Printer color ink low but very rarely print color -- why?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rawdawg, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    I bought a Canon Pixma MP620 when I got my 17" MBP last summer.

    I *very rarely* print color but just noticed when I tried to print a b&w document that it is warning me some ink cartridges are low. I understand the black since when I print I always select greyscale, but shouldn't that mean I don't use my color cartridges?

    I printed a full page color photo about 4 months ago but I think that was the last time I ever printed color. When I got the warning today I looked at my ink supply levels and the black, blue, and magenta were under the line indicating needs replacing.

    I would assume at some point while printing in the past those color ink levels must have actually passed through that line mark. Why wasn't I warned then?

    Is there something I should know about printer ink supply warnings?
  2. ccockerill macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    I'll first start by saying that ink is the biggest waste of money in the world, so that alone has you being ripped off.

    But when you print those black and white documents, what you might not know is those are still using color, your printer lays down color underneath the black so that they appear richer. You get deeper blacks, and they get you to buy more cartridges more often. You lose, they win.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Even if this isn't the case, ink dries out over time. And in some cases (such as HP), the cartridges/toners are "chipped" and will expire even if not used up.

    Again, as you say, They win. :rolleyes: :( The money's in the consumables, not the printer, so they make sure that users have to keep buying them. Even if they didn't need them replaced (assuming plenty of capacity, and it's still liquid, not goo or solid).
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Which is why I bought an epson with OEM quality inks and auto reset, refillable carts hehehe. I then sold the included set of inks which paid for the cost of the carts and 16 oz of ink with some left over .
  5. ccockerill macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    Hahaha good man, I thought about mentioning my CISS, Continuous Ink Supply System, but I didn't think it would be something people here might be interested in. But if anyone is considering any CISS for Epson Wide Format printers, don't think twice, just bite the bullet.
  6. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    Sounds like those Epsons are the way to go! Do you do photography? Maybe I should have bought one of those!
  7. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Nashville, TN, USA
    We've had that same 620 and other color printers, and had the same problem as the OP with all of them. Epsons were the worst of them all. Finally bought an inexpensive (Brother) laser printer, and when I want a photo, I do it online with Walgreens, Costco, etc. and get a much better product for a much cheaper price.
  8. haszarate macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2013
    3105 Grand Ave
    Checking your ink level follow this steps.

    1) Click on the "Start" menu button which is located on bottom left hand corner of your screen. Click on the control panel icon. Look for the printer/fax.The printer Toolbox opens.

    2) Click the Estimated Ink Level tab. A graphic showing the estimated ink levels appears. The graphic shows both the color and black ink level .

    3)When an indicator shows low-ink levels, consider having a replacement cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays.

    If there is still any internal problem call service engineer to fix it .
  9. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    Yep, sounds like that should work great on a Mac, in addition to answering the OP's actual concern about ink usage. :rolleyes:

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