.
With a piece of special tape over the outlet hole, I drill a small
hole in the top of the tank. I put the ink in with a syringe, and then
I put in a tiny little screw that plugs the hole.

I can usually use each tank a good 15-20 times before I have to
replace it, and my ink is a lot cheaper this way. I do photography as
a business, so I have to print a lot of flyers, proofs, etc.


Thats very interesting, I did not know that the sponge could get
mold. I believe that I can clear almost any clogged head by first
adding some water or methylated spirits (isopropyl/denatured alcohol),
waiting a few minutes, and clearing with a can of compressed air. The
volatile alcohol will clear out quickly, however even plain water may
suffice since these are water base inks. This can be done very quickly
and cleanly in a sink.

The larger sponge tank does indeed appear not to hold as much as the
free tank, still 60+% remaining at replace time is quite a lot of
expensive ink to waste. I really wish that the sponge tank was a
fraction of the current size, and that I could readily choose when to
replace tanks based upon print quality. Another site reports that the
amount of inkjet ink required to fill an olympic sized swimming pool
would cost $5,000,000,000 !

The looks very good and economical.


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